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Holidays and The Power of One

Holidays for me are often pain-filled triggers of hell-filled holidays of days gone by. Days gone by that have left scars where I used to wish happier (or more "normal") emotions could be instead. Although for many, alone or not, there is little chance of achieving the kind of happiness that commercials would have us believe "everyone" out there is enjoying. It's bunk!

This "happiness" is however, not my lot in life. It has not been my experience. It is not my experience now. I used to feel defeated and left out by this. Disconnected. Now I realize that it is far more important to be connected to myself and to my spiritual reality than it is to be engaged socially for the sake of any holiday.

I have spent and continue to spend many holidays alone. There is something safe and genuine for me in this. To be alone with the time and space to nurture myself as I need to depending upon what feelings come up is important.

I used to feel that somehow my being alone at these times meant I was defective, crazy or less-than those who share these times happily (or not so - but immersed in the drama of toxic families). Now I realize that for me, I am being true to my own experience and feelings. I am taking care of myself and that is all that matters. What other people do on holidays or the way that the media portrays these holidays is not my truth. I don't have to live anyone's truth but my own.

I sit quietly reflecting upon what I feel on any given holiday. I often stare out the window into the trees, the sky or the snow (at Christmas). I see in this picture, through my window, a world that sits underneath the outer world, like I do. A world that exists in parallel to the popular, like I do. I see peace within turmoil and bent turmoil within this parallel peace.

I feel related to trees and to empty side-walks - bags that blow devil-may-care in the wind and to birds that fly in seemingly aimless splendor. I feel a kinship with the breeze. I feel moved by sunsets and the awesome wonder of clouds swirling by in the millions of formations that they take on. They are different each time I study them, just like I am, when I study myself.

Hours go by while the world spends this holiday or that eating and drinking and talking and talking and talking. So much talking. So much aimless and pointless talking that so few remember much about. I've been there. I've heard it all. It does not move me. It does not interest me. I feel guilty at how much it bores me. I long to be in the quiet-noise that is my inner-world. I long for my window and my pets. I long to just be: there. To breathe softly - to feel, and to often shed tears. A catharsis of solitude sits on my window sill waiting for me to partake of it. This solitude sets the stage for a challenging renewal of my strength of character. It also holds within it so much bliss. The kind of joy and bliss that can only be tapped through the gut-wrenching willfulness to give gratitude to my pain.

Holidays, up until now, have often left me feeling pulled in two directions. I have felt pulled to do the "social-thing". I have felt pulled to the wild-call of the "party". Well, just a little bit, sometimes. I have felt pulled outward to that dangerous plastic arena where 'false-selves' rule and little real ever truly happens. Mostly I feel pulled to my window of the world. Pulled to the profound promise of purposeful inward philosophical and spiritual repose.

There is no talking. There is no noise. There are no pretentious pious social mores to live up to. There is none of the clap-trap produced within the social-sphere of all of that self-avoidant yakety-yack.

There is just me and a manageable-snippet of the world in my window. A dog on my lap and cats laying about the couch. Surely this is eccentricity at its best. I deviate from the norm each and every holiday. Oh how I used to worry what others thought of this. Now, in the most extreme sense of what it is to be eccentric, there is peace and freedom in this empowering choice of mine.

Odd isn't it that many in the world would judge my choice as sad or lonely. Equally as odd, don't you think that so many run from what is truly their sadness and their fear of being alone to the rigors of ridiculous recreation placated upon pleasing the masses and providing repetitive back-to-work grist for the gossip mill? Odd isn't it that many would give voice and credence to the notion that my holiday choice is one to pity. For it is I that pity the poor mimicking masses their absolute need to be validated.

For it is from my utmost unconventionality that my inner-freedom is derived. Freedom like a stone. Heavy, yes, heavy freedom in that it is viewed as escapism in the eyes of many who are using this "social-holiday-foray" to escape what it is that I seek. But just thinking of that alternative of losing one's self in order to have some version of a part of oneself to be "found" by others weighs much heavier upon me.

