I’m often accused of over thinking my writing, so let me start with the disclaimer that this post is from my heart. Excessive rambling may occur.
Over the course of my life I have hit many spiritual dry spells. Sometimes they are quite abrupt, like with the death of a loved one. Sometimes they are self-imposed with full awareness that you are tired of asking questions and seeking without being aware of the answers. Sometimes they creep up on you when you aren’t even aware….this is the type that can do real damage. This is the type of descent away from Source that damages your heart, your soul and your body. This is negativity creeping into the crevices of your life while you aren’t looking.
It’s taken me several years and few figurative smacks across the head to realize that every Christmas I fall prey to one of these dry spells and it doesn’t occur to me what’s happening until I’m sick and angry. And I find it laughingly ironic that this happens to me at what many consider to be the most spiritual time of year. I’m so busy running around trying to create happy memories for my family that I end up getting lost in the cesspool of my own creation.
Of course there is the secularism and greed of the holidays that (despite the number of handmade gifts I painstakingly create) always manages to creep into the season. This Christmas season I actually started out with a heart felt commitment to not lose sight of “the reason for the season.” I started making gifts and shopping early so that I wouldn’t be stressed at the last minute. I did not bake. I did not over decorate. I did not partake in any activity that wasn’t really going to mean anything to anyone just to prove to my family that I’m super mom and I can do it all. And although this may sound melodramatic, I gave up on the illusion of having a “happy” family Christmas. Don’t misunderstand me, I said the” illusion.” My family is my family and I love them with all of my being, and although we are not dysfunctional enough to warrant our own reality show, we are also NOT a hallmark card. I realistically tried to gage my expectations about the amount of happy-family-togetherness we could actually handle.
While I was so busy making sure that I didn’t overdo the holiday madness, I also let a few other “not-dos” creep into my daily life. I did not go to church except for Christmas Eve Mass and even though I lit the Advent candles, I did not spend every day reflecting on the meaning. I may have remembered to hug my kids and tell them I love them, but I didn’t find time to love and “hug” myself. In what appeared as well-intentioned sacrifice of time on my part to entertain family and friends, I sacrificed my prayer time, my meditation time, my connection to spirit. I always pray myself to sleep, counting my blessings and being grateful for another day. Even though I cut back on the holiday chaos, I still tumbled into bed every night barely getting to the “Dear God” before I was out like a light.
Now, two weeks later, my body and soul are paying the price. I feel sick and tired and not because I over did it with rich food and drink. I am sick and tired because I lacked the real nourishment that keeps me going, my connection to my God. Even when I tried to prevent the craziness and secularism, without staying committed to my prayer life, my soul crumbled. I managed to get through the holidays with a smile on my face never realizing why I felt so empty.
So even though New Year’s Day was three days ago and many people have already ditched their lofty resolutions, this pledge will forever be posted on this blog to remind me that prayer is food for the soul. For those of you who like to call me out on my shortcomings, I give you permission to remind me of this resolution whenever you see fit.
I pray that my path back to my soul’s connection is well lit with love and not nearly as winding as the one that I wandered down. Amen.