My Grown Up Christmas Gifts

One of the greatest gifts I received this year is the ability to be grateful in spite of, despite of, in light of and because of all the not-so-good things that come my way. In no way is it easy, mind you, but I think keeping at it, despite it being seemingly futile at times, is what allows me to see beyond the “overwhelmingness” of the situation. By being grateful for it because deep down inside I know it is but a necessary pain, even if I feel like quitting life as I know it, allows me to see the bigger picture and to believe in rainbows even if I cannot see them.

This year I have been blessed with so many things, even if so much more may have been taken away. I have seen bright, glorious sunshine and I have likewise been inundated with ferocious storms that have rocked me to my very core and yet, lookie, I’m still standing. A little bit darker, a little bit wiser, and a whole lot better.

So for this Christmas, I am grateful for all the life lessons I have learned, I am learning and I am still trying to learn along the way.

In the past year, as tumultuous as it was, I learned to to give and to take not too much, but not too little. I learned more importantly, as the prayer of St. Ignatius goes, to give and not count the cost, or expect anything in return for that matter.

In learning to take care of myself I learned to say no if I really can’t, or really don’t want to for that matter. I am learning to not pretend to care if I really don’t or for the sake of niceness alone. I have begun to move on from old hurts that plagued me and have allowed my broken heart to heal, but yet I remember to keep at it even if it hurts, as long as it’s right. I have learned to be still and just listen. I’m beginning to understand how in silence so much more can be said, even if it is uncomfortable and unfamiliar.

In trying to learn to be a better friend, colleague, sister, and daughter, I’ve tried hard at being more mindful and aware of the fact that you can only love someone too much because loving another without keeping that in mind can actually stifle the growth of such relationships and leave it stagnant, or worse, makes it fester with unnecessary hurt that is caused without even knowing it. I’ve learned too to hold my tongue and just be patient, no matter how hard it may be. I try not to ask too many questions and just take things as they are.

In my quest for growth I am trying to be more considerate of myself, allowing myself a whole gamut of emotions from good and bad, reminding myself every now and then that feeling bad about things, and yes, at times even slightly slighted or jealous is but a natural reaction that is valid and has a place in my life. And as a dear friend always reminds me, I have learned to “tap tap tap” after every toink and to start anew 🙂

But most importantly, the greatest gifts that came my way in 2010, besides the gift of gratitude,  is the constant reminder that I am infinitely loved, unconditionally so even if I may find it hard to hold on to at times, to not just have faith but to actually trust and believe that good things can happen even if it isn’t very often, and to once more, be hopeful about so many, many things despite all the hurt, uncertainty, fear and insecurity that so often seem much bigger than me.

Growing up, this whole Christmas thing…admittedly hurts a lot, but I am grateful. I am especially grateful to the people, places, things, and situations that have allowed me to see all this and more.

Happy Christmas everyone.

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