Sunday, December 12, 2010

My Grown Up Christmas Wish List...

I thought I would try something new. Call it an improvisational entry - a "Second City" of writing, if you will. I have no idea what will spill on to the page, but perhaps that is the point. Forgive me for grammatical mistructures or spelling errors and read for the spirit in my stream of consciousness.

Yes, I have gratitude. Many people in our world are suffering greatly and yet, I have struggled this year too. We all have pain and no pain should ever be deemed greater or lesser than the other, it is in the eye of the beholder. There were so many, many changes that I had no control over this year just like a Sunday snowstorm and it's bitter cold aftermath, my choice was to adjust, accept, and adapt. I did finally manage to accept my circumstances. There is still anger at the injustice of bureaucratic systems its incompetent managers and bosses. However, there is now finally, with some adjustment, an awareness that it is all part of a bigger plan for my life. I should not try to change systems, I should try to change me and model the world that I hope to live in and be part of, precisely because I am grateful.

If there is a lesson from this year's professional struggle, it is not that I, we, shouldn't take risks like leaving the safety of our jobs. But that when we do the outcome may not happen as we gave planned, it is more likely that a different plan will eventually emerge. The truth I have uncovered, is that risk is about faith and the only muscles I need build are those of faith; the surrendering of my will for a greater will, a universal one, is all that I must do. I say "all" with a sigh. Many of you probably know how hard this is to do, but I learned this year that risk has consequences good and bad. I would not make a different decision today from the one I made last December.

Then there is the question of a mother giving her child up at birth and deciding to find her son again: "Baby Lovell." When I was contacted in July, it was not surprizing at all. It didn't matter that I had never once sought her out. When you have benefited and participated in recovery work, like I have, the decision to meet her was never in question. We live, we make mistakes, we forgive; I had to do this as I would want it done for me. As the mom that raised and nurtured me said, "the more love and support, the better." So, I am now in the process of merging two distinct family histories, and this brings new fears and truths that require a stronger faith muscle. The miracle is, that I showed up to meet my history and I am in the process of preparing for my future with its abundance of new information.

Now some thoughts on love. After years of knowing what it wasn't, I have had some experiences with what it is. In a year of darkness and turbulance, there has been a brightness, born of generosity that I have never before experienced. Ironically, a month before this incredibly difficult year began, I started to fall in love with a graceful, dynamic, intelligent, and gifted man. When you meet someone who listens, who instructs, who does not judge, and who has turned disaster into triumph in his or her own life, you simply must love back. For the first time in my life, I simply want to give, not take. Everyone needs a light and I now have one. For this, too, I am grateful. This year a mirror was held up that proved I am imperfectly whole.

So I surrender at years end to the small gestures of joy and grace all around me. I have had to look closer at what might have normally been missed. The help was imeasurable and I know that in no way could I have made it on my own. So to those of you I love and respect, thank you. For those I struggle with, please know you are my greatest teachers; I appreciate you all. Here is my Christmas wish list.

That I remember:

1. Actions are better than reactions.
2. Words are not enough.
3. Every loss brings a new beginning.
4. Foregivness is critical.
5. Fear and faith are incompatible.
6. Gifts are everywhere, often disguised.
7. Growth is slow.
8. Change is the only guarantee.
9. Happiness does not have to involve being right.
10.Love is all I need.

And I must remember because I have received these gifts time and again, to be grateful. Merry Christmas all.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you dearest Andy for being you and sharing you.