“Christmas is not a time nor a season, but a state of mind. To cherish peace and goodwill, to be plenteous in mercy, is to have the real spirit of Christmas.”
I have a blessed life. I think I always have. I had a loving, supportive family growing up in a stable home with two pretty great parents. I have a loving, supportive family now – both the one I grew up with and the one my husband and I have grown ourselves. Not to mention the family I married into. Most people joke about their in-laws and how terrible everyone is. With a minor exception here or there, I seem to have hit the jackpot for in-laws as well. I’ve been displaced from my East Coast home for more than two decades, yet I’ve never felt at a loss for family.
It’s not always easy, though, to see our blessings as we live out each day. There are troubles, problems, tragedies we all must encounter – and if we’re not careful they can consume us. This world is spinning out and piling on consumerism, separation, disconnectedness – all stealthily driven in subconsciously. It’s no wonder we’re inundated with jokes of how much alcohol or Xanax it will take to get us through from one day to the next.
Sometimes I’m surprised I survived my teen angst. So much emotion, and so much of it so dark. I felt a void that I had no idea how to fill. I felt friendless, unloved, ugly and purposeless. I struggled on. I made it through. The scars continue to fade slowly, even decades later. Visible only to a trained eye.
“Well, everybody’s life has got static. Is your life perfect?”Christian Slater as Jason Dean in Heathers (1989)
This time of year it becomes easier to see the downtrodden, the unfortunate, and the disheartened among us. Sympathy flows faster to our hearts. We count our blessings and smile in gracious wonder at the serendipitous moments that have led us here.
My Christmas wish as we end this decade is to see with more clarity, to love without condition, to uplift those who’ve fallen. I wish to be present. For all of it. To see the good, the bad, each within the other – and know that balance is key. I wish for the Spirit of Christmas to remain all year, truly a state of mind instead of a season of snowy chills and evergreens – however beautiful and nostalgic.
“If you’re feeling helpless, help someone.” ―
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