We’re at the dawn of a new year and for some of us, these past few weeks have been a difficult period to navigate through. But, you made it; that’s because you’re a survivor! Maybe you can plan for Christmas 2014 with a different mindset.
I, personally, love the Christmas season, but I’m not keen on the commercialization of the holiday. As a Christian, starting from Advent One, I get very excited as the feelings of Hope and Expectation increase with each passing day until finally, we reach that crescendo on Christmas morning when the promise of renewal and second chances are there, given freely, for each of us, again.
Hope is the greatest gift I can receive and maybe, you, too, can look back and see Christmas from this angle. The gift of Hope and that feeling of Expectation and Renewal are far better and longer-lasting than a new dress or purse, the newest electronic toy, a new negligee, some slippers or, perhaps, even a great book or the promise of a future holiday. The thought of sitting around a festive table with people who were sure to sting you with some demeaning comment or who would send you on yet another guilt trip, is something you probably fought within yourself or tried to wiggle out of. Don’t get me wrong, I love turkey and all the trimmings, but if I had to get them by sitting in a tense atmosphere, wondering if my gifts would be good enough or whether my past abuse would make me feel like a second class guest, I’d be happier sharing a sandwich with somebody who is a positive light in my life. The food and the presents run a very distant second to a relaxed, accepting atmosphere with a close friend. Relationships are key in our lives and without these, nothing else matters.
Tension and triggers from the past are like the devil who’s there to taunt you, yet again. You don’t need these barriers in your life anymore. Send those destructive parts of your personality deep into the basement of your being. Nowadays, you’re bigger and stronger than they ever were. The new You can pull out the coping mechanisms and strike down those old tapes which used to run your life. It’s a new year and a new dawning and as you enter 2014, start to create your own, unique traditions. I’m always chasing deadlines and this year I just plum ran out of time. My cards were not sent out so they could arrive before Christmas but rather, they were sent out and arrived during the Christmas season which, for Christians, ends on January 6th. I was heading for a much needed break shortly after Christmas day with my sister, so decided that I could buy her something at our holiday destination. Guess what, the sky didn’t fall in and I had a very blessed holiday. Late or not, Love was behind my every belated move and, for me, that made the difference in my feeling OK with my decisions and with the world.
For the many of you who are not Christians, as well as those of you who are, I’m betting you can easily identify with the above sentiments. Give yourselves permission to live your lives in whatever fashion feels comfortable for you. Surround yourselves, at every holiday and celebration, with comfortable objects and people, with the gifts of Hope and Expectation, knowing that you deserve these just because you are that beautiful, emergent woman.
How were your holidays? What challenges lie ahead for you? As always, thanks for sharing your stories.