When I hear the word "winter," I think of falling snow, of a quiet world bathed in white. I hear it crunch beneath my shoes as breath escapes my lips in whispers of smoke.
Winter often symbolizes a temporary death, a pause, a hibernation period. On the opposite hand, Christmas, in certain belief systems, celebrates the birth of a baby, the beginning of a new life.
While nature takes pause and celebrates death, we celebrate life.
Because of the sparkly exterior and the tradition of presents, our thoughts naturally gravitate towards others. We also tend to reflect on our internal state and take an inventory of our personal thoughts and feelings.
The snow forces people to gather indoors where it's warm. Our calendars glitter with friend and family get-togethers. There are warm and filling foods, music, sparkly lights, Christmas decorations, and the wonderful sent of pine.
For some, this internal shift can cause a deep sense of longing, loneliness, or isolation. With all the holiday cheer in the air, it can make us painfully aware of what we lack in our lives.
Our lack becomes as visible as a drop of blood on a perfect palate of white snow.
Snow will melt with the spring, but even the best of us will die. Since our time here is finite, the holiday joys or pains, reminds us of what is most important and what we truly long for.
With an ache in her heart, a friend was reminded that what mattered most to her were the people she shared her life with. She deeply desired to create a family with an amazing partner. However, the lack of this current partner caused her to focus on what her life lacked.
When it came to others, she was positive and uplifting. When it came to herself, her thoughts were judgmental and spiraled around all that was wrong.
"My heart could be blissful, and I could be singing right now,"
"I could have that right now. But I'm always waiting for someone..."
Waiting for things is a reoccurring life theme. We wait for something, so then we can be happy, so then we can be our best selves.
The pain of not having a significant other over the holidays can feel like a deep purple bruise. The pain of a breakup can feel like a gaping wound you're trying to close with a Band-Aid.
A slew of holiday movies involve the main character having gone through a breakup or being alone but by the end someone appears. They share a magical kiss under delicate flecks of snow, their lives now complete.
Although I'm a sucker for magical kisses, the movies reiterate a mindset of lack, where we cannot be fully happy until we have someone else.
We spend so long waiting for someone when in reality
we already have someone.
We have ourselves.
Since our conscious minds are only able to hold one thought at a time we must choose whether it will be negative or positive? Lack or bliss?
Until your person comes along here's a few things to keep in mind:
1) YOU practice being the most amazing person you could ever hope to find.
2) Substitute negative or lacking thoughts with positive ones.
3) Surround yourself with positive, loving people that make you feel like the world is full of magic.
4) Cultivate a community by taking a class. Join or start a group. Have a Christmas art night at your house and invite a handful of people you think are fun.
5) Write love letters to yourself. List all the ways you shine, all the ways you are growing, all the wonderful things you want for your life.
6) Get excited in anticipation for all your goals, dreams, and future blessings. Treat them like presents under your Christmas tree. It's inevitable that one day you'll open them.
7) SING NOW, if that's what your heart wants. The more you do things that make your heart sing, the happier your heart will be. Then, when you meet your person, instead of them filling your heart with what's lacking, they will overflow it. And your heart will go from happy to elated!