Thanksgiving is over; I counted my blessings, found my life full of abundance and thanked God. Then why do I feel a sense of impending doom? Ah, yes…it’s that pesky Christmas season that magically has a way of sucking the life out of any well-intentioned mother.
Don’t get me wrong…I used to look forward to Christmas time. When my kids were little I baked so many cookies even the Pillsbury Dough Boy was impressed. I made handmade gifts before Pintrest was popular. I decorated my house with such flair that Martha Stewart would have featured me in her magazine. Homemade fudge, hand picked teacher gifts, crafts for the kids…. I was going big or going home. I was bound and determined to make every Christmas a lasting memory for my children.
The problem with the “memory-making” business is that you are counting on other people to remember your “special moments.” You are sure when you are up until midnight making gum drop trees for your candy-land themed table that the “ooohs and aaahs” the next morning will be worth your blurry vision and sticky fingers. Even though you’ve sacrificed your sanity and your health, it’s worth it, because you are convinced your family will cherish the time and energy you put into making Christmas special.
Bullshit… get over yourself.
It took me several years of suffering from “post traumatic Chirstmas disorder,” feeling empty and taken for granted, to realize that everything I thought I was doing for my children, I was really doing for my own personal satisfaction and praise. Every Christmas my perfectionism would raise it’s beastly head and suddenly Suzi was gone and Martha Stewart’s evil twin sister took possession of my body… all along thinking it was a “GOOD THING.” (Martha Stewart pun intended)
Last December I wrote a piece on Spiritual Dry Spells whining and complaining that in my efforts to take care of those around me, I completely forgot to nurture my spirit. I believed that if I went all “laid back Bro” for the holidays, I wouldn’t get caught up in my own illusion of Christmas present. Surprise, surprise, that backfired as well.
Well I believe I’ve found a solution to my Christmas disorder. Christmas Presence…
Over the last six months I’ve learned that staying clearly focused on the present frees your soul from hurts of the past and keeps you from “angsting” over the future. You can’t be in the present, past and future all at once. I realize there are many spiritual gurus out there that teach about keeping your attention on the present moment. This is not a new concept, nor is it an easy practice. BUT IT WORKS!
As human beings, we are the only creatures who mark the passage of time. We are constantly looking at our phones, our watches and our calendars. We worry about the future and have regrets from the past. But what of the present? What about this exact moment? What are you losing this very second because you are worrying about tomorrow?
We all have the ability to be “present” if we choose. To make every conversation matter. To listen with an open heart. To hug like you never want to let go and to laugh until it hurts.
Christmas presents can be purchased but Christmas Presence is fleeting… what are you missing out on right now?
Now go hug someone and pour all of your love and light into their heart…and see how you feel. That’s opening Christmas Presence…