By Aleece: Most holidays celebrate in some fashion with lights. My mother loved candles for the warm glow. I think lights make a ritual feel special, sacred even. Candles on the dinner table elevate the meal into the realm of enchanting. Bonfires make for cozy gatherings. Now with LED technology, there is more light available with less electricity use or danger of fire than in times before.
Some people prepare for the holidays by hanging strings of colorful lights on their dwellings, their boats, their vehicles, while others may have a tradition that has candles being lit each evening inside for the holiday. Some form of “turning on the festive” does involve LIGHTS! Even secular businesses make their stores brighter with lights at this time of year. No matter where in the nation, north or south, cold or warm, lights are a factor in dressing up the environment for the holiday season.
The winter traditions that I have known are celebrated in the darkest season of the year. Recently we learned to celebrate the winter solstice with my daughter’s school. I found the ritual of walking the evergreen spiral into the center a delight for the senses, the smell of the fresh evergreens, the quiet of the walk, the ease of candlelight on my eyes. The shortest days of winter in North America have many leaving for work and returning home with the sun already set. It is easy to see why there would be a market for strings of lights to be put up on the outside of people’s dwellings and even on the vegetation creating a bright greeting to people who come.
Last night we drove by a large shopping center and saw the palm trees wrapped with lights and the streets glistening with red lit bows on the street corners. It made me feel a bit like a child to see the dazzling displays of lights. Why is that I wondered?
Holidays are an opportunity to get in touch with what makes the inner child in each of us feel safe and special. For some people, the holidays trigger them to be more on edge. It is in giving to our children that we feel joy, but it is also acknowledging that our own inner child needs to be listened to and reassured that we matter. Doing so can address the edginess that can happen to any of us.
Holidays can be distressing for many who neglect to take care of themselves and fail to connect with the wonder of who they are in the present. Bringing our old stories and broken things to the surface so they can be understood and released is wonderful. I encourage you to look at your feelings and where you are feeling them in your body as you move through your holidays. Be kind to yourself.
“Lightly child, lightly. Learn to do everything lightly. Yes, feel lightly even though you’re feeling deeply. Just lightly let things happen and lightly cope with them…Lightly lightly- it’s the best advice ever given to me… So throw away your baggage and go forward. There are quicksands all about you, sucking at your feet, trying to suck you down into fear and self-pity and despair. That’s why you must walk so lightly. Lightly, my darling.”– Aldous Huxley
I encourage you to embrace the light of whatever comes to the surface and not repress it, not to blame another for it, not to shame yourself for having it, but make peace with your past and let yourself sigh a breath of relief, of no judgment necessary, of simply being human.
Let your holidays become a sacred time for you not to be afraid of the light, to let in the childlike wonder, and allow yourself to feel, to be present, and embrace the joy of what is. Letting some things go will make space for this and even enhance your happiness. I suggest things to let go of could be the need to be right, the need to fix the ones you love, your desire to be perfect, and the big bag of shame and blame, or fear and pain. There are ways to support yourself in releasing and getting freed up. I am here to support you in your holiday journey. Meet me in the light of love.
The general theme for a light holiday is to enjoy being present, and wrap yourself in love- for yourself and for others. Let light envelop your holiday season with grace no matter how you celebrate!
Love and Light,