December 24th, 2014
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Today is Christmas Eve and I am full of hope but also wrestling with conflicting thoughts and emotions.

merry christmas wreath

I am amazed that Christmas is almost here and yet as I try to finish the last bit of my Christmas wrapping and cooking, in my head plays a spontaneous feature film of Christmas memories jumping around in no particular order: from tender scenes with my brothers and sisters when we were children listening to Johnny Mathis sing Christmas songs through a wonderful Christmas morning with my son from last year.  Then it’s back many, many years to the precious time when we were a family of three and our son was a baby and then forward again to the Christmas after my husband died and then once again back to the place where I am today, striving to stay emotionally resilient in 2014.

Whew!  It’s a lot to handle and I know I cannot be alone in feeling this jumble of complicated emotions.  I guess it’s all part of the holiday season right?  Does your memory wander through a tangled timeline bringing back treasured mental pictures and feelings of good holiday times and perhaps sad holiday times?

I think all of us feel a little extra pressure to try and make the holidays look and feel extraordinary but I have to admit that after awhile I grow weary of trying to make everything feel as though it is in a holiday spotlight.  I suppose this is what happens to all of us at this time of the year when decorations, music, parties and our personal lives are vying for our attention; each thing asking us over and over to absorb and remember the energy of its purpose.

Some people are wired for Christmas 24/7.  They just can’t get enough of it and I say good for you!  You are the elves of this world and I love you for your endless enthusiasm.  But for me, simple is better and the whole commercial roll out of Christmas — which seems to begin earlier and earlier every year — can be an overload on my senses and that is when I remind myself that I should not be afraid of the quiet.

It’s definitely okay, and sometimes a matter of improving mental health, to seek out the quiet, to detach and focus on what Christmas truly means for each of us.

red ornament

I remind myself that Christmas at it’s core is about celebrating the birth of Jesus, giving of myself to help others and appreciating the wonderful people I have in my life, not all the glitz and twinkle that marketers try to make us believe is essential for a meaningful Christmas celebration.  With every year that passes, I cling to the blessings of my life and pray that they will stay with me for life can easily change and pivot in an entirely different direction.

As we heal from losses and life’s traumas, we each find new ways to embrace our changed lives and in this process we bring our loved ones with us, remembering them with the healing powers of smiles and tears.

May you find peace and happiness in your holiday celebration!  Thank you so very much for reading Cry, Laugh, Heal! Your support is a priceless gift that I cherish every day.

 

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