For the first time in my life, I don’t have a home of my own in which to put up a Christmas tree, this year. On the 4th month of my walkabout, I am feeling both relieved to be out of the game, and slightly alienated, as though I was sitting all alone in the darkened audience of a rich and meaningful play, just watching the stage.
Of course, none of this it true. I am not alone. Right here in the dark, many people sit, watching the twinkly lights and the season appropriate movements of their human counterparts.
It’s the season and it’s everywhere: the prompts to be cheerful, to feel love, to emanate peace. To bake, to sing, to decorate, to rejoice. Somehow, we are supposed to be both at home stoking the fire and sipping hot cocoa with our eyes closed in bliss and shopping to remind the ones we love of how much they matter to us.
We are supposed to do and more than that, we are supposed to feel.
What if we don’t ... feel?
What if we’re tired and broke and lonely? What if our hearts are cracked?
There’s nothing worse than feeling bad for feeling bad - and for some of us, this month can be a whole lot of that.
If this resonates with you, if you feel as though your spirit just isn’t up to snuff, here is what I suggest: ride the next 12 days. Just ride them like a wave.
Re-format things to feed you without exhausting you. Maybe one nice red candle is enough decoration, this year. Maybe a tiny drop of peppermint oil in a long hot bath will be great. Maybe none of it.
Try and let go of the idea that “the whole world is happy and together.” It’s just not true.
Breathe. Sleep. Breathe some more.
One day at a time. At your own rhythm.
And in not too long, this wave will gently deliver you to the other side. The side where ornaments come down, trees are on the curb and life feels somehow lighter.
You will get there.
And then who knows? It is possible that without even noticing it, simply because we are not resisting it, we will make our way to the stage - or maybe just the edge of the stage - and enjoy a rich, deep cup of hot chocolate. With our eyes closed in bliss.