Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Honoring the Losses of 2013

December 21st marked the Winter Solstice, the gateway to our winter months here in the Northern Hemisphere. It's a time to go inside, build a fire, and reflect on where we've been and where we are in this moment. It's a time to start thinking about our direction for the new year.

For many of us, 2013 brought moments of joy, but also moments of great sorrow and loss. Whether you lost a loved one, pet, relationship, home, job, or dream, you're probably feeling it again right now, as the holidays and winter conditions bring feelings and memories of the past to the surface to be reviewed, and hopefully released or worked through.

For me, the holidays always evoke feelings of gratitude for what I have and, at the same time, deep sadness and discomfort about what others lack. Our personal losses are real, and not to be dismissed, but when we look out into the world and see the losses (and suffering) of so many others, it can feel overwhelming.

This week, I invite you to be gentle with yourself and others. Let your feelings be there without repressing them or overreacting to them. Light a candle of remembrance for the people or things you've lost this year. Get plenty of rest. Be kind to yourself and your family. Be charitable to those in need. And remember that love is the greatest gift you can give or receive.

I wish you peace now and in the new year.