Crazy Christmas/New year

Last week I went for a walk. The first thing I noticed was the amount of traffic everywhere I walked. Very unusual for a Friday at 1pm. Then I realised it was only three days before Christmas. Now, I have a very imaginative mind, so whilst walking I started thinking all sorts of things about the time of year; and as a therapist, started wondering about our behaviours and actions.

I was born in a Catholic country, however, my parents never forced the issue of religion on my siblings and I, so I never became much of a follower of religion, I can’t even claim to know much about it. One thing we all have some understanding of is that Christmas is the celebration of the brith of Christ; which is when I suppose Christianity was born.

So, my questions went in circles, what were we before that? As I said, I know very little about religion, and this article is not about that, so stick with me.

I see that people spend a lot of time, money and energy for and during Christmas. Some spend more than they can afford and some too much money just to fathom just for one event. All of this spending of energy and resources leaves people drained; financially, physically and emotionally. I can only imagine how stressful it must have been for those people waiting in queues just to get into or out of a supermarket or the shops. In reality, what is the spirit of Christmas, what is the essence of it?

I suppose the answer to this is rather difficult, just as happiness is subjective, Christmas will also mean different things to each individual. Generally, we could probably say is a time for giving, sharing, to spend time with family and to be merry of course.

Now we are in that week between Christmas and New Year. Another celebration looms. The hangover during this week is very individual, again. For some it will be physical, after the copious amounts of drink and food consumed, for others mental and emotional after the stress experienced and maybe the goodbyes to loved ones that live far away and had to go back. Whatever the reason, there will be some kind of hangover. Then at the end of the week, another spike in emotions and feelings receiving the new year and saying goodbye to the old one. Here is where I find it very interesting.

We have been saying goodbye and hello to old and new years for a long time, depending on your age of course, too many in my case. But, have we been saying goodbye and hello properly?

This year I intend to do this:

Before we embark on a journey we usually think about what we are packing, however for this special 12 month journey I believe I need to unpack my bag first. In order to have a new beginning on the 1st of January (New Years day) I need an empty bag; All the negativity, unhelpful thoughts, behaviours, values and beliefs that are not useful anymore, attachments, expectations, judgements and anything else not useful that may impede the achievement of my new goals.

Thats the bag emptied, now what do I pack for the new year?

Hope, optimism, wonder, an open heart and an observing mind, gratitude, appreciation, kindness, love, compassion, understanding, forgiveness, eagerness to learn and grow, acceptance.

The new things are for my personal use, I have to apply them all to myself first, as I will be carrying ‘the bag’.

No new years resolutions are needed on this journey, as everyday I aim to wake up and spread the contents of my bag and say to myself ‘happy new day!!! Happy new week!!!’ as everyday I am aiming to put new things in the bag that hopefully will help me on the journey ahead. When the bag gets a little bit heavier, it means it’s time to unpack and repack again as there are things that have accumulated that do not serve me, so they need to be discarded of as soon as possible.

We are all yearning for something, I believe we all want to find happiness. This can be elusive to some of us, but I would like to leave you with this parting thought: “Happiness is a butterfly, which when pursued is always just beyond your grasp, but which, if you will sit down quietly, may alight upon you” Nathaniel Hawthorne.

Wishing you all a very happy New year, new month, week, day. May you all find that beautiful butterfly landing on you.

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  1. Words with an emotional touch, spiritual comments and true reality. Love it. 😊

  2. What a fantastic message my friend Gus. The light is always there; but our own fog and heavy bags make our trip more difficult; than it should be. I am committed to pack my bag with lightness, love and compassion and get ready for my next trip around the sun. Thank you !!