Practicing Duality & Celebrating Feelings... and Christmas in Ohio
December 27, 2019
There were so many things about this Christmas season that were different than the past five to ten Christmases of my life. Of course now that it's over I can say that most of those differences turned out to be good, if not great, things, but that doesn't mean what we changed was all bad...
As we made the decision to stay in Ohio for Christmas and start forming new traditions, I had a twinge of fear that I was making the wrong choice. That we were making the wrong choice.
Saying yes to an Ohio Christmas meant spending the holidays with Neil and his family, in addition to mine.
It meant celebrating with friends, who in my heart are family, and the communities I hold dear.
It meant less planning and arrangements re: more calm and rest.
It also meant saying no Maryland.
It meant no car rides and spacious conversations.
It meant to jogs through the mountains and Christmas deer sightings.
It meant no catching up with extended family and upholding tradition.
It meant, simply put, change.
I was afraid I’d feel regretfully nostalgic for the things we’d be leaving behind, that I’d be alone, or that I was now committed to a new set of traditions that didn’t hold the same joy the ones of year’s past.
To say that the changes of this holiday season felt good or brought joy and rest isn’t to say that past holidays bad or worse or even that I preferred it this way.
My sensations of peace and comfort in any one moment over the past few days doesn’t mean that there weren’t also moments of nostalgia, longing and loss. There were so many moments where I’d step back from myself to savor only to then compare, celebrate and mourn the mirrored, yet so different moments of Christmases past.
As Simon, Moxie and I ran through our favorite field on Christmas with the evening winter sun starting to pour its way through the trees, I thought about one of my favorite literary quotes and the duality and complexity in all things.
I thought about how the potential for fear, loss, longing, and nostalgia is no longer enough reason to say “no” but, in fact, often more of a reason for me now to say yes…
And not JUST because of the loss vs gain equation. While it’s fulfilling and enriching, the ability to make space for something new isn’t the only reward of learning to let go.
I say yes to choices wrapped in fear and to letting go as a part of my practice with duality and flow.
The same moment can hold the same potential for sadness and joy, for loss and gain, for longing and comfort.
And some of us (where my ultrafeelers at?) are going to feel it all, in that one moment.
And each time we take a deep breath and acknowledge it —first the sadness, then the joy, then the loss, then the gain, then then longing, then the comfort, so on and so forth —we become a little more adept at moving though all our big, beautiful, messy ass feelings and, eventually, we start to be really fucking grateful for them.
Sometimes we also snap a photo to help us remember.