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Spirit of Christmas

image from http://www.josephinewall.co.uk “Snow Flake” #spirit of Christmas

“Christmas, when observed with the right spirit, still has the power to call miracles from Heaven to Earth.”
Richelle E. Goodrich,   Smile Anyway

Spirit of Christmas

I’ve let myself down this year. More than this I’ve let everyone else down. I lost the spirit of Christmas.  After meditating for a long time to gain some perspective, some equanimity to look at everything I’ve made some remarkable discoveries.

  • As well as an existing back/neck problem which has seen me ‘confined’ for long periods I finally discovered:
  • I have Lyme disease and a host of companion diseases to confront.
  • From being “flat on my back” from the injury now I’m “flat on my back” from the medication, most of the time
  • I have been challenged to re-define my approach to the spirit of Christmas
Spirit of Christmas

image from caixinhadepirlimpimpim.blogspot.com

I found that I had allowed my existing beliefs about who and what I am, my beliefs about “how” Christmas should be and my role in it, the very spirit of Christmas, to push me into a position where I was severely depressed because I could not meet these expectations. What was more devastating was that I allowed this to almost ruin Christmas this year.

Spirit of Christmas

image from http://www.superstock.co Remember – if you were naughty you got coal in your stocking?

I have found, with the help and support from my husband and some very dear friends that this does not have to be my reality at all. The spirit of Christmas which is so important to me is still alive within me. Whilst this may sound such a simple thing it is, in itself, incredibly profound.  Anything which alters your perception in such a manner is life changing, if you allow it to be.

I found:

  • I have pain, at times intense and unremitting pain, but it does not define me, it is not ME
  • I have some nasty bugs running my internal programs but they do not define me, they are not ME
  • The lack of support for the spirit of Christmas I have always held as a family tradition is not defined by the presence of others, they are not ME

Most importantly I have found that:

  • I am a unique spiritual being having a human existence, my spirituality is not affected by any pain I might suffer, I am ME
  • My unique spiritual  being is not the zillion bugs attacking my human body because I am ME     and
  • It is my spiritual being which creates the magic, joy and belief in the Spirit of Christmas because I am ME

Such a simple and profound statement: I am ME.

Knowing who and what you are, is something which people search for their entire life. I have not found the full scope of Who, and What I Am, but I am content that I have found the ME who is here, right now.

I have always known and accepted I was a “work in progress” since that is the purpose of my spiritual presence here. I simply forgot that changes in the lives around me, which affected my own life, did not change my purpose. I had to learn how to adapt to those changes, to learn something new perhaps, but I retained the essence of who I am. I can retain the spirit of Christmas within me.

I am so grateful that this incredible appreciation has arrived now.  I have been struggling with my meditation but today I found it was there all along.  I have welcomed it back with so much happiness that it feels as though a great light has been re-lit and a beacon now shines in the place of the darkness the depression had enveloped me in.

Spirit of Christmas
“Beacon of Light” walking into sunshine  Spirit of Christmas
  • I am celebrating Christmas Day with my husband, our first alone together and it is going to be uniquely special because we are together.
  • I am celebrating Boxing Day with my son and his girlfriend, a first, which is another uniquely special occasion.
  • I will see my daughter when I can before New Year’s Eve, and I am grateful I can see her then. Whilst she cannot be here “at Christmas” she is here in spirit, in my heart, which is all I need at the moment.
  • Most importantly, my parents, Mum and Dad, will be here in spirit. I miss them more each year but I now know, beyond any doubt, that they will be with me as I sit at my dinner table with my husband eating our Christmas dinner.
  • In all of these and many more the spirit of Christmas I rejoice in is alive and well within me.

It may be the first time I have been ‘alone’ on Christmas Day but it will also be the first time that I have been able to put aside the crushing loneliness their absence brought – even if it is just a little. It makes it a little easier not to have my family physically with me at Christmas when I have always believed that family and the spirit of Christmas were synonymous with each other. I have no idea when or why that changed but since it has and I cannot turn back the clock, I have to “move with the times”.

