Last update: 23-Apr-2014 10:56 pm
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Peace and chair for the season’s anxiety
Keeping up with the holiday preparations and arriving at the celebrations in high spirits is no mean feat. For those who love the animated pace, the coming week’s activities could be nirvana.
For those like me, who choose less commotion, Christmas isn’t and does not have to be a season of gloom. The secret is in being comfortable with one’s choices and preferred expressions in these matters.
And while people may not quite understand and appreciate your stance, it’s important to ensure they respect it. I openly show appreciation to those who celebrate in the traditional manner but I’m also always teaching why I employ my individuality. Make no mistake; I love Christmas. I just treat it like I’d do a boyfriend who says he needs space—with intimate indifference.
But if Christmas cheerlessness sets in alongside the New Year’s Eve recounting of the year’s setback, it’s important to remember to recall the inspirational things about your life.
At best, I live every day trying my darnedest best to never be hijacked by my feelings. It does not always work, because I’m also in constant battle to not be a tenant in my own body with so many machinations, misbalances, and memoirs of melancholy always jumping up for attention.
And If I haven’t said it sufficiently, maintaining my balance means I take medication every day and that’s until my doctors say otherwise. I’m committed to staying healthy for me, especially since I’m my premier caregiver.
The key to continued sociability and cheer for all of us, however, is remembering to care for you within the holiday paces or passivity. As trite as it sounds, counting your blessings is a powerful antidote for anxieties.
If you’ve faced as many obstacles and adversity as I’ve had, your life should be a well springing with resilience and gratitude. Finding healthier responses for familiar (difficult) situations should become easier, if you’re maturing correctly.
My biggest holiday misgiving in my past life, for example, was not being in a steady, healthy relationship. Not many people knew how miserable that made me because then I cowered into “a self-defensive position,” doing my best to blend in with my environment. Not being able to share the special time of year with that exclusive person could bring a person to tears and deep sorrow, and I’ve had my share of those.
“Loving and supportive relationships are among the most precious things in life,” says psychcentral.com, and not having those remains among the greatest holiday stressors.
“However,” the site continues, “we need to generate our peace from within, from discovering and developing our unique gifts, accepting ourselves, and taking responsibility for our actions and our attitudes, rather than looking to another person as the source of our power and wisdom.”
My blessing then in over 50 years—and still being single, yet blissful and contented—has to be that I’ve found a way to affirm myself, despite the odds. My peace comes from being the real me at all times so I never have to expend emotional currency trying to foster any impression I may have conveniently carved to suit the position in which we find ourselves.
I’ve grown to be confident about the unedited version of myself, unafraid of my past, and open, with humility, to the infractions I’m certain to commit in my future. I laugh at my imperfection and inadequacies, but I’m never short on self-compassion, which “enables us to roll with the punches and determine the next indicated action to take” (psychcentral.com). But I’m courageous in the face of my shortcomings, failures, and peculiarities.
I’ve learned to make private resolutions, mastering my inner conversation with more exactitude. It’s an uphill battle, with some embarrassing missteps at times. And, in the give and take that is relationship-building, I haven’t as yet been able to meet a man at the specific point in his life when he needs what I bring.
But you won’t find me mixing that “deficiency” with the holiday milieu of anxieties. Instead, I give myself over to the future’s wonderful possibilities. I count the blessing of having a heart with the capacity to love time and again. I take time to give myself credit for taking the “interpersonal risks inherent in starting and sustaining relationships.”
Your challenge may be financial, one of loss, separation, divorce, or ill health, whatever it is; it shouldn’t define you, your holidays or your outlook into 2014. It’s just a part of the universe’s effort to refine the best you within you.
You have to remember to count the superior elements of every circumstance. Practise putting the required space between you and misery by tuning into the beautiful, intimate you.
For me, while marking Christmas with my own brand, there is also a chair at the window of my heart where I sit and wait patiently for the appropriate intervention. It’s a peaceful place that everyone should carve for herself regardless of what anxieties portend.
A Christmas blessing:
The site psychcentral.com/cultivating-contentment/ recommends a meditation exercise in which you repeat phrases like the following to yourself:
May I be safe.
May I be happy.
May I be peaceful.
May I be healthy.
May I be kind to myself.
May I live with ease.
May I accept myself as I am.
You can mentally repeat these phrases to yourself in a quiet, seated meditation or as you go about your day.
We tend to radiate to others what we feel about ourselves. So, by developing more positive self-regard, you will not only benefit yourself but also those around you.
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