Holiday Reflection

As we move through the winter solstice and the darkest time of a difficult year, so many of us are entering the holidays feeling a sense of disconnection. There is a collective heartache, and a longing for shalom, for restoration, and for deeper connections with ourselves, God, and each other.

As I have been reflecting on the Christmas season, and what is most needed to draw us into deeper connection, I’ve been reminding myself to keep the 4G’s in mind and heart and body (forgive the cheesy cell phone connection metaphor!)

GRIEF

There’s been so much loss in this year, like deaths and job losses, the killing of our Black brothers and sisters, distance from friends and loved ones, and some that are harder to name. Recent polls suggest that the majority of Americans are currently experiencing heightened anxiety and depression. Whatever difficulty you might be experiencing, whether large or small, allowing yourself to grieve it without shame, and reaching out to others in times of need is crucial. Grieving is healing and necessary, and leaning into grief makes space for something else, something better, to emerge on the other side.

GRACE

Part of the grief of this season is the division and rage and hurt that has emerged from a world divided, and part of it is recognizing how we, too, have contributed to the pain. When there is no easy fix, when there is confusion or misunderstandings, we would do well to remember the deep Grace that lives within us and all around us, the Grace that throws open its arms to all and welcomes us all to the table, no questions asked. May we extend that same grace to ourselves and especially to those around us who have caused us pain and hurt.

GOOD

Grace is deeply connected to what is good in our lives. Right now, soaking up every good gift, however large or small, and savoring it with gratitude can be intensely healing. Whether it be a walk to see Christmas lights, a sunset, a smile from a child or a stranger, or an actual gift, rooting into the good present in the here-and-now orients us to the greater Good. Especially when we are experiencing disconnection, reaching out in vulnerability reconnects us to those around us who may be struggling as well and magnifies the goodness of relationships.

GOD

No matter what we are facing, God is nearer than our breath. Taking a moment to breathe and remember God is with us, all of us, helps us to slow down and attend to God’s presence. The miracle of Jesus is Immanuel, God with us. May you perceive God’s nearness this season, in heart, mind, and soul.

Written by Lisa Kemble
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
RISE Therapy Center San Diego

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