I found it difficult to simply write a cheerful “Happy Winter Holidays!” on behalf of the Proxy Project. After all, we are a site about child abuse, and there’s no cheer in the topic, nor in the memories many of us have about the holiday seasons of our past. Anxiety may dominate for those who still encounter their abusers in the guise of “family togetherness”.
Then I remembered the three things that have enabled me to enjoy the winter holiday season, no matter what or who else is associated with it.
- Family is who we choose to love and to be loved by. DNA does not determine it. So spend the time around those you’ve chosen to love, who love you in return, and remember that family-of-the-heart is what counts.
- Joy lies within reach. It is the source of our smiles, our laughter. It’s the spark of the fire that warms our hearts, whether it’s inspired by birds at a feeder, a child opening a gift, or a good joke told by a talented comedian. Seek joy.
- Peace comes from awareness. When we pay attention to those things that inspire the gentle, safe feeling, we give ourselves healing, an inner cool steadiness. Like joy, peace has many sources. It may come to you when you stare at a candle in a pretty holder, or soak your feet, or listen to music. Don’t forget to find your peace.
In the spirit of those definitions of family, joy and peace…
May you and yours have a blessed and happy winter holiday season!
The Proxy Project
Photographs by Mariel Chance.