The holidays appear almost surreal to me. It is a perfect example of 'things are not what they appear to be.' The superficial beauty of the holidays is everywhere. Twinkling lights, tinsel, carrot-nosed snowmen, satin ribbons, candy canes and decorations of every description dazzle the senses. Smiles and season's greetings are exchanged wherever people meet. It is all rather lovely, wouldn't you agree?
The word that best describes such things is masquerade. Why? Because there is another side of this glorious time of celebration and family gatherings. It is the reality behind the scenes and beneath the glitz and glitter of fancy storefront displays and Christmas carolers roaming the streets. Deep emotions are stirred up at holiday times. For some people this is a good thing. For others holiday is emotional torture. It is a reminder of what was so precious now forever lost. It can mark the passage of time without a goal achieved or an intensely desired experience postponed yet again.
Cheery smiles can hide profound suffering but holidays are by definition supposed to be happy occasions. At such times how we look to the world may be very different than how we feel. So what can we do? If we are happy, share it with everyone as best we can. Good feelings can be contagious. If we are sad or grief stricken find a safe, secret time to accept and validate the pain we feel. Cry, rage or scream if your soul yearns to do so. Feel the pain so that it may pass through us, be acknowledged run it's course and begin to subside in due time.
The important thing is to let the year recede into the past and raise your spirits and hopes for the coming new year. Never forget that your past need not equal your future. Every moment the world changes- whether we like it or not. Why not actively participate in changing your individual world by BEING the change you desire? Keep the lessons you learned last year close in mind. They'll come in handy next year. Fear, guilt and all the learning experiences you had, often mislabeled as 'failures,' can serve you well if you allow them to.
To one and all I say 'fair thee well' and happy holidays!