There is a space, the nothingness around us. What you call yours and what I call mine. But somewhere in the middle, we dance a graceful dance in between those two spaces. (S)
Some years back I was at a dinner table and it was required that we all say grace before commencing to digging into our meal. I felt conflicted as I closed my eyes and allowed my ears to capture the words that were being said. Around the same time, I found myself in a church for a family gathering. To the untrained eye, I was like everyone else in the crowd, lightly participating in the ritual they called prayer by lowering my head and closing my eyes. Yet, when it came to singing or saying “Amen”, 95.8% of the time, my lips were shut and I was alone with the conflict again. These moments, and many like them have forced me to pause while noticing all of the internal conflict that arises which situations like these. This holiday season is presenting an opportunity for me to examine how I co-exist or dance with things that I don’t agree with while maintaining a connectedness to the loved ones who are bonded to these things. Thus, inspecting how we meet in the space in between.
The challenge of this dance, especially in regards to the holidays, started long before now. I always showed some signs of rebellion against the so-called norm. Many years ago, during one Thanksgiving holiday, I had a debate with someone during a family gathering challenging the Christian perspectives that were being dumped upon me. Alongside my need to challenge ideals, particularly ones connected to the holiday season, I also was able to exhibit my ability to “play along.” Every Thanksgiving like clockwork, I called around to a few people and wish them a happy Thanksgiving. However, this year, I openly expressed my true Thanksgiving sentiments by posting a couple of Someecards quotes on my Facebook page. When it came to Christmas, I took great joy in participating in the shopping in order to give desirable presents to my loved ones or benefit from the holiday sales. Yet, for the past 12 years, I put up an actual Christmas Tree approximately 2-3 times.
My disengagement over the years has been illustrated in other more subtle ways. I would either avoid certain topics with friends or allow a silence to kidnap the things that could not be discussed. Politics, religion, or my perspectives about certain things have become the secrets that I kept from most unless I am invited to express my opinion. I found myself trying to avoid being the “Angry Auntie In The Corner” with my views on society, holidays and the like as I chose to participate and enjoy that which my loved ones enjoyed.