As I write this I am faced with letting go of many things in my life, and I am pondering why it is so hard to let go when I know what is for my highest and best is always what is emerging. As one door closes another opens, and yet I am having trouble letting go. I find I am struggling with dealing with situations where change happens too rapidly, where I am caught off guard and then have to deal with the aftermath. Such has been my past week. I go back to the saying by St. Teresa of Avila where she encourages us to "let nothing disturb" in patience all is attained. If I truly believe that Life wants only what is for my highest and best good, then I must put my faith in letting go and trusting that the outcome will be what is truly right for me in my life right now. But, naturally, i want it my way in my time which isn't always in divine right time.
I am also thinking about the holidays and since I have chosen to move toward a more value based life, how I am having a hard time connecting to the holiday season because I am so used to shopping, to seeing the holidays in terms of mad gift buying and giving, and since I have moved away from that, I am having a hard time connecting to the spirit of Christmas, even though I know that it is the time we spend with loved ones that defines the holiday spirit. I feel too tired and overwhelmed to even think about buying gifts and Christmas is a week away and I think perhaps I should decorate the house, buy a small tree, but then I think, why? Would I really feel any more connected than I do now? Perhaps letting go is redefining the holidays for myself. I think the issue for me is the same one that I have with Thanksgiving. To me, every day should be a day of thanksgiving and gratitude. Every day should be a time of blessing and giving the gift of ourselves, our resources, our time. Now, perhaps if I were Christian, this time of year would have additional depth. I do believe in the Solstice in terms of the natural move toward darkness and birth of the light. This natural cycle I understand, and perhaps for me this needs to be a time of ritual cleansing the old and outdated and worn and the bringing forth of the light, the new. I just know that the holidays are a time of stress for most people because we feel so obligated to keep up traditions and consumerism even if we don't feel that to be an authentic expression of who we are. Now I do know those who truly love this time of year and embody the spirit of Christmas in all that they do, and I feel joy when I meet them because they are truly authentic with the season and their relationship with this time of year. In my own personal life I feel torn because I know this could reasonably be one or the other of my parents last holiday on the Earth, so I feel as if I need to celebrate the holidays like we used to do when I was younger, but even they agree that the spirit just isn't the same anymore. They are moving away and letting go as well, so how do we celebrate this time of year in a meaningful way that will stay with us throughout the years that are left with their presence on the planet. I took a deeply personal stand to sever my relationship with my abusive brother and I feel free in the letting go, but it does make the holiday tricky since my parents are coming here to show solidarity with my decision and boundary. But, I know deep down they wish we could all just be like we used to be 40 years ago, but we can't and like many families, we need to re-define our lives and how we spend our holidays to reflect who we are now in this moment in time.
I feel grief this holiday season, and as I work toward embracing my grief, I must remind myself to let go, to surrender to what is in the moment, to stand in the moment and just be. And to know that many families go through this, many families are re-defining their holidays and relationships, and that many of us are facing perhaps our last holidays with a family member. Perhaps I also feel the grief of letting go of years of tradition in how I have spent the holidays and have yet to find a new tradition to replace what I have known for 46 years. As I grieve I also am hopeful that a new tradition is being born within my life, and that I will know how to birth new ways of being and celebrating this time of year, and to also remind myself that perhaps part of my own tradition is to view everyday as a day of giving, of sharing, of celebrating the birth of Life daily, anew each day.
I bless us all this season as we each face letting go of some aspect of our holiday expectations, as we face ourselves, our families, our community, our consumerism. May we each in our own way take time to view these changes with wise eyes and and open heart