Doing Christmas vs Experiencing Christmas
It’s the first night after the Winter Solstice. It’s about as dark as dark is this time of year. There is a nice 6 inch base of snow all around, and it’s 28 degrees out. Just cold enough to be cold, but not TOO cold. The kids are at moms, so I headed out for a rare night time walk through the neighborhood to see all the lights and decorations. Walking it is so much different than driving past it. You absorb so much more.
I walked about a mile. My nose was just starting to get that tingling sensation from being exposed to the frost. My jeans were now permanently cold, and my thighs were starting to feel the frozen air envelope them. The tips of my fingers were starting to numb just a bit snuggled up in the fingers of my gloves. Everything was perfectly still and silent. Different styles and shades of white and multicolored lights adorned most houses. Some classic white with wreaths and garland, others multicolored infusions of modern LED extravaganzas danced before my eyes. I paused at an intersection for a moment and took a huge deep breath through my nose and that is when it HIT me!
A waft of smoke from wood burning in a fireplace tickled my nose with it’s scent. This triggered an all out wakeup of my senses, and the call to the emotion center to open up wide. I happened to be standing next to a bush that was covered in those large bulb multi color lights like my dad used to use when I was a kid. All of these things overwhelmed my outer facade and made me realize – I’d been doing Christmas this whole time, and not experiencing it.
The lights, the cold air, the silence, the darkness, the alone, and the smoke from the fireplace – they got past all the to do lists, decorations, shopping, baking, cooking, and touched that childhood soul part of Christmas.
There is that part that takes you back to the excitement, the wonder, the magic that is Christmas. You won’t find it in a store, or gift, or on the internet. And only you can find that place, and it’s not the same for everyone. The key to it all (and it might sound hokey) is this:You have to stop, pause, and be open to the Christmas Experience. Click To Tweet
Now, I can’t say that everyone has that. Most people I know well do. But your childhood Christmas? Well, it might have sucked. I’m sorry if it did. But there may have been a different time when the magic happened for you. Be open to finding that.
It’s not about the being with others that has to trigger it. I was totally alone. My mother and father are long gone. I am far from where all those memories were. Even pictures I posted a few days ago didn’t really do it. Christmas music was not making it happen either. Nor the symphony, or orchestra, or going to the Rudolph play. No, for this year it was the above.
What’s that you say Rick? But you have been experiencing SO much this year! I’ve seen all the posts on FB about all your doings. And that is exactly that – it’s doings. Get here, get this, see that, do the other thing; without being open and vulnerable, without stopping, without pausing and really taking it in, it’s all just doing, and not experiencing. That is where I was. I was DOING, not experiencing.
Now, if you are not even doing. If you are feeling the sadness, or loneliness or darkness of this season, this is what I suggest: Let that shit just sink in there. You heard me, don’t fight it, feel it! Feel all those feels. It’s okay. But you do have to actually take the time and FEEL THEM. What are they about? Where are they coming from? Don’t mask them with drink or distraction (food, events, people, movies, internet….), get into em.
And when you have gotten to a place of really seeing them and accepting that they are there and a part of you, you have then taken their power away. THEN you can step into the light that shines at this time, and drive that darkness out. It’s not letting those things go, they are a part of you. But if you want darkness to go away, you have to open up the the light. When you stop fighting whatever those feelings are, and see them, make a conscious choice to invite the opposite in. Lonely? Invite people. Stressed? Invite peace. Self doubt? Invite confidence.
Merry Christmas (or whatever you celebrate)
I can’t thank the person who decided to have a fire in their fireplace enough for waking me up! I am so glad I was open to all this tonight. I really needed it! Merry Christmas RickCharlie fans! I wish for you much love, peace, hope, light, gratitude and grace in this new year. May the joy of this season grace your soul in however that needs to come to you!
Peace my friends!