As I looked around the neighborhood I was amazed at what I saw. House after house decorated with beautiful Christmas decor. Look at that house! Lights. Garland. Trimming. The works. It looked so good. So warm and inviting. So loving and kind.

Then there was my house. The one with no Christmas decor; No nothing ~ just dark, cold, and lifeless. My house seemed to be the only house on the block with no holiday cheer. That’s how I remember it.

See we didn’t celebrate holidays in my house growing up. No Christmas. No Hanukkah. No Thanksgiving. No birthdays. A gift? What’s a gift? I grew up in a household of complete and total deprivation.

Naturally I absorbed things the only way I knew how. I made it all about me. Believing more and more each day that it was all my fault. That I didn’t deserve any better. That I was a worthless piece of you know what. Seriously, how else was a nine year old little boy suppose to interpret that kind of stuff.

As an adult this is the time of the year when I get to operate from one of two different places. I can either A) revert to my childhood and let that old belief dictate and run the show. Energy that says I’m worthless and don’t matter. A old belief that does me not good yet wants to be in charge. Or I can B) change the way I look at the holidays. Make it what I want for myself and my family and enjoy it. I like “B” a whole lot better but boy is “A” a tough one to shake.

“A” is ugly energy that I’ve been putting out into the world year after year for all to see. Like my childhood house, dark and cold, it’s energy that says I don’t deserve any better. It says that the gift I give a friend isn’t good enough. It’s energy that says I don’t deserve the thoughtful gift that someone gives me. It’s negative energy that I can easily put out into the universe.

“B” is recovery. “B” is me changing the way I look at the world and in this case the holidays. It’s me bringing my old belief out into the open and wrapping my arms around it. Loving it. Parenting it. What if instead of my worrying about gifts and being good enough I remind myself that my life today is unfolding perfectly. That everything is okay. That change is okay.  That I am okay.

Today I get to be the man the universe has always wanted me to be. Not that scared lonely little kid that didn’t get to celebrate holidays or birthdays. No. I get to be whatever I want. Whoever I want. Today anything is possible and I’m okay because I always have been.

When we can change the way we look at the world, the world changes. It’s our responsibility to look at our “stuff” and fix it. That’s recovery.  Sometimes we just need a little reminder. Happy holidays everyone!

Zachary is inspired by intentional living. His writing focuses on his experiences around holistic health, inner child work, addiction, recovery, spirituality, and fatherhood. He loves empowering people to live conscious lives!  Connect with him at

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