Day 39, To See What We Can See: Holiday Challenges

IMG_1419Journal page, watercolor, Cat Charissage, 2014

Dear Friends,

Today’s prompt is an elaboration and deepening of yesterday’s prompt.  I want to talk about challenging times, the addition of one stress on top of another until the bad effects of the stress are multiplied, and the importance of facing reality.

I could write a book on this (and hope to, sometime).  I want to encourage you today by reminding you that you need to keep in touch with your depths in order to be the person you want to be when challenging times and chronic personal challenges overlap.  These tend to overlap at holiday times, birthdays, illnesses, etc.

Many of us have some sort of chronic challenge in our lives.  For me, I live with chronic pain and need to manage several chronic illnesses.  They never go on holidays.  In addition, my spouse (sole wage earner) has lost his job.  Hopefully that’s a temporary, not chronic, challenge, but it’s certainly a challenge at the moment. Others of us have special needs children, or cancer, or family living in war zones.  And then others have the difficult mothers-in-law, or abusive members of the family who come with the territory at Christmas get-togethers.

Also, many of us have a mixed history with Christmas itself.  The “most wonderful time of the year” isn’t, because it’s filled with memories of very stressed or grief-filled previous Christmases.

Some people are able to fly to a Caribbean beach until, oh, about April. . . . but most of us will be right here, coping as best we can.

Today, to start, I’d like you to paint or sketch (or paste in a picture from a magazine) the image of a peaceful, prayerful woman who is in touch with the deepest parts of herself, in touch with the goodness in life.  Imagine what it would be like to feel that peace within the full acceptance of all that your life is, and holds, right now.  Today, assert the possibility that you can do this, be this, in solidarity with the rest of us who are doing this.  Today, you don’t have to solve any of the problems and challenges. Today, just make a little bit of time, and acknowledge, in image, this sinking into the depths of love and goodness.

Tomorrow we will look at some strategies to keep in our consciousness both realities at the same time:  the here-ness, the real-ness of the challenges, as well as the real-ness of staying in touch with the depths of goodness, acceptance, love.

With love,


Day 39 of a series of daily prompts for written, visual, or art journalling, or just for pondering.  For more background information, see the Intro page, or this post on visual journalling:

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s