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Day 21, Christmas Day, Gifts, Stockings, Santa & a Patridge in a Pear Tree

Holidays are about realizing how big your world is. About realizing you can have the life you want and you have choices. The trick is realizing you have choices even when it appears as if you don’t. I remember when I started working for justice. I realized that for every triumph there was another battle. I learned that I needed to train myself to saviour the victories no matter how small and accept the resistance as proof of change. Let me say that again because it is important Resistance = Change.

So many of us, myself too, we fight for what is right, what is just, what is true. So many give first and ask questions later. So many spend hours trying to help others and solve their problems. I used to be that person and some times I still am. I realized that if I didn’t start savoring the triumphs, celebrating the resistance and realizing that that was change, I would have to get out of the change business. This realization led me down the path of liberation and realizing that we always have a choice.

I was talking to one of my relatives today, first time in many months (usual holiday reconnection). And I didn’t bother explaining what I am doing out here, I just said I rented a house and was on vacation. I let myself down and him. He went to his default of, “Must be nice.” Translated as, “Well, you are in a better place than me, I can’t do that.” I can’t, I won’t, I should, I could, I wish—all phrases that should be banished. What do you want? We set up our lives and create the boxes we live in. We set up what is possible and what is not. We make up excuses and say not today another day. Then twenty years go by and we wonder why. My family has taught me a lot and continues to teach with each opportunity or gift from the Universe or aka disagreement or fight.

My Dad as I mentioned before is a raging Republican, married to a black woman and believes the world owes him. That is his own story and he is sticking too it. In my last conversation with him, I suggested that perhaps he didn’t deserve what he was owed. Well, that’s it he doesn’t want to talk to me now.  Yes, it was not my place, I needed to learn compassion for him and his pain and honor how he wants to handle it. He triggered me and had started a fight(old pattern).

Anyway, my mom still blames her parents for her lack of college degree and everyone else for why her life is what it is and what it continues to be.  This was the first Christmas in my life we have not spoken. We exchanged voice mails but did not connect.  We each made choices. I got a text from my sister, first one in months. The last one made me cry, this one did not. I did send a Christmas present and she was thanking me and letting me know she still remembers us and our relationship. That was probably one of the best Christmas presents that I got.

As I sit here, with my wife and two dogs sleeping and both of us realizing we can live the life we want. I realize loving is about acceptance. Acceptance of the family I have, not the one I wish I had. Acceptance and loving unconditionally. All I can do is love them, wish them Merry Christmas, send them a present and that’s it. I did not spend my day wishing what I didn’t have but acknowledging what I do. I am blessed and continue to be. The Universe does provide and the older I am getting the more I realize that every time I say someone else has triggered me, it is about me and not them. It is their gift to me to figure  out something.

I used to think holidays reminded me how small the world could be, how bigoted it was, how homophobic, and how oppressive. Now, I see holidays as a time to be surrounded with love and whichever beings appear are the ones that are meant to be.

Living a life of possibilities is realizing you can, you will, and you are and letting all the would ofs, could ofs, and should ofs go.

Happy Christmas and New Year.

About Joy Rain

Joy has been a diversity and inclusion consultant and mediator for over ten years. Prior to consulting, she was professor of Psychology and Women Studies. Joy has a Master of Arts in Psychology (Boston University) and a Master of Education in Social Justice Education (UMASS Amherst).


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