I used to hate the holidays with a passion. I used to dread this time of year. Growing up dirt poor and never getting what I wanted, I created a belief system for myself centered around lack. When I was twelve I realized that I was gay, stopped going to church and began my habit of pushing back against religions and holidays based on religious teachings. Then when I was twenty four, and during the holiday season, my Mother died from a startling and sudden diagnosis of stomach cancer. This gave me even more reason to hate the holidays. I spent the remainder of my twenties continuing to hate the holidays...and then slowly, things started to change for me.
I woke up to the realization that I create my life and I create how I feel about life. I realized that I grew up poor for a reason and I realized that I chose it. In a few days, it will be nine years since Mom left this reality and to be honest I was very mad at her for a very long time.
It took a lot for me to get to where I am from where I was just a short time ago. Shedding all of my worldly possessions, experiencing homelessness, traveling around visiting friends and family, couch surfing for several months… From the outside it may have looked as if I’d lost it..I’d gone nuts and left town with the circus, but really, all the silliness I’ve created the past year or so has led me to the point at which I am now. This point of letting go and releasing my anger, my fear, my judgment, my pain.
I had to figure my life out and I had to process a lifetime of pain, but believe me when I tell you that I have no regrets.
Not too long ago I decided to stop pushing back from religions and their dogma. I decided to let go of my own programing around the holidays and I decided to allow myself to experience life from an alternative perspective. And guess what?!? Life has mirrored back to me the changes that I’ve made within myself.
When Mom died, my siblings and I all fell apart. We lost our matriarch and we lost the glue that was keeping us together. All of us kids, as Mom would say, are all very different and unique. All of us have very strong personalities and you know what, we don’t always agree with each other.
I knew my Mother very well, I was her youngest and I was her friend. Mom had this unique ability to love people unconditionally. She didn’t always show it, but I knew it was there. Her religion and the believe systems she took on in this lifetime got in the way of her and I for several years after I came out as gay.
Looking back now from this new perspective however, I know that she herself was going through hell inside because of her beliefs and her religion. A few weeks before she let go, and in her deathbed, she and I had a conversation that I will never forget. After several years of me thinking she hated me cause I’m gay, she admitted to me that she didn’t know how else to act, that she was reacting based upon her beliefs from her religion and that she was actually in just as much pain for treating me that way as I was for her not accepting me fully. What she said to me took several years to process and it was only until recently that I’ve really begun to understand.
My Mother was a fantastic Mom. She was the best cook around and she had this amazing ability to make a gourmet meal out of seemingly nothing. She was an expert seamstress and she made all of our clothes until we were teenagers. Her role in this lifetime was to raise ten kids and she knew it. Mom was very intuitive but she never fully realized this or what it meant.
I grew up as a young child being told the story of how I came to be and it goes something like this.. After having nine children and her husband running off with the baby sitter, Mom knew that she needed to move from the suburbs of Seattle out west to Boise. She just knew it. So Mom followed her heart, piled her kids into the bus and went west. Not too long after arriving she was introduced to my Father through someone at church. I have been told this separately by both of my parents that when they met, they knew. They just “knew” that they were to be together and so they married.
The best part of this story for me, has always been how Mom would tell me, with so much confidence and extreme clarity, that she KNEW inside of her that she was to have another child. She never admitted this to me, but I assume that she did not necessarily “want” to add another to the nine she already had but the point is that she knew within her that something bigger was calling, there was a larger picture at play and she trusted her intuition enough to follow through. She used to tell me that god spoke to her telling her that she was to bring another child into this world and that child was me.
The marriage didn’t last more than a few years but it was long enough for me to come into this world, into the family that I chose. After the seemingly second failed attempt at marriage, Mom yet again, followed her intuition, her heart, and she moved us all down south to Utah.
Still to this day, I have no idea how she made it all happen. Us kids may not have had the most glamorous upbringing, in fact I know that each of us has gone through our own version of resentments, but you know what, she made it work. We may have been the poorest family in the neighborhood but Mom always made sure that we had tasty food on the table, she made sure that we lived in a comfortable home in a good neighborhood, and gave to us everything she possible could within the parameters of what was possible for her in this lifetime.
With the exception of a short time in the late eighties, Mom remained single for the reminder of her life. She raised her six boys and four girls, and at the time of her death, had over forty “grand babies”, as she would say. For the life that she lived and the hard times she went through, Mom was remarkably positive and trusting in the larger picture of life.
