It’s the holiday season. Time for cheer and time for joy. It’s a season of anticipation and magic. It’s the season for gifts and cookies, presents and trees.
And still, today, I feel numb. Halloween through the New Year, has always been my most favorite time of the year. The crisp air, impending snow, and children’s twinkling eyes, have always brought joy to my heart. That is until l lost my innocence when my father passed.
I never understood how and why the holidays brought others such anxiety and scroogery. How and why it seemed that it can bring out the best in some and yet the worst in others confused me. I get it now. There’s a raw nerve that will, more than likely, never fully heal. The holidays deliver additional pressures and stresses tigger that deeply painful twitch until it radiates through every facet of life.
The last couple of years my holidays were riddled with anxiety, despite my best efforts to let go of perfection. I feared the judgement of my loved ones and friends. Now this year, I just feel numbed by the amount of chores that are necessary.
We are not the most organized family, despite my even more diligent efforts. We just aren’t, for a variety of reasons. I’ve tried to decrease our obligations, yet our to do lists are too long for the amount of time is humanly possible. It’s a constant struggle during ordinary time. Now in Advent, the tasks at hand are additional weight. My heart cries for time to be quiet and still. My mind tells me I need more connection. My schedule demands my attention and action.
When I begin to feel this way. I typically just stop and rest. I put on my brakes and halt. Today, I pushed through. Most chores were completed. And yes, there was yelling. I am not perfect. I am flawed, just like each and everyone of you. So, it is now that I’m able to stop and reflect on today and the season.
I truly believe in magic. I truly believe that it’s most tangible during this time of celebration. But I’ve learned that if we aren’t careful, we can be overtaken by forces that pull us away from the peace that the season offers. Yes, PEACE. No, I didn’t achieve it today. But, I know it’s there waiting for me, and once I’m ready, it will welcome me.
And isn’t that the true essence of the holiday season? Hanukah, Christmas, Kwanzaa, and Ashura celebrate miracles and acts that embody grace, love, community, and peace. All of which we are truly unworthy to receive, yet are given. Despite our faults and imperfections, we are loved with a patient grace that meets us where we are and when we are ready.
Friends, whether you are feeling overwhelmed or overjoyed. You are not alone. Chances are that throughout the season you will feel both, and maybe even simultaneously. This holiday season, I wish for you time to reconnect to yourself and your spirituality. I hope that when you feel like you are at your breaking point that you will pause, breathe and take care of yourself. I hope opportunities for kindness and giving present themselves to you and you oblige. Most of all, I wish you a beautiful holiday, no matter how complicated, simple, or busy.
Merry Christmas with Peace, Love, and Joy to All and to ALL!