It’s Christmas Eve, the time we celebrate Christmas in Germany. I have already gotten my numerous German Christmas wishes and just got back from a Mexican Fiesta Christmas in Arizona. So here I sit, stuffed from having eaten too many home-made Tamales and having had a couple margaritas, reflecting on yet another year that’s passed.
What strikes me as so off at this very moment is how wrong we have all gotten it. I feel guilty for having gotten stuck in the rat race that is called Los Angeles; always having to have the newest gadget, the newest technological crap, keeping up with the proverbial Jones’ and feeling no closer to fulfillment than when I sat out to beat “being poor.”
I remember growing up with shitty Christmases, usually defined by people crying or fighting and a couple times, with a crazy stepfather who wanted to commit suicide… by hanging himself from a friggin’ light fixture in the hallway. I remember being so poor that my mother sat there crying because she couldn’t buy us any gifts and yet, still anxiously awaiting the “Christkind” in its sleigh, riding on a shooting star, straight down to our apartment, being heard miles away due to all the bells ringing. And then one small bell would ring and we’d run into the living room and not care at all at the utter lack of presents. We were thrilled at haven gotten one present. We never got to make lists. We always got to choose one.
But now I am a grown up and I live in Los Angeles and I can, at least in a superficial way, afford whatever I want. And while I have all this crap in my life, I find myself no closer to the bliss and happiness I thought I’d have once I have “money.” No, instead I find it all so terribly shallow and not fulfilling at all. I think I, along with many others in the modern Western world, have lost sight of what is truly important and truly matters.
So this year I am thankful for all the losses I have endured; all the pain I have experienced and all the things I didn’t have. I am thankful for remembering what it is like to “not have” and to lose those who are and that which is close and dear to me, as it has made me largely who I am.
I think life was easier when I wasn’t chasing some imaginary status quo. Because the more I got, the more I felt I needed. So for a while there I got caught up in being exactly like I swore to never be. Luckily for me, I never really did take things for granted. I did, however, get used to working too hard and spending too little time with those who matter and that which should be most important. I think I need to regroup again and shift my focus once more on the important things in life.
See, I could spend the rest of my life chasing crap. I could be one of those who are never truly happy, living right by my husband, because I am looking for happiness in materialistic, dumb ass places that bring me no closer to bliss and I could end up regretting wasting my life and wasting my and his time.
I remember a time when I spent almost all my time trying to achieve a higher plane of consciousness. I meditated every day, I spend more time on the astral plane than on this one and I read a whole lot, studied even more and felt bliss. There was a short time when I was one with the universe; but like all other people I got bogged down by life and crappy things that happened. I lost sight again, then started hanging with the wrong people, for the wrong reasons and focusing on the unimportant stuff in life. Somehow I had bought into their version of reality. And hence, I became like them.
I unlearned all my good habits; I became fat, lazy, cynical, angry, and complacent. I was complaining, blaming and whining and gave up my control, losing myself in being a victim of circumstance and buying into my own crap. Fortunately, spirituality remains my foundation and sooner or later will always break through the walls of denial and superficial reality.
So today, I remember that anything is possible. I could simply start meditating again, work out again, eat right again, and keep at it. I could simply stay focused and remember once more what truly matters in life. I could bring out the person I believe I was meant to be, not the one I started to become. Today, I can make new choices and remember that a brain can be rewired and that new neurological pathways can be formed within a matter of weeks. I can remember that we can actually rewire our genetic makeup. Because now I know a whole lot more than I did back then.
In the new year, I could simply choose to start living up to my full potential again and clear away the cobwebs of confusion and falsehood. I think I’ll be simply thankful for all the subtle reminders that come my way, telling me that all is not lost and nothing is ever truly wasted; and that now is as good a time as ever to get back on track of being me.
Thanks, Honey, for having my back. And thanks to our friends Juan and his wife, for taking in the gringos and sharing how happiness looks like when you are simply grateful for what you do have. These people live a very rich life and the make a fraction of what my husband and I am making. But they really seem to have it figured out.
Better I’ll start changing my faulty wiring sooner rather than later. So, hurray for a new year. Provided the unexpected doesn’t happen, I could live another 42 years, so better get cracking!
Blessing to all of you, regardless what you believe or do not believe. May you learn to wake up, be more compassionate and more kind and less self-absorbed, chasing the imaginary dream of selfish “I must have.” And may you wake up from the prison of your illusions rather sooner than later.