So this is Christmas ... what can you do?
Alison sat in the chair looking at the scarf with a strange composure. She had been there for a half an hour, just taking some time out, thinking, contemplating and almost mediating. Now was not the moment for her to stand up in passion and make her point. Now her blood pressure was probably low and her heartbeat placid. There were no panic attacks and she wasn’t even crying. The dimly lit room was pleasant, decorated mildly for Christmas and she looked comfortable for the first time in months. The scenario was a far cry from what you’d expect from her doctor’s prescriptions for diabetes, panic and thyroid. She gave a deep sigh, put the scarf down, made a cup of tea and went to bed.
This had been a difficult moment for Alison. It had been six months since Michael left. Six months of tears, shock and health issues which no-one would really understand. But this was Christmas. Somehow, a sign had come from the Universe into her hands. She had been walking down busy George Street in Sydney and it was like the scarf had just dropped from heaven in the gust of wind that came with the rains at the end of a sweaty day. She had been praying, meditating for a sign from the “other side” in the hope that a trace, however small, of Michael still remained in this vast kaleidoscope of vision and sound we call this planet.
Of course, a lot depends on what we believe, doesn’t it? What do you believe? How do you reconcile your head and heart when a loved one passes on? And what does that hold for you? How does it affect your Christmas?
What have you done with your life this year? What have you completed? What do you need to shed to give you freedom?
This joyous, holy time for many is also myriad of sadness and loneliness. This month, many charity organisations hold free Christmas lunches for the homeless. I had the privilege of being a volunteer at one with my partner. There they were, over 200 people lined up out the door and into the streets for a warm meal and the comfort of having someone to share the Christmas spirit with. Old men and women, teenagers, small children (yes, small children living on the streets with Mum or Dad). Each one with a story. Some with a bag which held all their possessions. Each received a red Santa bag as a gift when they left and a thank you from us for coming.
On this day, these people – homeless, lonely, incapacitated, kicked around by what we call humanity – were treated well. On this day, they received a gift from a stranger, a kindness, a moment of exchange of positivity which just may harbour a transference of hope.
How many others are out there who didn’t come? How many others didn’t even dream this existed? How many others were lost in desperation in their homes, sitting alone dreaming of the past or so blank they are couldn’t even envisioning the future?
What have you done with your life this year? What have you completed? What do you need to shed to give you freedom? The freedom that is held in the energy of the New Year coming. The freedom you have to choose. The freedom you have to make your own life better. The freedom you have to help someone with theirs.
Let’s use this wonderful peaceful time to focus on giving to ourselves and others, and perhaps not on giving expensive gifts or filling up with food to the point that we are in overload. What about taking a look around to see who is in need this Christmas and reaching out to them with a home-cooked meal, a kind word or even just a smile? As for yourself, what do you need this Christmas? What is worth more to you, the glistening bracelet or having dinner with your dad? The party with your friends or ringing that mate you had a falling out with six months ago?
You decide and, whatever you are doing, have a wonderful Christmas – spend it with family, friends and people you love, and be kind to yourself. If we could all just keep that message in mind, perhaps every day would be – in some ways – even better than Christmas.
Merry Christmas and many blessings for the New Year ahead.
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