I write this on 25th Dec, which is both a Christian and Pagan holiday. Question: what does this day mean to me?
Two children, sisters, will spend today as much as they can trying to forge a special day of memories with their parents. They spared a moment to send me best wishes for this day, hoping it would be a happy one. This will be the last xmas day these sisters will spend with their mother, who is in the final stages of terminal cancer.
I lost a friend a couple of weeks ago when a health condition suddenly turned for the worse. I did not go to their funeral, as I did not want my last memory of them to be one of them dead in a wooden box. The treasure I carry with me of my friend are the memories of the happy moments we had together, and this is how I will remember them.
Today, I will celebrate 25th Dec alone. There will be no family or friends to go to today. I live in a shared house, so I won’t exactly be on my own. But, I am happy and stress free from having no social demands upon my life today. I can do as I please, and I get to spend alone time on me.
Without the distractions of other people, I get the chance to reflect upon questions such as what Dec 25th means to me. I consider this day to be a celebration of life. Add to this celebration the qualities of empathy and compassion, this is what this day means to me.
I remembered the house plants: I watered them; I gave one access to sunlight. I remembered the birds: I put food out for them; I gave them clean water. I remembered the nesting mice: I shared the bird food with them. I rememberd my house mates: I did a tidy up of my house. I remembered my community: there is some cleaning I have to do in the street. I remembered my own body: I have done things that contributed to the health of my body.
People get caught up in the rollercoaster of social events on 25th Dec: from start to finish it becomes a time of stress; argument; excess and exhaustion. These sort of experiences are the definition of hell to me.
If you slow down. If you think about others. If you spend time on this day on looking after your body, mind and emotions. It becomes something of a good happy experience.
Also, all the positive things you do today, can be done every day. Dec 25th does not have to be the one day of special experiences of life, empathy and compassion; but the day where you marked the start of doing this every day of the year. And you can begin this process any day of the year.
The great thing about Dec 25th is that a large amount of the distractions vanish for me. I get few calls. All the shops are closed. It is the one day of the year when I can focus on me without distractions. To have no social demands today is bliss. All the little things I do today on me and on others is the celebration of life, empathy and compassion.