So went the lyrics of the Eagles song I had cranked as I poured my first coffee this morning.
After changing plans due to weather I crawled back under my covers and settled in between my mass of duvet and fluffy pillows. I starred out at my tiny piece of the snow-covered urban wilderness.
“Thursday already,” I thought to myself with a sigh. My week off is almost over. I decided I’d lay in just a while longer and watch the white tree boughs brighten as the sun rose. Willie Nelson was already stretched out in his watch position, letting me know that all was right outside the window and that I was safe from threat of intruders. “Good old Willie Nelson,” I smiled, and let my eyes close.
Our little corner of the world is a happy place. Sure, there’s the stress and demands of every day living, but I’ve been really good at keeping any nonsense at bay, and it’s something that I’m glad that I did.
As I indulged in the soft warmth of my bed, I listened to those song lyrics and thought about anger, disappointment, love and wisdom. Discernment as you know my darlings, has been front and center for me and has pushed my girl-brain into overdrive.
Anger, for a woman is something that’s not ok. We’re supposed to be gentle, smile, and be mothering. So, quite often an angry woman is not seen as feminine at all, but an abomination of all that is sugar, spice and everything nice.
Every time I’ve been angry, it’s been because I’ve been hurt, felt rejected, or disappointed in love. Not necessarily glass-slipper love, but love in general; friendship, romance or collegial respect.
So what does this have to do with Christmas? Well, sometimes holidays get muddled up in what we think should be happening, who we think we should be spending time with, and giving or receiving the gifts that should be under the tree. It’s when those should-be’s don’t happen we feel hurt and angry, and that is the hole that we put into the season of Christmas.
Yah, you read that right – you put it there. I put it there. We put it there. Sometimes we do such a good job of it, it should come wrapped in shiny paper and a beautiful bow so that we’re forced to open it and stare our disappointment down. We’d all open a beautiful package with grand expectations (mine would be a tiny blue Tiffany box by the way), and then we’d be wounded when it was empty. Empty! Empty? Yes – empty. Odd isn’t it? It would be empty. Because it’s not real. Because it’s a figment of our fucked-up imaginations and social subconscience.
Christmas is a season of giving, a season of light, a season of slumber and contemplation. I wrote about waiting, hope, endings and beginnings last year as the season of Advent started. Light and giving sound great right? Well, slumber and contemplation can be cozy, but they can be uncomfortable too. But I’m convinced that it’s in those moments of discomfort that we choose to grow or let the expectations we never grew out of turn us into some kind of jerk.
Drop the should if you can. Just let them go. Enjoy what you truly enjoy, embrace the friendships that keep you sane, and toast the things that your wise discernment has help you cast aside. If you haven’t begun to think about the wisdom of discernment, maybe contemplation can be your gift to yourself this Christmas.