It’s that time of year again. Time for holidays and looking back at a long year. Although COVID is still around, there are less cases. The anti-Trans legislation is out of control in our country. We mourned the passing of 32 of our siblings who died due to violence simply because they were Trans. 32 beautiful souls lost forever because of the hate stirred up by evil who call themselves leaders. Roe V Wade is overturned. So many things that go against a world that is safe and sane. I keep asking the universe when will it all end? We lost 5 more community members in a shooting in Colorado. We lost so many children and adults in unfettered senseless violence. When will it end?
I do see a very dim light at the end of the tunnel though, as many Americans cast their votes for new leaders who aren’t haters, who don’t condone violence, who want sensible gun laws and who understand that racism, anti-Transgender violence, homophobia, white supremacists and hate for anyone who is different from them is wrong, it is evil, and it must stop. There is some hope.
This year I offer gifts that are easy to give. These gifts don’t cost a dime, most are fairly easy to get and give. These gifts have a value beyond dollars and cents. These gifts can be life changing for some.
The first gift I offer is the gift of HOPE. The definition of hope according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary is to cherish a desire with anticipation: To want something to happen or be true. Other definitions include expecting something positive to happen. An optimistic state of mind. Each one of us can hold hope in our hearts and minds and it can also be given to others through words or actions. Hope can change the world; hope can change you.
The second gift I offer is HONESTY. Honesty starts with us. Being honest with oneself can lead to great revelations. It can rock your world if you let it. Honesty with others can lead to healing, love, integrity, change and a true sense of how to better see the world. It can be truly nourishing for the soul.
The third gift I offer is PASSION. I believe that Passion is a deep-seated feeling of exhilaration and motivation. Passion can give you immense joy when it becomes action. Doing something you are passionate about can bring such a sense of wellbeing and serenity into your life. It can be a way to escape the world for a bit to recharge. If you are lucky enough to find employment in a place doing the work, you are passionate about it brings a wonderful sense of happiness and self-worth. Find your passion and do it, share it with others, help others find their passion. Passion will make for a fuller life.
The fourth gift I offer LAUGHTER. It’s said that laughter makes the world go round. It can be found in so many places. Learn first to laugh at yourself. We all make mistakes and berate ourselves for any shortcomings but turn it into laughter. It’s amazing how it can change your whole perspective. Laughter can brighten even the darkest day. Laughter is not something to be used as a weapon but to be used to makes things easier to deal with. Laughter can heal, laughter can mend fences and deflate conflict anger. It is a very powerful gift. If you are having a bad day, find your laughter. Find a funny movie to watch, a funny book to read, or cute and funny posts on the internet. Share laughter with others, find your inner child and be silly with yourself or others. Laughter brings smiles to those around you and brings out those endorphins in your brain that make you feel better. When you laugh you take in more oxygen which enhances your body to function better. It’s hard to stay sad, or mad or just plain indifferent to the world when you find something to laugh about.
The fifth gift I offer is FRIENDSHIP. Having friends is so important for one’s life. You don’t need a lot of friends; you just need really good friends. Friends are the people who get you, who care about you, who treat you with kindness and love. True Friends are not mean or abusive, they are not selfish. They are the people you can share anything with and not be judged. Friends will be honest and tell you when you are wrong or hurtful. Friends share their life and themselves with you. Friends bring you joy and laughter, they console you, they hold you, they never leave you to go through life alone. Find people you feel connected to, people who share common bonds. Be a good friend, be kind and generous with them. Include them in the joys and sorrows of your life. True friendship will add such joy to your life and a sense of security knowing they are there for you and you are there for them. Cherish your friends, they are so important for your wellbeing.
The Sixth and final gift I offer is LOVE. Loving and being loved does more to nourish your being than anything else I know. Love is all encompassing, passionate, and filled with joy and laughter, tears and hugs, inspiration and expectation. It can be the fuel to fire you up and the gentle serenity to calm you down. Love is wild and impetuous; love is stability and a safe harbor. Love will be the people who care about you, who support you, who tell you how amazing you are. Love brings you confidence and bravery to tackle everything in your life. The first rule about love though is you must love yourself. I believe that if you don’t have self-love, it’s impossible to truly love others. If you don’t love yourself, you will be deceived by false love offered to you. You will grasp at the nearest hand without seeing the evil or selfishness behind it. Everyone is worth love; everyone deserves love, and everyone should have love. I wish love for everyone; I wish the truest kind of love that is selfless and sometimes flawed. Love is hard sometimes but it’s love that fills you up.
When I finally allowed myself to honestly see who I was and decided to transition almost 20 years ago, I didn’t have most of these gifts. I thought I didn’t have some of them because I wasn’t seeing the real love around me. I finally found hope for my future when at the time I barely saw a future for myself. Through transitioning I found my passion to help other folks in the Trans Community. The work I have been doing has brought me endless joy and enriched my life beyond words. I found friendship and love from so many people I encountered by living my true, honest, passionate life. Suddenly my life was filled with laughter and love. I give these gifts to all of you and hope they will enrich your life as they have mine.
Thanks to all of you who have bestowed these gifts on me. I wish you the happiest and safe holiday season and New Year.