Any holiday is really supposed to be about leisure and recreation or the observance or commemoration of some event. Why are they then taken as cause for ridiculously repetitively-re-rehearsed mundane mini-plays of acted out past-patterns? What's fun about that? Where is the true meaning in that? Some ancient collective illusion of leisure, recreation or the paying of some homage to something or someone through worn-out, over-done soiled traditions is nothing more than stifling to my soul.

Yes it is fair to say that the damage has been done in my case. Damage that lies upon an autistic reality superimposed in the background of my yearning desires to live within. Many have been damaged. Why do so many still suffer these holiday get-togethers often with people they don't even like or know well? Is not this "damage" of mine, truly a gift. Is not the damage that I carry the very window through which I am able to face and accept myself -- finally?

Asperger's Syndrome - a form of autism is such a comforting gift when it comes to my holiday ritual. I can go places inside that many cannot hope to travel. Learning to come up for social air has also been a gift. The world is all too eager to judge that which they do not understand as unworthy.

I suspect that the alternative terrifies many people. Our culture has a way of making one single person and the choices of one single person seem arrogantly-obsolete not to mention inappropriately-outrageous. Why? Well so that it (society - the ever esteem-sucking monster that it is) can keep its citizens in line.

I could go on but my window beckons me. My solitude beckons me. My new-found joy at being weird and different beckons me. My desire to continue to explore my inner- world and its meaning beckons me more than mere socialization for the blasted sake of it.

Sitting behind my emotional wall of glass behind an actual wall of glass, survivor that I am, tickles the rebel in me bloody-pink. It delights my fancy. It suits me. It meets my needs. It never lets me down. I am re-charged by it. I grow there. I am alive there. I emote there and there is no one to tell me that what I feel is inappropriate, ill-timed or not understood. I can be freely as intense as I choose to be without fear of some poor soul getting pooped out by it.

All that unfolds at my holiday window is mine. All that unfolds at my holiday window is introspective. It teaches me more about who I am at the very delicious depths of my soulful self, which in turn teaches me much about humanity. I am a part of humanity and very much connected to it even when I refuse to play yakety-yack.

My holiday window is a retreat. A retreat that years of abuse led me to first need and then later to want and now to cherish.

I write this on a "holiday long-weekend". It is Thanksgiving in Canada. I am alone. I have chosen to be alone. I didn't have to be alone. But I had to be alone in another sense. Finally I realize that the quality and essence of my inner-experience on holidays can only be fulfilled by me following the beat of my own drummer. My holiday song is a song for one. Life has taught me a different side of holidays. It is not better than the traditional social what-have-you just as it is certainly not less than it either.

At my window night has fallen. The stars beckon me to think, to ponder, to remember, to feel, to cry, to write, to give room for this world in parallel to fire on all cylinders - to go within and to be with myself. My window beckons me to sit still and to deepen my experience in the realm of my psyche and spirit - I am sitting here in such peaceful, utter silence I can almost hear it. Silently it moans and it sighs. It giggles softly and it embraces my most energizingly-eccentric essence always, consistently and completely.

Gone is the burden of guilt I used to carry for feeling less-than. Gone is the sense that I have to apologize for being who I am and for doing what comes naturally to me to do in times that were of the utmost pain, stress and abuse for me in my past. No more will I seek the soothing solutions of a society that refuses to extoll the virtues of the power of oneness most ubiquitously-unique.

I am resolute in my need and desire to make each holiday more about my vacation from the phony-forces of everyday social life by celebrating cerebral solitude. Bah-humbug indeed, no matter what the season. For it is within, in the world underneath that one truly can commune with a much higher reason.

The power of one. I am the power of one. I am one with power. I turn inside. I do not hide. Where there once was shame now there is only pride. There is joy in the pain that I face in sitting to the beat of my own drummer each holiday in the window of my soul.

© A.J. Mahari - October 8, 2000

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