Maria Shriver's Sunday Paper this past Sunday was centered on a song by Idina Menzel named At This Table. The verse that spoke most strongly to Maria was this "At this table, everyone is welcome. At this table, everyone is seen. At this table, everybody matters. No one falls between." As we head into the Christmas holidays where families gather around a table, I thought very hard about these lyrics. In a lot of families, baggage of the past is dragged along with us to the table, whether it be baggage from 30 years ago or 30 days ago. In order for the line in the song "everyone is seen" to occur, we must arrive at the table stripped down to complete vulnerability. I love the sentiment of the song, but to expose hurts that while they are old and scarred over still sting when touched and to sit with the ones that caused the pain requires a tremendous strength and confidence in vulnerability. What does "everyone is seen" really mean? Does it mean you are seen for who you've worked hard to be, who you are working to be, who you think you are, who you are pretending to be, who you are trying to be, who you used to be? Are the holidays the time to test being seen? There is a lot to unpack here.
As we enter this new decade, creating the goal of coming together at the family table with the healthy willingness to "be seen" seems achievable. In the meantime, we can come together like the picture of the Christmas cookies above, all jumbled together, doing our best to be our best and looking to the New Year with a healthy goal.