The JOY of Christmas

Christmas. I used to somewhat detest it. It highlighted all of the things that were wrong in my life. The family dysfunction, the fact that I was still single & my life looked so different to those around me, my kids going to their dads every second year leaving me feeling completely removed and alone, & the constant struggle with lack of money. I spent many years ‘surviving’ Christmas rather than enjoying it. I drank too much, I ate food that made me feel crappy and I engaged in behaviour that I regret (busy-ness, criticism & judgement of those around me, control -trying to make everything perfect, & always feeling like I didn’t really fit in to my family). The last two years I’ve not felt the Christmas Spirit at all due to my life exploding- this is the first time I’ve genuinely been excited for Christmas in a really long time. I look back at the person I once was and am thankful for the lessons learnt, the opportunity to grow and evolve so that I can choose something different.

This year I choose differently. This year I choose to turn to LOVE, to open my heart as wide as possible and to move into the festive period feeling nothing but appreciation and love for myself and those around me. This year I am letting go of the control and frantic pace that so often comes with this time of year. This year I go into Christmas FEELING like I never have before. I feel a calmness, a steadiness, a wholeness never before experienced.

Many of my memories around Christmas consist of some kind of family drama. We can hold it together for a period of time before it all unravels, there can be snickering and talking about others behind their backs, there can be criticism that results in others feeling like they have to defend themselves, people holding it together until it all becomes too much. ¬†There is withdrawal, disconnection, an outward politeness covering the internal angst. There can be pains of the past that resurface but are never fully confronted. EGO always comes up strong- an internal judgement towards those that we are surrounded by. The words are often never spoken out loud but the separateness is felt by all. ( How those around us should or shouldn’t be living their lives, how they should or shouldn’t be parenting, whose marriage is right and whose is wrong, who does more work, who’s the busiest, tiredest, who is more successful, who has more money, who drinks too much, who is right and who is wrong).

This year I choose to open my heart and really be with my family. To be present and with them knowing that when I align to the higher energies I can see the beauty in everyone around me. I stay in a state of gratitude knowing that life can change in an instant, knowing what matters and what doesn’t. Knowing that the things I once gave so much energy to really don’t matter in the slightest. I choose to be the best version of myself and see others in the same light, knowing that energy is our currency. Trusting that when I feel good others around me will also feel good. I know that everyone is struggling with something so I choose compassion and kindness, I choose to listen more, to ask more, to focus less on myself and more on those around me because my cup is already full.

I choose to lift the people that I once judged and give them nothing but love. I choose to support my sister with her kids instead of comparing her parenting to mine. I choose to take more time to make my mum feel connected and to honour what she is feeling rather than telling her not to ¬†worry about the people that have hurt her it or trying to get her to do what I do (or holding onto resentment for the mistakes she has made in her past). I choose to be fully present with my children instead of worrying about them or trying to make sure they don’t make the same mistakes that I did. I choose to make sure my daughters boyfriend feels comfortable and included in our family rather than finding all of the reasons why he may or may not be a suitable match for my daughter. I choose to lift my son and make sure he knows that he is so very loved after what has been a difficult year for him. I choose to be IN Christmas as opposed to sitting on the sidelines passing judgement and living in my head allowing the constant inner dialogue to dictate my holiday and to take away my joy, peace and happiness. I choose this knowing that I don’t expect to get it right all of the time. If I do fall into judgement or become frustrated by somebody else’s behaviour I know that feeling these things is okay and that I am human. I won’t beat myself up for failing at trying to live an enlightened life, I know that amongst the frustration that ultimately comes when spending large chunks of time with family members I now have something I never had before- awareness. I know that when these feelings and emotions come up I can feel them and then I can always choose again.


Kylie West

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