"Your primary relationship needs to be with yourself, not your family, business, country, culture, or ethnicity. Affirm: The number one priority in my life is my relationship with my Source of being. Go there first, before any other considerations, and you'll automatically discontinue demanding more of anything else. You'll begin to emulate the Tao effortlessly, living heaven on earth." - Wayne Dyer, Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life
I'm not going home to Walnut Creek for Christmas this year. In fact, I hardly ever make it home for Christmas. Historically, this has simply been because I am either... A. working or B. can't afford a plane ticket. However, neither really apply this year... yet, I am still not traveling home for Christmas. Why? Well, this year's reason is a little more complex...
I am staying in New York for emotional self-protection.
I don't know how that may sound to you upon first-read, but let me explain a bit...
My parents were married for 30 years...and recently they decided to divorce. So Christmas at "home" is not what it once was. And being with my family in California brings up a lot of very deep-rooted emotional feelings for me...feelings that I'm still in the process of working through...that our whole family is in the process of working through.
"You should never sacrifice yourself in an attempt to save someone else. You cannot save anyone but yourself. When you make a strong commitment for something important that represents the next step in your evolution, you need to put boundaries around it and protect it from all the energies that are not compatible. This may require some hard choices of cutting off certain relationships, practices, habits and influences. If it does not feel good, say no and don't do it. If it feels good, say yes and go for it. You don't need to know how or why." - Lena Stevens, The Power Path
Now, because I'm challenging myself big-time with this HUGE goal that means sooooo much to me (namely, this blog and this grad-school application thing) and it's required a ton of energy and focus for me to stick-with-it emotionally and psychologically...to stay positive and stay motivated and keep myself in a healthy-happy-mind-set...for all of these reasons...I needed to set a boundary for myself to protect this dream and to stay in New York for Christmas.
"Commitment is more about saying "no" than "yes." - Jennifer Gresham, Everyday Bright
I have to protect my energy and my focus right now. I cannot allow myself to be thrown-for-a-loop by things that I know I cannot control. I only have so much strength and have to acknowledge my limitations.
"Don't let the "shoulds" of false responsibilities and expectations of others derail you from being fully present, awake and engaged in what you know you need to do for yourself." - Lena Stevens, The Power Path
I LOOOOOVE my family and would LOVE to be able to be there for them right now, but I can't. I have to be selfish and know that they will understand (which I think they do)... or even if they don't understand... that they'll get over it eventually and be excited to see me next year when I do choose to come home for Christmas (hopefully, during my winter-break from grad school)!
However, I do miss my family... a lot...especially this weekend! And it's lonely waking up in my apartment alone on Christmas Eve.
This morning I woke up thinking about the things that I miss...And I realized that a lot of the things I miss about Christmases of my past are things that don't even exist anymore...people have passed away...grown up...moved on...I'm nostalgic about a memory. What I miss most are things that I would not experience right now anyway...even if I was in California for the holiday.
There was something comforting in realizing that I'm longing to re-live the feeling of something that has passed. Because it made me realize that by staying in New York on Christmas, I'm not depriving myself of these things that I miss...because those things only exist in my mind. The truth is...I am exactly where I am supposed to be right now.
It's also comforting for me to think that... years from now...I will probably think back and miss THIS moment too! I'll think fondly back about that time when I lived in Astoria (now) and was gloriously free on Christmas Day to sleep in 'til when ever and treat myself to a movie...no obligations...no attachments...just what ever I wanted to do...where ever I wanted to go...with whom ever I wanted to be with. I can definitely imagine my future self longing for that feeling of freedom again.
So why not enjoy this moment now?...in all it's complexity of emotion.
As you are experiencing your own "moments" this weekend with your loved ones during your holiday festivities...remember to take-in the bittersweet joy and pain of each moment.. because there will never be another one quite like it. Isn't that both beautiful and heart-breaking?
Life is simple like that, life is complicated like that...and life is precious.
Every moment of "the now" is a beautiful moment that will never be repeated.
So don't forget, k?
"The reality is that beginnings are often disguised as painful endings. So when you know that there's a constant beyond the present moment's disappointment, you can sense that "this too shall pass" -- it always has and it always will. when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change!" - Wayne Dyer, Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life