Before you panic nothing bad has happened but I have had a Christmas Day like no other. In fact a lot of people have never had a Christmas Day quite like this one. We have all been in Crisis. I’ve been in Crisis today since 10am!
Had you worried there didn’t I wrong sort of crisis. But it’s true I can’t remember a Christmas like this and so many other people have also had an amazing day.
In my first Christmas blog post I spoke about family and what makes a family. Now I’m over 500miles away from the people I grew up with, my biological family. I’m in a different country from them, yes Scotland and England are separate countries sharing the same monarch and some of the same laws. I can’t go back to England as my life will be at risk. Folk find it hard to even comprehend that leaving someone to sleep rough is not as bad as some things that people can do and have done to them.
Hey it’s Christmas! Sorry for lowering the mood like that, I only put it in to give background to my situation. There lots of people are disconnected from their biological family. Sometimes it’s because they have been called back by whatever put them on this planet, sometimes it’s because their biological family couldn’t or wouldn’t look after them, sometimes it’s because the area their biological family live in is unsafe for them. There are as many reasons as them are people separated from their biological families.
Every separation hurts. There is always pain. Sometimes this pain is so intense that anger at everything and anything happens. I understand this I know what pain of the soul feels like I try to be tolerant. I’m incredibly lucky and grateful that I’ve been able to recognise the cause of my anger and not lash out in pain. Think this has got a lot to do with not hating myself, I work very hard not to do anything that would make me hate myself. I feel very lucky and grateful, I can’t explain how I’ve managed to have the strength to do this, must be God’s Grace whatever God is.
Thing is when your biological family is not an option you need to find a new family. I used to have a small close family unit that consisted of me and my cat Tabs (Miss Tabitha when she was naughty). Tabs is no longer on this earth she was called back. Nowadays my family unit is very loose it consists of a rag tag group of homeless people who I see regularly. I suppose there are also volunteers and support workers in my distant family now as well. I would like to have a dog so I can have a close family unit again but I’m sleeping rough so it’s not really fair.
You see family can be anything but it needs to be living and breathing because family is a living breathing dynamic entity.
Now I’m going to give you my Christmas present to you (I hope the web host lets you respond and say thank you). I’m going to give you the recipie for making family.
First create a safe space, this doesn’t have to be inside it just needs to be somewhere that people can gather and share. The best things to share are ideas, beliefs, stories and compassion. Add a massive pile of tolerance and a generous dollop of understanding. Actively listen to understand every person who speaks with you. Ensure you don’t listen to reply as this always causes got in the forming family and is likely to ensure your not part of the family your trying to create.
For family fun provide a free choice of music from around the world and across the decades. (You Tube is a good tool) encourage participation of all present but don’t be disappointed if nobody gets involved.
Allow mingling and discussion pockets to form without interference while watching in case a small group use violence against individuals. If any violence happens immediately step in separate individuals and allow each to explain what happened out of earshot of the other.
Here’s an important part to the recipe for family. Only step in if there is violence and remember that when family is forming lots of mixing bowls are used not just the one that your providing. What happens in one mixing bowl will effect what happens in all mixing bowls including yours.
Never permanently exclude any potential family parts from a mixing bowl and only exclude if there is no other option.
For best results control intoxicating substances or exclude them altogether.
Allow the family mix to develop without interference. Do not expect that you will be part of the family in your mixing bowl space but be grateful if you manage to allow the family decide they want you as one of them.
Give guidance if asked but don’t force anything. Use of force will prevent the natural formation of family and usually has destructive effects in your mixing bowl and other mixing bowl places.
Free choice creates the best families.
Hope you like and understand your Christmas present readers. I have to say that Crisis provided an amazing mixing bowl today at this community centre. If I could pick a few gems from the day it would be the massage, podiatrist telling me my feet are better than last year. But the crowning gem of the lot was the looks on the faces of my homeless brother’s and sisters as I sang the old Hollies song He Ain’t Heavy He’s My Brother. Ok I changed one line right at the end and sang She ain’t heavy she’s my sister then went back to the male words.
I think what has made today so good for so many people both homeless and housed, volunteers, workers and guests was the fact that Crisis must of got a copy of the Family Recipe from somewhere as they created such an amazing mixing bowl space. I lost count of how many people said they’d had a really outstanding Christmas. Even more folk had massive smiles on their faces. The best bit is there’s 4 more days here.