It is the Winter Solstice!
The shortest day of the year, a time when the darkness in longest, a time to gather inside, and snuggle down. It is a few days away from Christmas, and there is much excitement in the air.
Since it has been awhile since my last post, this will be a longer post than normal. After all, it is the day of darkness, and the season of abundance, so tonight is a perfect night to read a long post.
So are your ready? Make a cup of tea, snuggle down in your favourite chair, and relax. Turn off your phones, and put whatever you are doing on hold. Take a deep breath, relax and enjoy.
During the past month I have been in a ringette tournament, been sick with a flu bug, had a cold from Hell, dealing with day to day challenges, a lap top computer that had died on me,getting a new one and then having to exchange it three times. Put the excitement for the Christmas season on top of that and as you can see I have been a wee bit busy. It has not been bad, just busy.
And with this busyness comes my daily challenges and remembering I have to take care of myself, and then knowing I needed to do a blog post. I have been a little off balance, but it has not been too bad. I have been checking in with my therapist and family doctor, and considering everything, I am doing pretty good.
I love this time of year. It is also full of triggers and history of not great stuff. I have worked hard to make sure I have moments of joy in the season, and one of those moments is going to cut down a Christmas tree with my son.
I love having a real Christmas tree, I love the smell, the look and the feeling of a tree in my house. Its something that speaks to me, and something that is good for my soul. I love to turn the house lights off, sit back, turn the Christmas tree lights in and just look. I does not matter how many Christmas' I have had, I still love this and it is one of my favourite, if not the most favourite thing about the holidays.
Monday afternoon was the day my son and I went on the great adventure, of finding the right, or perfect Christmas tree.
We went to a couple of places, the first place, the trees were way to small. The second place the trees were to expensive. The third tree farm we went to, the price and in the end, the tree was just right. The elderly gentleman who owns and operates the tree farm came out with a chainsaw and cut the tree down for us. I think he is a retired logger and really enjoys doing this. My son and I put the tree on the roof of the car and drive home.
This is a magical time of the year. What happened next, happens to me each year. I know I should not be surprised, but I am each and every time.
As I was driving home, the friction of the car passing through the air makes the tree grow!!! It really does! When we got home, the tree was longer and wider then when we put it on the car.I just start laughing.
My son takes the tree off the roof rack and later on I prepare to bring it into the house. This was not as easy task, as the tree is way wider then the door. I put the tree stand on it, and then with some strength, I pull the tree through the door. I had already trimmed the tree, but the top of it reached our eight foot ceiling. I placed it in the corner, in front of two bookcases, and all you can see of them is the top left corner of one! It is a huge tree, big and bushy, you can't see through it and it and makes the house smell wonderful. I love it.
After I got it up, and secured it, I pull out a couple of dead needles and notice some straw on one of the branches. I reach in, up to my arm pits, I told you it was a big tree, pulled out the straw and low and behold, in my hand was a birds nest, no shit, a real birds nest made out of straw, about four inches across!
I could not believe this, this has never happened before and I thought, " I wonder if this means its going to be a very special Christmas." I am now in the process of preserving that nest.
Later that night, I decorated the tree. This year I have made some glass icicles and given them as gifts and made some for my tree and I really like how they look on this gigantic tree.After the decorations and ornaments were put on, I turned off the house lights, breathed in the lovely pine scent, sat back in quiet solitude and looked at the tree, and thought of this past year, of all the blessings I have in my life, and of all the people who have helped me get to where I am today.
I thought back to when I first started my journey, of all the dark days, confusion, and unbelievable pain I experienced. Back then, every time I would make progress,something else would come up. It was like having a big wound, a scab would grow over it, and then I would have to pull it off again, exposing the raw emotions to the air, and my God, it hurt, it stung, and there were days I wondered if it was all worth it. It took so much energy to put one foot in front of the other,let alone get dressed and go outside, and there were many days I could not do the former.
I thought about the days and nights of darkness, real darkness deep in my soul, I could not see the light,I wasn't even sure it existed. I was exhausted, I did not know how I was going to make it through the next 15 minutes, let alone the next day.To top it off I was terrified of the world, terrified of my illness, terrified of not knowing where my life was heading.
As I sat and gazed upon my beautiful, full tree, I then started thinking about some people I know who are beginning their journey. I wondered how they were doing, where they were in their journey and hoping that the can hang on and feel and deal with what they need to, and eventually come out the other end a healthier and happier person.
I remember when I started looking at the circumstances that caused me to dissociate. The very thought of doing this scared the shit out of me and I spent much energy distracting myself from those pesky emotions. But in time, I realized I needed to deal with it all if I was going to move forward. As the process continued, I realized that the fear was holding me back, and what was hiding in the deep dark recesses of my mind,would loose their power once the light was shone upon them.
I thought about how I needed to feel the old pain and hurts,to have space for the new,so that I could be at a place where I am now. A place where I can feel the love people have for me, a place where I am not ashamed of who I am or what I have been through, a place where I am connected to humanity, my friends and my family.
I was not always connected to people. In fact, because of what happened to me, I had put up walls around me, and dissociated from the human race. Some use drugs and alcohol to numb, my drug of choice was dissociation. This did help me to survive as a child, kept away the pain, but it isolated me and shut me off from all positive interactions. It also stoped me from trusting others.
I realize now, why I did not trust, and I guess I knew back then why I did not trust, but I knew of no alternative, as I had had very little experience of that.Not only did I not trust others, but because I could not trust the world, I did not trust myself. What I mean by this, is that I did not try anything new, because I was afraid I would get into trouble if I did it wrong.
But.little by little, with the help of some wonderful knowledgeable and caring people, I slowly learned to trust them, the world and eventually myself.
So, why am I telling you this. I am telling you this because I want you to know, that no matter where you are in your journey- and lets face it, everyone is on a journey- it can get better. I'm telling you this because I want you to know that the pain, as bad and as deep as it feels, will not go on forever. I am telling you this because you can learn to trust the world, and yourself and it really can get better.I am telling you this because there is light at the end of the fog, you may not see or feel it, but it is there. I am telling you this because I want you to know that no matter what happened to you, what you had to do to survive,or what they told you, you are precious. That preciousness was shining and present the day you were born, everyone has it. Others may have tried to put it out, dumping all the crap on it, but it is still there, and when the time is right, when you are ready, it will emerge and shine through, and you and it will be brilliant and amazing.
My Christmas wish for you, is to know, that you are precious, that you do matter, that you are not alone and that your life can get better.
My Christmas wish for you, is to know that you do have the strength to get through this, the strength to work through and have an amazing life.
My Christmas wish for you is that , you feel loved and special.
As I sit back at gaze at my tree, the room lights are off and the tree and its lights look amazing. I notice the icicles I have made are shining and sparkling. They look nice when the room lights are on, but in the dark they are stunning and brilliant, and are showing their true beauty.
Very much like when one looks at and works through their dark and painful issues. It may be dark, but this is a place in which you discover how strong you really are and your shining and brilliant light will get you through.
As I was walking out of the house yesterday, I look down, and on the ground is a stone that looks just like a birds egg. I pick it up and low and behold it is a birds egg. It has a little hole in it from where another bird had been at it, but besides that its whole and perfect. And its just the right size for the nest that was in my Christmas tree.
Yes, It is going to be a special Christmas
May you find Joy in unexpected places
May you feel at Peace in your corner of the world
May you find Comfort in the little things
May you feel Loved
This is my Christmas wish for you
Until next time