Is it possible to embrace the Spirit of Christmas when your grief and pain is larger than your joy?
Ahhhhhhh… ‘Tis a time for holidays and holy-days! ‘Tis also a time filled with the ‘Spirit of Christmas’! Oh, wait… what exactly does that mean anyway? There are oodles of differing definitions, some of which may include ice-cubes. Culturally, it is a time of joy and celebration. However, the ‘Spirit of Christmas’ for some may also be a painful reminder of loneliness, separation, conflict or loss.
But if we take a few steps back from all of that, maybe the ‘Spirit of Christmas’ is about the knowing.
Knowing there is always goodness – even while enduring painful circumstances.
Knowing there is always love – even when experiencing loss.
Knowing you can decline invitations – even though you feel you ‘should’ accept to be polite.
Knowing you can accept invitations – even though you are grieving.
Knowing you always have choices.
Knowing there are always things/ways/people that lift your spirit.
Maybe it’s the knowing that’s the holy part!
Holiness is always, and can only ever be in the ‘eye of the beholder’. In other words, nobody else gets to tell you what is holy to you, although there are many who will always try or will consider it their duty! Only YOU get to determine what a holy or sacred experience is for you.
Do you know what lifts your spirit? Feeds your soul? Nurtures your heart? Puts a smile on your face? Is deeply important or meaningful for you? Enables you to feel safe? Brings you comfort, respite or peace? These are YOUR holy experiences and don’t be surprised if many of them include activities and people (or pets) that are familiar to you.
If your ‘Spirit of Christmas’ is feeling crushed this year, then perhaps one of the greatest gifts you can give yourself is to know what is holy to YOU – and to reach for that. Holy experiences can help you endure, and keep you afloat throughout turbulent times.
May the Spirit of Christmas at Lifehouse recognise when your suffering is greater than your joy. May we gift you with the sensitivity and tenderness you need.
May we ease your way.
May you know what your spirit needs for Christmas, this year …. and perhaps, dare to tell someone.