The Holidays. What does the word represent for you? Are you filled with your childhood`s joy and anticipation, are you grieving over someone missing this year, are you silently surprising that gut feeling that something might go wrong this year also?
The Holidays are ambivalence. I never knew this when I was a child. Holiday consisted of time off school, time to play, time to watch cartoons, time to eat candies, time with family, time for presents. We were not well off, but we had that time, that joy, that innocence. I never knew that it could seem different. I am concerned about the children who live in poverty, insecurity because of stress in the family or substance abuse. I could write lots about it. This time, though, I am thinking about the adults.
The innocence is gone. Forever.
I can never again recall that feeling from childhood, when things were pure, uncomplicated joy.
And, I miss it.
I am not talking about the cleaning of the house, the gift purchasing, the baking, although that might cause stress also.
I am feeling the loss of someone loved, and look around and see all my friends and family who have lost someone also. Grandparents, parents, brothers, sisters, children are gone. Not only by death, but sometimes by divorce. Estranged.
I am feeling the loss of dreams, and look around me and see all my friends and family who have lost something also.Loss of the dream of that wonderful family life, loss of health, loss of opportunities. Loss of the illusions of who we are.
I have, for as long as I can remember, have had plans. Plans and a direction for where I am going in life. The plans have changed at times, due to outer circumstances and inner experiences. But, I have always had a lot of drive. This drive has encouraged me to always learn, always experience new things. It has encouraged me to study, and to move to another continent. Twice. It has encouraged me to keep the faith in a long distance relationship where we did not see each other for months on end. It has prompted me to get a Master`s Degree in a new country, at the same time as I struggled with a sleeping disorder and stomach pains. I never could imagine that there was something I could not do.
So, this drive has been a blessing. And, it has perhaps been a curse. Without that drive, my health might be different now. I might have been able to take care of myself better, not push myself to the brim, so the end result would be a better functioning right now. The last three years there has been no room for that drive, only room for recovery.
And, without my drive, where is my direction in life? Perhaps I am in bereavement. Over my drive. Over my lust for new things in life. I need the familiar, the old now, to recover. But, with that, I lose my dreams. And what am I, what are we as humans, without our dreams?
In a time where everything is supposed to be so perfect, why do we feel that emptiness? Perhaps this time of year enhances the loss of our dreams. Perhaps this time of year can be a time to reflect on what other dreams you will pursue? Perhaps they have to be different than the ones you once had. Perhaps they need to be smaller. But, nonetheless a dream.
Dreams are a source of grief when they are broken, but they are such a source of energy when they are pursued. I can not live without that dream, that drive. At the same time, I want to live contently in the moment. I want to cherish the everyday moments that are wonderful. Living mindfully.
How are your dreams treating you, and how are you treating your dreams?
Happy Ambivalent Holidays, everyone;-)