It's Christmas, I am in Little Rock about to go to bed. I picked up my roommate's Christmas eve and Christmas as a sweet thing to do, she really wanted to spend Christmas with her family, and I felt a bit indifferent, I already saw my Mom's side of the family for Thanksgiving, and the last time I spent time with my Dad (the Zen center experience) some old feelings came back.
I realized as the holiday approached that I did something nice for a friend at the expense of my Grandparents and Father. I decided that I had made a mistake. I won't tell my roommate of course, but next time I will take the opportunities to spend quality time with my family.
I feel quite a disconnect with my family, on both sides. When I was 12 my father was passed out drunk on the porch every night, I REPEATEDLY reached out for help to both sides of my family, I did get to spend a summer with an aunt and uncle, and I got shoulders to cry on, but I recieved, whether fair or not, the message that it was okay that my dad wasn't giving me what I needed, my dad's mom even said "ÿou are really hurting your dad" in response to my pressure for him to quit drinking or for me to get somewhere else to live. I still feel resentment that someone didn't take a stand on my behalf, or take me in permanently (even though my whole family has apologized for this) so things like holidays don't seem to be a big deal to me, I don't feel like I owe anyone anything.
My Buddhist studies and therapy are telling me that I have to move on from this, and start being more actively involved with my family. I think I am pretty ready to do this. I think I need a few good therapy sessions about it, some crying and some mourning, and then I should be done with it. A bad childhood is not a good enough excuse to become a cold, distant, bitter adult.
Last night I went to a midnight mass, it was a nice production, but lately any time I go to a Christian church I feel deeper and deeper that I am not Christian. I have just come to terms with it. I never was really Christian, I twisted Christianity to fit with my beliefs so I would be accepted and treated with respect. I am very glad that I am strong enough now to not need respect from people who would call me, one of the most ethically concerned people I know of, "immoral" because I have different beliefs than them. I am happy that I can finally be honest with God, Mother Nature, or whatever you call it.
I am not completely pleased with myself this Christmas, I didn't buy anyone anything, and I only sent out 3 cards. I think that next year I will participate more, it is a cultural tradition of much of my country, and the people I love, and it has the lovely message of giving and family togetherness. I think I am okay though, I buy people gifts when I find them, I think that is more sincere than only doing it on a specific day.
I feel no Christmas spirit this year. When I think of Christmas this year all I think of is TV commercials and Bill O'reilly and his ilk stirring up trouble by claiming that people get offended if you say "Merry Christmas" to them. I am sure there are a few people who do, but most people who arent Christian just don't want to be treated as if Christianity is "America's Religion" and that their religious traditions make them somehow less American. O'reilly and them are just creating this hubub to divide America more. Merry Christmas Mr. O'reilly, Jesus would be so proud.
So thats my Christmas post. I really DO wish everyone a Merry Christmas, I hope people feel warm and connected to their family, which is what Christmas should be like. I don't feel bad that I don't feel Christmas spirit this year. I am not unhappy, in fact, I am quite happy. It just feels like Sunday to me.
mood: good (but dizzy spells!)