Posts Tagged ‘Christmas’

The presence of reincarnation: Magic Redux

December 25, 2013

Today is Christmas, a notorious day for miracles. The whole season gets stretched thin with unmet expectations and people desperate to make the impossible happen.

We miss those who should have been here and wonder where the meaning has gone.

I have a few loved ones on the edge of precarious circumstances and most certainly my Christmas would be more joyful if I knew they were having a warm and loving time. My blessings include knowing they are alive and other loved ones are safe. I have my haven, my life here in Maryland, and had given myself the gift of a 25-day Advent spirituality practice.

I am well loved and the Universe has a most playful, unique way of letting me know just how connected I am.

magic4Some history first. Back on August 16, 2010, my soulmate kitty, Magic, went to the eternal beyond, breaking my heart in the process. I did not get another animal because I was living in other people’s homes at the time, but since moving back to my home this past May, I have toyed with the idea of getting another kitty. Magic

It occurred to me that Magic might reincarnate, but I did not know how I would find her if she did.

On December 23, I was supposed to play tennis doubles, but one of our four had a trip planned to Maui and forgot to tell us (really?). I was irritated because three people cannot play doubles and we were unable to find a fourth. In the middle of my search, my daughter, who is homeless in San Francisco, called asking if I could wire her some money for Christmas. I left work early because of course I want my daughter to have a Christmas. As I was leaving the store after wiring the funds, I saw the PetSmart across the street and wondered if Magic had reincarnated yet.

I drove over, walked in, and there she was. Only, she is a he now, but otherwise, nearly exactly the same: a black and white tuxedo kitty. He is nine months old and I knew instantly that he was her. He had just arrived that morning. Through the glass partition, we bumped heads. I could not leave without him.

max 4The store manager thought I was a bit nutty when I kept saying “that’s my cat” and told this story over and over. But when I got him home, my step-daughter (who knew Magic very well) just about fell over, and this little kitty went about finding everything without hesitation. Magic is home. It isn’t about investigation. It is about confirmation that (just like before) she/he:
• Gets to sleep on my side of the bed
• Gets to sleep on any lap, regardless of availability
• Has to know what is going on all the time
• Is on the wrong side of every door

max 2Had my daughter not called, I would not have gone by the PetSmart; had I not been stood up for tennis, I never would have taken the time to go in. The Universe absolutely conspired to make sure we found each other that day.

Inside of me is the absolute assurance that I already know this soul. A while ago, I wrote about replacement love. One of my regrets in life is that I have not loved those who are most precious to me when I had the chance to love them. I was always too busy, too anxious, too tired, too preoccupied, too often on my way to someplace else.

On this day of gifts, I have one of the ultimate: the chance to love again.

©2013 by Barbara L. Kass

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The presence of Christmas

December 25, 2010

WARNING: not exactly written by Santa (or Jesus) . . . could have been written by a slightly reformed Scrooge.

Of all the holidays, Christmas packs the most emotional punch. It also has a huge economic wallop as well. It seems to be lacking in the original celebration department yet booming in the expectation market.

Christmas is great when one has a loving family, friends, and an ample bank account with the caveat that one wants to celebrate (some people don’t like to celebrate . . . their choice). If one those goes missing, the presence of the other two can still make Christmas festive. As long as one is willing to celebrate, it is still great absent any two. Minus all three, though, you gotta have a pretty special person who can still celebrate . . . for the same reasons. In America, I know that there are non-Christians who do not celebrate Christmas but they are happy for the day off from work or the boon in their economic status if they are retailers. There are others, though, who are friendless, homeless, and penniless. They are wondering where (or if) they belong in the festival. Looking closely at their stories, you might discover a physical, mental, or emotional illness, a series of bad decisions, and an unfortunate string of events. Any one of them could be me.

Each season, I come to grips with the insanity of Christmas. I have spent Christmas all by myself and felt very at home doing so. I have spent Christmas caught up in the anxiety of giving far too much of my resources just to see them discounted as not being good enough for the recipients. I let go of the expectation any necessary miracles. I got tired of the drama. I have even been just fine without putting up a Christmas tree.

I am very selective about what parts of Christmas I celebrate. I celebrate the presence of my loved ones. I might honor the gift of their presence with the gift of my own. I might hand them something significant to both of us. Most of all, I am letting go of the requirement that others make this day special for me. The gifts I give are not really gifts if I expect others to respond in kind. At that point, the gift becomes a bribe.

I am into self-giving. I make sure I give to myself first, to others next. I am unexpectedly, other-worldly, shamelessly selfish in the gifts I give to me. The first gift I give to myself is that of gratitude. For everything I imagine that I lack, I name two gifts in my life that I am grateful for. Before too long, the abundance of what I have in my life overshadows and tumbles over any imagined lack.

I am not sure anyone would want to bank my gratitude and try to buy groceries with it, but I know this: ever since I started giving myself the gift of gratitude, there is not an empty space to be found in my cabinets and refrigerator.

I am full.

Happy Christmas.

©2010 by Barbara L. Kass