Hello Darkness

caveI used to think there was something wrong with me, especially at this time of year. I’ve always felt uncomfortable and out-of-sync with the festive season. I thought it was because I was somehow off, depressed, ill-at-ease, and unsociable... that it was somehow my fault, my failing. My favourite song this time of year: Joni Mitchell’s “I wish I had a river I could skate away on,” but it's been hard to figure out a way to let myself do just that.

If you're like me, it's difficult finding a way to participate in holiday celebrations that honours what I need at this time of year, which is mainly a lot of solitude and quiet. In the past, I would often get sick around this time of year (as my body’s only way out?), grouchy, and sleep a lot. I always thought it was me, that I was somehow festively defective. But now I know better… and I know that there are more and more of us who don’t feel in-sync with the way the dominant culture celebrates at this time of year.

So, this goes out to all of you…

To all of you who are feeling ill-at-ease, not-good-enough, and out-of-sync right now.

To all of you who want to press pause on the frenetic push of this season.

To all of you who are feeling excluded.

To all of you who are feeling broken-hearted, lonely, in pain, grieving, or just too tired to fake it anymore.

To all of you who are feeling an inescapable dissonance between social expectations and your emotional truth right now.

To all of you who are trying and failing and trying again to stand up to soul-shattering consumerism, social injustice, environmental destruction, not-good-enough-perfectionism, or heart-numbing-escapism.

To all of you who just want to curl up with and befriend the darkness you’re feeling inside and out.

I am with you. There is nothing wrong with you. Your feelings are valid, healthy, and worth honouring. Your body is in sync with nature’s rhythms, your heart is open, and you belong.

May we all find a way to honour ourselves, others, nature's wisdom, and this frantic world we live in in a way that feels just right in these darkest days of the year, and may we be gentle with ourselves and others as we do so.