The Holidays are upon us. And though traditionally this is supposed to be a time of reflection, gratitude, connecting with family, friends, and loved ones..I find myself being swept away in a sea of resentment, anxiety, and financial stress.
Our culture perpetuates this idea each Holiday season, that shiny new toys and outdoing ourselves from years past, should be our primary purpose.
With that deluded notion in mind,I forge ahead. Arguing with my boyfriend over nonsense, resenting my Ma for being the same person she’s been for over 70 years, and my friends: How dare they want to spend tome with me during this festive season. Can’t they see I’m busy?!???
Basically, I’ve found myself behaving like a crabby douchebag.
Its so easy for me to forget how many blessing are sitting right underneath my nose.
My Ma. Sure,there are times when she wants to punch me in the throat. And yes, I want her to mind her own God damn business, and quit meddling in mine.
But, really…underneath that surface bullshit. There is a history between the two of us, like nothing I’ve ever shared with another human being, in this life. So much love, loyalty, forgiveness, honor, respect, and downright crazy fun, that I have shared with this amazing woman, over the last 41 years.
So, perhaps instead of allowing the little things that grate my nerves, get to me..and corrode my Spirit. I can take a few moments every day to reflect on how, every day of my childhood, this woman consistently made sure that I felt loved and cared for. And, I can look at her today…and smile in the knowledge that our relationship lis greater today, than it has been in the last 20 years.
So, being present with my Ma. Honoring her, this Holiday season, for all the love she’s given me. That is the true spirit of the Holdiays.
My boyfriend and I don’t see eye to eye on everything in our relationship. And my ego expects EVERYONE TO BE ENTITLED TO MY OPINION!!
But maybe, instead of jumping to conclusions about Reese’ motives in any given situation, (contempt prior to investigation) I can feel safe in the knowledge that Reese has NEVER once given me the inclination that he would ever go out of his way to hurt me. He shows up for me, listens to me (even when I’m speaking like a moron) and makes sure, every single day that he lets me know he cares for me. Not by saying it, but by showing it. If that’s not a Holiday blessing…what the fuck is??! Reciprocating that love. From the simplest thing, like rubbing his arm and back (which he loves) or giving him attention, void of my selfish wants. That is what this Holiday season is about.
I find myself wishing I had more friends. But, the truth is…The friends I have are nothing less than amazing. They are loyal. They tell me the truth about myself, even if I don’t want to hear it. They don’t judge me. I might not have a slew of different friends to jump around to, but I do have friendships that are built on mutual respect and love. So, taking time to honor my friends, during this time..is paramount. Because it wasn’t so long ago, that these were the very friends who believed in my when I was newly sober, and didn’t believe in myself.
However, my ego is dangerous. It’s corrupt. And when its in full effect, I will come up with excuses as to why I can’t do lunch or dinner with someone that is a true friend. That’s crap! Relationships take time and they are an investment. And if the people in my life are good (which they are) they are worthy of me taking time to spend with them.
Outside of the people in my inner circle, there are many other ways I find to overcome the malady of my spirit.
Meditation, every morning is a must. Just 15 min to be silent and still. Of course, writing for me is necessary. Sharing my discoveries, challenges, and solutions with the world keeps me accountable. And, hopefully helps another person who might be struggling with similar challenges.
Little things get me out of my anxiety and negative thinking as well. For instance, when I’m at the gym, my natural inclination is to put my headphones on and avoid eye contact with strangers. Not cuz I’m trying to be a dick, but because I’m naturally shy. So now, I always try to look people in the eye,and smile…a genuine smile.
The power of a genuine smile is quite moving. especially to a stranger, who might be having a rough day, during this holiday season, as well.
I am constantly reminding myself: We are all facing challenges. Especially at this time of year. And many, are facing difficulties, far worse than my little issues.
So, the basic law: Treat others as I would like to be treated, applies!
I take time out as often as possible to remember every person who, throughout my life, has ever shown me kindness, compassion, and love. And, I try to reflect the love I have been so freely given, onto others.
For me, that’s what the Holidays are really about.
Not the gifts we give, and how much we spend on them.
But, the love we give to the people that matter. And the time we allow ourselves to give to them.