Merry Christmas to all my readers. I hope you are enjoying the holiday times whatever your beliefs are and whichever holidays you celebrate. I’d like to take a moment and share my Christmas wish with you.
Leading up to Christmas, my children have been fervently hoping that they’ll lose their two front teeth. Several of their classmates have, and my twins desperately want to be able to sing “All I want for Christmas is my Two Front Teeth.”
MY 3 CHRISTMAS WISHES FOR 2017 (two for a better world and one for me)
Yes, it’s probably cliché to wish for peace at this time of year. It’s in so many songs and so many people say it, that it’s kind of turning into a phrase like “How are you?” It’s become a greeting that loosely translates as: “Hello.” It’s very rare that when someone asks you how you are, they actually want to hear a detailed description of how you’re doing – try it sometime.
In fact, the question “how are you?” has become so standard as a part of the greeting that most of us have a standard reply no matter how we’re actually doing. When people ask me “how I’m doing” I find myself immediately answering by rote: “I’m well, you?” no matter how I’m actually feeling.
I think that wishes for peace have become much the same. I think that with 24 hour news stations and constant newsfeeds on the internet, people have become inured to the violence that is rampant in the world today.
So much of the world is in chaos, but we are mostly helpless to do anything about it, so to protect our own psyche, we must compartmentalize it – we have to block it out.
The reality is, however, that we do need to keep striving for a more peaceful world. And there are things we can do about it.
What can we do about it?
Just because we can’t single handedly soothe the unrest in places such as the Middle East and Africa or even the big cities closer to home, doesn’t mean that we can’t do something in our own sphere of influence, in our own homes.
We can strive to lead more peaceful lives. We can strive to have peace in our homes, families and neighbourhoods.
We can teach our children to play harmoniously with a variety of different personality types, thus reducing the amount of friction on the playground. We can encourage our children to play gently with each other in the home.
We can be conscious of how we treat people on a day to day basis, and make sure that we are treating our family, friends, colleagues, neighbours and strangers with respect and kindness – even when they don’t return the favour.
We can change the way we speak. We can use positive, inclusive, gentle language, instead of aggressive, bullying language.
Even though there’s very little we can do about the unrest on our planet, we can make changes in the way we live to increase peacefulness in our local area. And just like a small ripple in the ocean can become a tsunami, the small changes you make can result in significant transformations.
I’m wishing that I might find forgiveness for others. I’m hoping that I will find the inner strength to let go of the hurts that I’m fostering in my soul for they aren’t nurturing me. Over my life and especially in the last few years, I have on occasion been treated with disrespect by certain people around me. I haven’t found it easy to release the hurt and forgive those actions.
I’m sure clutching these injuries close to my heart has had an impact on the severity of my anxiety disorder and the pain I feel every day. I believe that it’s time that I learn to forgive. This doesn’t mean that I will excuse the perpetrators’ behaviour. It doesn’t mean that I will allow those people unfettered access to my life (I’m working on boundaries).
What it does mean is that I’m going to let it go. I’m going to (try to) forgive them, so that I can move on and those deep injuries can scar over and become something of my past.
And for myselfI’m also wishing for forgiveness for myself from the person who I need forgiveness from the most – MYSELF. Click To Tweet
I’ve made mistakes in my life. I’ve done things in my life I’m not proud of. I’ve failed to meet my own expectations time and again. And it’s time for me to forgive myself. It’s time to truly recognize, and not just pay lip service to, the fact that I did the best I could under the circumstances.
My best is good enough.I wish for forgiveness for those around the world that are in conflict. Click To Tweet
Forgiveness is closely linked to peace. Like with peace, by allowing for a little more forgiveness in our personal lives, in the parts of the world that we can directly influence, then we’ve done our part to help forgiveness spread.
Forgiveness is about recognizing that we all make mistakes. It’s not about excusing bad, thoughtless or cruel behaviour.
This one is for me. Although I’m putting the same wish out into the ether for anyone who is struggling to understand what is wrong with their body/mind. The last few years have been very challenging. I’ve been struggling with pain that is full body, unpredictable and sometimes debilitating. Despite seemingly unending trips to the doctor and blood test after blood test, I still don’t have a diagnosis.
If you’re interested in my pain journey:
How it began: CHRONIC PAIN: How it Engulfed My Life
What it looks/feels like: CHRONIC PAIN: This is my Pain
How it makes me feel: 12 Negative Things My Chronic Pain Makes me Feel and 8 Positive Things I feel in Spite of my Chronic Pain.
I don’t need a diagnosis to legitimize my chronic condition – I can assure you it’s real.
And I know that a diagnosis on its own isn’t going to change the way I feel or what I’m able to do.
BUT, I believe it will help me have some peace of mind.
Not having a diagnosis means:
Not having a diagnosis means that I don’t know where to look for answers for reducing my symptoms. How can I dream of a cure when I don’t even know what’s wrong in the first place? I don’t know if it’s progressive, so I don’t know if I’m going to get worse.
Not having a diagnosis means I don’t have a starting point for figuring out my approach to my new ‘normal.’ Does exercise help or hinder? That depends on what’s wrong.
Not having a diagnosis means that people don’t have a frame of reference when I say that I have chronic pain. Chronic pain can mean so many things. I don’t have a name to give my pain, so people can’t ‘google’ it and learn more about it.
Having a diagnosis means:
Having a diagnosis would make it easier to develop a game plan for getting better or at least managing my symptoms. Plus, maybe my issue wouldn’t be quite so invisible to those around me; at least as far as their ability to conceptualize what is happening to me.
Having a diagnosis would also give me a community of people who can empathize with what I’m going through.
I guess, bottom line, a diagnosis would make it easier for me to give myself permission to rest. Maybe, (and yes I know it would be unlikely) I would feel less guilty about all the things I just can’t do any more.
THE TAKE HOME MESSAGE
For those of us who celebrate Christmas, it’s the perfect time to gather our family and/or friends around us and not only make wishes that will result in a better world to live in, but to also ask ourselves how we can take steps to achieve them in our own sphere.
And of course, this sentiment holds true for whichever special days you recognize within your faith, spirituality or culture.
World peace and world forgiveness are such enormous concepts that they’re overwhelming. I can’t conceptualize how I can make a difference.But, I can make a difference close to home – however small, it will make a difference. Click To Tweet
And remember, it’s okay to make wishes that will directly better your own experience. For me, that’s wishing for a diagnosis, so that I can move forward with getting well.
If you have holiday wishes, I would love to hear them in the comments below.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays. I’m also wishing the best for you and your loved ones.
Enjoyed reading? Please share on your favourite social media sites 🙂