Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Celebration and the Struggle of the Holidays

It is painful for me to write about this but I need to address it. The Holiday Season is not necessarily a happy time for everyone. I am sorry to say that I am one of these people. I attempted to explain to a friend of mine that deep down I love this season but on the surface I don't.

I know that is such a paradox but it is the truest way I can explain it. My heart opens to it yet my ego/emotions cringe, feel sad, resentful, self pitying etc...all the crap that I don't like to feel. But I do feel it and I cannot and will not deny it or repress it.

My first step is to express honest and authentic gratitude for the time and space this year to process it. I haven't had the gift of this for many many years. My second step is to acknowledge how I feel and acknowledge it. The third step is to realize I am feeling uncomfortable emotions about something in me that is triggered by this time of year...Not by this time of year. And unfortunately, my painful discomfort is triggered by my preconditioned expectations of this season, not about anything bad that has affected me.

And this approach has helped me a lot. I actually enjoyed putting up my Christmas tree and decorating a bit around the house. I only put out things I liked while thinking about what this time of the year means to me. I have consciously strived to focus on what I like about this time of year, not how I do not live up to what I perceive as expectations of this season. Along with that awful feeling of not being able to keep up with everyone else's perfect Christmas. I mean, what is that anyway? It is some strange fixation in my head. That's all it is. That is my own limitation and I am taking steps to break myself free from the bonds of this.

So far I am doing very well. Last night, my partner and I watched Rudolph the Rednosed Reindeer and Mr Magoo's Christmas Carol. I loved it! We had a picnic in the living room of smoked salmon and cream cheese and some Christmas cookies. I turned out all the lights except the Christmas tree and it was so much fun.

I am contemplating not only the Yuletide but the birth of Jesus (whether it actually happened this time of year or not) and The Three Magi. My daughter gave me a really old oil painting of the Three Wise Men. It is magnificent and I have it out on the table across the room from my Christmas tree.

My partner and I bought some toys for the children at the local women's shelter and that was fun picking them out and wrapping them. I went to a Christmas program at a local church and a school chorus Christmas program. Both were kind of fun.

I put on some old Nat King Cole music and baked some cookies.

Wow, now that I write it out I can see that I am doing way better this year than I have for many years. I can do this and I can have fun doing it. I have faith that I can.

Blessed Yule and Merry Christmas

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