I have become increasingly aware of the anxiety levels rising in my counselling room as we approach Christmas. It doesn’t seem to matter what the family situation is, or where the person is in their journey to mental strength, the stress levels escalate.
Each time I see one of those rosy, shiny Christmas adverts on the television my blood pressure also rises! I can’t help feeling that the hype around what ‘should be’ is what causes so much misery. It’s as if we all have some standard planted in our heads of what this day or this season should look like, and then become unhappy because it never measures up to the fictitious or imagined dream day!
I wonder if this year, we can take stock of what is. Of who the characters in the gatherings are, of who we are, of whether we might prefer to be alone, or have a smaller gathering. But mostly that we can be aware of holding on to our integrity in all our interactions during this season.
Each time we say ‘Yes’ to someone else, we say ‘No’ to ourselves, and a tiny part of us dies in the process. I wonder if we can approach this season free of the expectations of others, of advertisements, of social norms and decide with dignity that we will in all interactions behave with integrity and grace and not buy into ‘what it should be’.
My hope for you, is that you can find your way through this season, peacefully, with your dignity and integrity in tact, and with some of the joy that this season of hope symbolises.
Merry Christmas and a peace-filled New Year to you!