Having our days spent focusing on the day-to-day stuff of life can seem pretty mundane, but when you think about it, it keeps us fairly sane.  If you look at those people who don’t think about the mundane, but focus on the structure of life and all it’s implications, you get saints, martyrs, philosophers, and insanity, just to tick off a few categories.  So keeping your head down and having a list of daily to-dos seems fairly safe and comforting.

And yet we all go through moments in time when we are forced to deal with the structure of our lives.  We have to look at the big questions about choices made or in the making, people in our lives and their actions and all the implications thereof.  Most people think of those times as the big historic moments such as birth, marriage, death, divorce, adultery or some of their younger siblings such as college, first time home and mid-life crisis.  But we also go through this process to a lesser extent each year.  We call this liminal time ‘The Holidays’.

There’s a reason that crime, domestic violence, divorce, suicide attempts and doctor/therapist visits increase during the season, most highly during December.  It’s because, to put it colloquially, all of our collective ‘shit’ is up.  We are forced to see and deal with emotions we would rather avoid, decisions and consequences that are easily kept in a cupboard the rest of the year and we don’t want to and aren’t ready.  So avoidance runs rampant, drama explodes out of nowhere, and those who have happy families and good relationships look at the rest of the world around them and go “Huh?”

So I can’t say this often enough.  Slow down. Take time out for yourself.  Feel the feelings this season brings up for you.  In feeling, look for the why.  It’s in there.  And once you know the why, instead of trying to make it someone else’ fault or to try to numb it or shove it away, think about how you can heal it, help it, resolve it, or at least acknowledge it.  While it’s great to think that Christmas is a loving and giving season, it might be that the best gift you will give is love for yourself just as you are right in this moment.  At the very least you will be able to achieve peace in your own heart.