Rare have been the occasions in my life when I’ve experienced tears of gratitude.
And I’ve noticed that the reasons can be so called “big”, like recovering from an illness, or so called “small”, like receiving some small thing, but when you really need it and you are least expecting it.
One “big” one was earlier this year when I’ve had a phone call from my doctor telling me that the MRI on my leg showed I was OK and I could walk and run again.
When only 6 months before the same doctor had told me I was not supposed to even walk or stand in order to allow my hip to recover.
Another one was the complete recovery of my hearing, although the doctors told me only a mild recovery was possible. I had suffered a really bad ear infection that conduced to almost losing my hearing at my right ear.
After a few months I was hearing again. My ear drum had healed by itself, although doctors had said it was not possible without surgery.
I was also grateful that throughout the time I was sick my family was there for me, visiting me at the hospital, and really supporting me and taking care of me during my convalescence.
And most recently I’ve just started crying receiving gifts from my family. They were not big, “wow” gifts, but they were exactly what I needed the most. I felt so much gratitude that I started crying.
Why I Resented Christmas and New Year?
For me, for many years Christmas has been a time of sorrow. It was the time when we had to do all those chores in the house: cleaning, cooking, decorating.
And in a harmonious family, maybe this is a time for joyfully working together, going to church together and giving each other material and spiritual gifts.
But in my family, it was a time when the usual tensions and fighting were at their peak. And then at the Christmas lunch with the grandparents we had to pretend that everything was alright, we had to be “happy”.
I started to resent Christmas and New Year because of this. I couldn’t stand the hypocrisy, the lying, the sorrow hidden beneath the smiles.
Later on I’ve been running away for years, with work, with a boyfriend, with friends.
The childhood and adolescence sad Christmas became an anchor. While I was caught up in that crazy family dynamic I didn’t really have the time to notice it.
But being single, and living almost alone, in a shared apartment, for more than a year now I’ve had the time to be with myself.
Also having quit running around the world and exhausting myself in a job that didn’t really fit my values, allowed me to have more time for introspection.
And these days just before Christmas I started feeling a sadness that was stronger and stronger.
The Holidays Blues
I thought it’s just the regular “holidays blues” so I started looking for reasons.
I thought it was because I felt frustrated that I didn’t have any money to buy any presents this year. Or to go out with friends.
Then I remembered why I am facing this situation. It’s because I chose the path less walked, which is refusing to get a 9 to 5 job anymore, in order to do only work that I love.
And I’ve just begun walking on this path a few moths ago. So I am yet to figure out how to attract enough money to live in a prosperous way without a regular job. It’s the beginning, so it’s normal to be sometimes tough.
Then I thought it was because I’ll soon turn 33 and I don’t have a husband, or a boyfriend, or kids, or a house, or a career. I don’t have any of the things most of the friends of my generation have realized by now.
Then I talked on the phone with a good friend who has 3 small kids, all boys. She who was telling me that I have freedom, and silence, and time for myself.
And that I should enjoy them as much as possible before I have children because those become luxury goods together with the joys of motherhood :).
Then a question popped up in my head.
Why Not Create a New Family?
If for any reason I’ve never had the Christmas I wanted in my family of origin, what’s stopping me creating a new family and new Christmas traditions? And the shocking answer was: nothing.
Only that I was so caught up in my past, in my memories, that I couldn’t get out of there. The anchor to the winter holidays was so strongly negative that I couldn’t see the option of choosing something different.
Then came the moment when I received those gifts from my brother and my mother. And after they left I started crying in gratitude. Because it was exactly what I needed, when I needed. Small gifts but important for me.
I felt like, I am not so alone after all. I felt like in the worst case scenario I have someone that will be there for me no matter what. You know, that saying, that blood doesn’t turn to water? I felt it once more.
And I felt even more grateful.I felt that this is a gift from God and that I am being taken care of by a force who has my back whatever I do. (You can call Him the way you want, I believe there is just one in spite of the the many religions and names we use across the cultures, around the world.)
And that there must be God who has been working through my body so that it healed itself in those cases when the doctors said there was no way.
And that God is manifesting through each and every act of kindness, through every smile, every hug, every good thought and every prayer that we send to another one, through every gift given from the heart.
So I decided to put on my objectives list for the next year:
-work on forgiving and letting go of any resentments towards my past;
-invent new, different things to do with my family for next Christmas.
-not waiting for Christmas to be kind, and generous and forgiving, but rather making this a way of living.
-create a new family, whatever that means, be it with a partner and kids and/or a spiritual family of like minded-heart and spirit friends.
How about you?
What are you so grateful for that you feel tears coming up your eyes?
How do you really feel about Christmas and New Year?
How would you really like this time of the year to be for you?
Thank you for taking your time to be reading the entire post.
Wishing you to be true to yourself and in alignment with your heart not only for Christmas and New Year’s Eve, but for every single day of the years to come! 🙂