There I was, almost a week ago (ha!), writing as though I was some how going to be able to ride out the wave of Christmas and just observe as the boats all around me were bobbing in the swelling sea of emotions and concerns. I must admit, I was impressed that I had made it to the 23rd of December, no less, without an injury, without symptoms of the stress of the season. That was the calm before the storm, my friends, the calm before the storm...
I was on the right track and it appeared that I had what it takes to make it through the holidays without emotional outbursts and displays of intense feeling. However, this was not the year for me. I have lived to tell the tale and that is the redeeming feature of this little story. But that's where the good part ends.
I will not even go into the details of the nightmare that was my Christmas with family because we've all been there, we've all had those scenes, those ways we've been that we regret, things we've said we wish we could take back, and those promises we've made about how it's not going to go like that again. And I can add on a positive note that all of my relationships are intact and I'm on great terms with my family, where really very little of this drama unfolded. I saved most of the good stuff for my partner and our private little hell we call home. And we're also okay and even good. But it wasn't fun or easy, those few days.
One of the things I got for Christmas was one of Anthony de Mello's books, Awareness. I've been listening to him on youtube all morning. It restores my balance, my understanding, my forgiveness for myself and the others around me. His words give me strength to carry on, oh yes they do.
The main thrust of his message is the same thing the Buddha says, who he says is the one that put it the easiest, but that all of the great teachers said basically this...
"The world is full of sorrow. The root of sorrow is desire. The uprooting of sorrow is desirelessness."
And of course, he goes on. But there's the message. If I'm upset it's because it's not going my way and my way is the thing I'm attached to. Just drop it. Okay, okay.