It’s The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year..
Live Meaningfully – By Ayesha G. Shenk, M.A.
Welcome, December… The last month of what has been the longest, strangest year of our lives. I don’t believe any of us could have predicted all that 2020 has presented. The fear, the doubt, the trial, the gifts, the depth. We’ve spent almost nine months in a reimagined reality, juggling needs, demands, anxieties and adjustments within a new world order. From Covid-19 to the election – life continues to keep us on our toes and nothing is quite as simple as we’ve taken it for granted to be in the past.
No matter your perspective or opinion on the world or all of the new challenges among us, we have been stretched. As a nation, as a people, as fathers/mothers/daughters/sons/sisters/brothers. We have been asked to reach deep into a reservoir that we are not always certain exists.
But December has always promised Magic. From sleighbells to celebrations, there’s something sparkly and special about a month so steeped in tradition and promise. This December will be challenging for many; we have loved and lost much this year. But I’d like to believe no challenge is too great for the mystery and magic we have come to create throughout the holidays.
This year’s holiday season offers an even greater opportunity to double down on the milk of human kindness. Maybe the magic for someone this year is that which you create for them. Maybe, if we can stretch a little bit beyond what our familiar tendencies have been, we can rise to an even higher stakes achievement. I’m not talking about securing the hottest new gadget or ‘it’ gift. I’m encouraging you to find the best in yourselves and giving the most to another. Whether time, talent or treasure is yours in abundance – share it. Make this holiday season so full of your natural gifts that those under the tree offer no competition. Share a kind word, an open door, a hearty laugh, or a good deed unnoticed. Return the shopping cart, tip generously, play secret Santa, do the chore you’ve seen gone ‘undone’ day in and day out. Love abundantly and without expectation.
Covid-19 presents difficulties in engaging in many of our normal traditions… so make new ones. Be the anonymous best version of yourself for someone else and pay it forward. You will be shocked by how full the season feels in your own home and heart.
*On a personal note, I’ll be honest – it’s been a hard year. I lost my father and my best friend is deep in a heartbreaking battle with a beastly cancer. I have loved and lost a lot and my heart has broken more than once. I am hurting for her and for me in so many ways… But time stands for no one and I am looking to experience and create the magic of the season as much as anyone. We all need it so very much this year.
I share all of this because I feel committed to being honest about how hard life can be
sometimes. It can break your heart and leave you feeling broken and bruised. I have no intention of presenting a Pollyanna outlook as a way to ice over hard things. We have to honor those hard things and grow from them, not despite them. I know it’s hard. I know it intimately – but I also know it’s beautiful and it’s full of miracles and heroism. Even on the darkest days, we can find the light. And when we can’t, we must be it…
From my home to yours, I wish you a truly magical December. I wish you light and love and the things that fill your heart and your home and bring a smile to your children’s faces. I wish you more of what it means to be human and connected and true.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and may 2021 bring us all the healing and hope our hearts crave.
Till the next time,
Be Well; Live Meaningfully.
Ayesha G. Shenk, M.A. practices at 2150 Park Avenue North as a Licensed Mental Health Counselor and can be reached at www.livemeaningfully.net or 407-796-2959.