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Holidays Don’t Have to Be a Trigger:


As Christmas was approaching this past December, I found myself feeling something I had not felt in a very long time. It took me back to when I was a kid.

Coming from a very large family, Christmas is not just one day in our family, it’s a three day event. It’s starts with the marinating of the pig on the 23rd, which we refer to the “pre-noche buena” or “pre-Christmas Eve”.

As a kid I looked forward to these three days, but in recent years it felt different. I didn’t feel the same way anymore. I realized that it was because I was not well. I was very angry and very bitter. I would get triggered during this time and so I would revert to my coping mechanisms and the snowball effect started. The anger would show its ugly face and I became “that guy” at family functions. It got so bad that I found myself not being invited to certain functions. This hurt very much, but I never stopped to think about those who I was hurting. I was so broken that I was hurting those around me, the people I loved and who loved me as well.

When I started my healing journey in 2017 I had no Idea why I was so broken and angry. As we started to unravel the many layers of my brokenness and anger, it took me way back to my mother’s womb. I found that I had to forgive a lot of people, a lot of circumstances and I even had to forgive God. I also had to ask for a lot of forgiveness as well, which I am still doing. From my mother, my father, my sister, my brother, friends and yes, even God.

I found myself driving to different places in Miami and sitting and forgiving people and circumstances that took place in these locations that added to the compounding anger. I even went to my mother and father’s grave to ask them to forgive me and I forgave them as well. The more I did this, the more I felt the anger disappearing. The rage I once had was going away.

So on December 24th as I sat in my brother’s yard with him, my cousins, my son, my nephews and their friends while we cooked the pig, I realized that what I had been feeling leading up to that day was the same feeling I felt as a little boy: joy and anticipation!

I also realized that this had been made possible thanks to the forgiveness process I have been going through. Forgiveness is a powerful tool in our healing journey. It is a gift that Papa gives to us all.

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