Shalom to you, one and all!
As Christmas swiftly approaches, I find I have a lot on my mind.
There’s the usual things that the season brings – presents to buy, Christmas cards to write and send, the plans for the Big Day itself – who I will spend it with …
But there’s deeper things at play also.
For me, it will be my second Christmas alone.
When I think back to last Christmas, a great deal has changed (for the better!).
Last Christmas I was off work in a great deal of pain. All my flatmates left and went up North to celebrate Christmas with family and friends.
I remember feeling very, very alone.
I am in a much better place this year -physically and emotionally. I have a great flat with people I have already become close friends with in the short time I’ve been there. I have begun to see that in leaving Pete I am truly starting over A G A I N.
Which on the one hand is exciting – new opportunities, new friendships, new beginnings…
But on the other it is incredibly frustrating and draining.
A great deal that I took for granted has been stripped away from me, leaving me feeling naked and extremely vulnerable.
In my opinion and in my experience, Christmas is the season of love. It is the time of year where you wander through the mall, excitedly choosing presents for family, friends AND that special someone.
You drive with that special someone through the streets at night, checking out the Christmas lights, feeling that romantic buzz from the dim lighting and the bright sparkly festive colours.
For the past two years, I’ve had no hand to hold. It’s funny how even though I have sooo much that I am blessed with – a family that love and support me, close friends who understand me and my situation and a great flat that I look forward to returning home to – this season still gets to me and makes me long for that special someone more intensely than almost any other time of year.
That song – “All I want for Christmas is Y O U” is resounding in my ears.
It is not just me who feels the loss of someone more deeply in the Christmas season.
I know there are many who have lost someone or something.
And it hurts.
It always hurts.
But I think in the midst of this busy, supposedly happy, exciting, festive season, it hurts more.
This season can bring out the darkness from the closet under your bed where you’ve been trying desperately to hide it all year round.
When everyone around you seems to be running around, filling up their stockings with gifts galore and you don’t have the funds to provide friends and family with the things you wish you could give, it leaves you with a bitter taste in your mouth. It just serves as a constant reminder of where you are and where you wish you could be …
This is why we need to be gentle this Christmas.
Gentle to ourselves.
We need to give ourselves permission to grieve.
Grieve the loss of the things that were.
Grieve those that are no longer a part of our lives, no matter the reason.
Then, once we have taken time to lay down the memories that this season has brought to our attention, we can truly celebrate this season and all it has to offer.
We can take a deep breath and bring ourselves back into the current moment, this moment right now.
The people in our lives right now who love us and support us and stand with us.
This is the true meaning of Christmas.
Christmas is soo much more than gifts and presents. It truly is the season of love.
This love is ours for the taking.
There is much to be thankful for.
This is our time to embrace the new – let the old go!!
I am looking forward to this opportunity to discover the Christmas spirit afresh this year, in 2015.
Merry Christmas one and all,
With all my love,