The countdown has begun.
Has it not ?
Lights are going up in our towns.
Music is alreday filling the air.
Adverts persuade us to buy the lastest.
Looking forward with anticipation ?
Looking back with painful memories ?
For some it will be a time of excitement.
For others it just raises anxiety and stress.
In any crowd there is a sense of loneliness.
There will be those for whom Christmas just brings back dark memories.
Perhaps a breakdown in a relationship.
The break up of the family.
The loss of a loved one.
The loss of status.
The loss of a job.
As the time approaches so the anxiety and stresses increase.
The thought of being with relations ... but...
the fall out still remains.
Anxious about getting things ready .. perhaps it will be different this year ?
Stressed out because this is meant to be a happy time .
Meant to be ?
But the Christmas story is about a journey.
A journey with unknowns and with uncertainties.
A story about hardship in a crowded town.
About knock downs and rejection.
Trying to make the best of the situation was not easy.
The story shows the kindness and compassion....
of a complete stranger
The innkeeper. who offered all that he had left.....
a safe place ... a shelter..
Perhaps the image of a child shows our own vulnerability in the world.
Our dependence on others.
It reveals aspect of of our human needs ..trust, care, compassion, security, safety, protection and positivity.
As children we come into the world and we are shaped by the world in which we live.
As adults our map of the world may be radically different.
Perhaps we can't trust ... because we've been hurt in the past.
We don't care ... because others don't seem to care for us.
We don't feel safe .. because someone let us down.
We don't feel positive because we are criticised all the time.
But for the rest of the year we muddle through somehow.
It's Christmastime once again.
The old anxieties begin to rise and the stresses increase.
We just allow this to continue again ... and .. again.
Perhaps now is the time to reflect on what specifically is the issue which causes that anxiety or stress.
On our journey through life we may need our own innkeeper... a person as yet unknown to us... to help us and to guide us.
Happy Christmas ?
Or not .
Maybe it's time
Maybe it's the right time to talk.... about the specific issue or issues that cause you anxiety and stress.
Maybe it's time to learn new strategies.
You have a choice...
which is good .. is it not?
You can continue as you are
do something about it.
A healthier christmas ?
It is possible.
That's up to you.