By the time I was twenty four Mom knew that she was done with this lifetime, she knew it, and I knew it. I knew it by way of waking up sobbing from the worst nightmare of my life. I have had prophetic dreams since I was a little child but this one I wanted to blow up with an atom bomb when it came to me. I dreamt of my mothers death the summer before she died. I knew she was sick with something that wouldn’t be fixed. She knew it too. We both knew it but we never spoke of it. So when the late evening at the end of November came that I drove over to her condo to pick her up and take her to the ER due to overwhelming pain, something in both of us knew that this was the beginning of the end. Hours later, and alone in the surgery waiting room, the surgeon came to tell me the news: We took your mothers appendix out and found cancer everywhere. I’m sorry son but your mom is not going to make it through this one. I suspect she has two months to live. Have you called your family yet?
Shortly thereafter, my siblings started to pile into the hospital. Mom woke up from her surgery to find her children surrounding her, filling the entire room. She smiled at us and was glad that we were there. None of us could handle telling her what was discovered while she was asleep so we had the doctor come in and give her the news. Among many other things, our Mother was always an example of strength and trust in the larger picture of life. After she was told the news, the doctor walked out of the room and she said to us all with a smiling face, I guess I need to get ready to go Home.
It’s taken me a long time to find myself in this world and it wasn’t until long after Mom’s death that I began to really know who I am and why I am here in this lifetime. All of us are a product of our upbringing and our family, and it is only until we begin to discover who we are as an individual that we begin to separate the beliefs that resonate with us, from the beliefs we simply took on as habit.
There are multiple perspectives to every aspect of life and when we begin to take a step back, when we stop pushing back on things, when we just let go and observe, we begin to see things in new and fantastic ways.
Everything in my life has happened for a reason and it is my responsibility to own full and complete responsibility for me, my life, my beliefs, my actions, and my situation in life. Blaming others for your problems, blaming religions for the way things are, blaming society as a whole, is a scapegoat for you not taking responsibility and not owning how powerful of a creator you are.
Believe me when I say that I get it. I know how it is to be deep in victim consciousness, in fact I chose this path in this lifetime as a means of being an example for those around me. I wanted to come here, to dive to the depths of victim mentality, and I wanted to play in the game of giving my power away. Simply admitting this to myself is in essence owning how powerful I am.
The past few holiday seasons have turned out to be enlightening for me. I’ve given myself a gift of seeing alternative ways of how you can experience this time of year. This Thanksgiving I went with a friend, down to Oregon to meet and spend time with her family. While there, I was shown a family that is connected, Loving, and intimate with each other. I experienced three days of non-stop love being shown to me by way of my friends family. And it made me think.
It’s been a very long time since I’ve felt close to my siblings. Like I said earlier, we all fell apart when Mom died and we didn’t know how to remain close without Mom.
I now see a larger picture here at play however, and it is only because of my releasing and letting go, that I’ve allowed myself to view this. My siblings and I have been processing Mom's death, and I know that I am not the only one that has dramatically changed since she left.
While I am sure that we would all prefer Mom to still be here with us in the physical, I know in my heart that she left for reasons beyond what we can hear or accept when we are in pain. She gave us a gift by leaving and this gift cannot be seen until we let go, until we surrender and stop fighting life.
The holidays are what you make them. They can either be annoying, painful, and shitty, or they can be a time of connection, of love, and experiencing the bonds that hold family and true friends together. The holidays can be a time of year that you look forward to as an excuse to get together and have fun.
We’re all so busy in our daily lives that at times we forget how amazing connecting with family and friends can be. While yes, the holidays have a meaning behind them that was created long ago, we don’t necessarily need to believe in those old stories. We can simply use these days selected by our society as a means to, as an excuse, as a reminder, to get together with those who you love and care about.
I will never think about the holidays the same. I have a new perspective and it is through these kinds of shifts in our perspectives that the evolution of our consciousness happens.
Just a few hours ago, I realized that this is the first year of my life that I did not receive a gift from anyone. When I realized this, as I was drinking my morning coffee, I laughed. I laughed because growing up, that was the one thing on my mind and the one thing that I was always disappointed about. I saw my friends getting the gifts that they wanted while I was getting gifts Mom could afford.
Christmas might be about material things for some, we all know that the retail industry pushes this idea into our space, but does it really have to be this way? ..or, let me offer to you an alternative, we can individually discover what we want it to be about and then create that for our self.
I’ve decided to take my power back from the holidays and everything I’ve experienced around them throughout my life. I have decided that to me the holidays are a time to reconnect with those I love and care about. And I put this into action by way of wishing everyone I could think of a Merry Christmas by way of text yesterday. I’ve never done this on Christmas and you know what, it was tons of fun!
I’ve also decided that it’s now time for me to reconnect with my siblings. I know that I chose my family, in fact we all do, and I know that I chose my family for many reasons. From the place that I am now with my own evolution, I can clearly see the internal bonds that tie the souls that are my siblings. So, here I go. I am determined to reconnect with them and I know it will happen. Anything I’ve ever put my heart into, I’ve always succeeded with.
Happy Holidays to everyone out there! I Love you!