As the saying goes, “life goes on”, and it does, whether we will it so or not. Whether it hurts or not, life always goes on. It is a spiritual lesson our human selves must accept. When we do, life isn’t as bad, even if just by a little.

Whilst my family may be moving in other directions, as their lives change, then so has mine. Now I have a wonderful and loving husband who spoils me, not just on Christmas Day but every day. As our love grows it encompasses all the changes which occur.  Our spirit of Christmas is alive and growing each year.

Spirit of Christmas

image from twu.ca

When we recall Christmas past, we usually find that the simplest things – not the great occasions – give off the greatest glow of happiness.”
Bob Hope

When so much seemed to have been taken away I looked and saw that I have so much to be grateful for, a family who are strong and capable individuals, who care enough to want to be around, and a husband whose love will wrap me round and always keep me safe and warm.

The Spirit of Christmas – what a wonderful thing to be grateful for,  I know I am. I hope you are too!

Blessings for a wonderful Christmas with the Spirit of Christmas alive in your own hearts.

Merry Christmas,  Susan x

© Susan Jamieson, 2013

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Christmas Calling

image from
josephine-wall-fantasy-paintings.co.uk

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful. ”
― Norman Vincent Peale

~

“I know what I really want for Christmas.
I want my childhood back.
Nobody is going to give me that. I might give at least the memory of it to myself if I try. I know it doesn’t make sense, but since when is Christmas about sense, anyway? It is about a child, of long ago and far away, and it is about the child of now. In you and me. Waiting behind the door of or hearts for something wonderful to happen. A child who is impractical, unrealistic, simpleminded and terribly vulnerable to joy.”
― Robert Fulghum, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

~

The Christmas of times past seems to have vanished like the snow from my door. Snow is never likely to fall in front of my door again, but it really has only a small part to play in the changes in Christmas. I would that I could offer everyone the intense joy and happiness I knew with each and every Christmas. The fact that it has changed for me is a matter of great dismay. The fact that it has changed for so many others is daunting.

As a child I knew so much happiness and excitement as Christmas drew close. It wasn’t for the fact that the stores were filled with toys and lollies and Christmas decorations. It was for the joy and wonder my parents and grandparents created each day leading up to Christmas day. I was fortunate that the shops didn’t put out the decorations, cards and toys until much closer to Christmas. The unique ‘specialness’ of Christmas had not been inundated with the bombardment of the commercialism of Christmas. It yet held that special air of magic. The pleasure of a nativity calendar!

I remember one year, being so convinced that my parents had to be helping Santa by hiding our gifts somewhere at home. After all he couldn’t really get them all round the world to every boy and girl on Christmas Eve, could he? I searched the house from top to bottom (I was very excited). I found nothing of course. My parents knew me well – they had hidden everything at my Nanny’s since she lived next door. It was a thrilling time none the less.

I remember when I was old enough to start sending Christmas cards to my friends. It was a sign, an indication that I was getting older and able to understand the real meaning behind Christmas. It meant, to me at least, that Christmas was a time for family, and for friends, and more than that for everyone I met. It was a time to share happiness, even if it was only a smile or a card.

Christmas Calling

image from theearthconstitution.org

I remember when my children were born and the excitement I felt when I gave them cards and gifts. I remember the fun we had as we made up Christmas hampers for the Salvos and for the RSPCA.  I remember with a sigh, when they too became old enough to want to give their friends Christmas cards.  Yet, in what feels like a few short years later the world itself has changed. Somehow, Christmas has lost some of its magic and sparkle and we are the poorer for it.

People  no longer want to send cards, if you are very fortunate you might get an e card. I haven’t yet found a way to hang it up though. What does that card mean? To me it meant that I cared about the person I was sending it to; I was thinking about them even if I couldn’t see or speak with them on Christmas day – or perhaps over the few days of Christmas. So a card, especially when money was tight, was a true gift of the heart to say…I miss you and I wish you all the best and that you were here. We made cards which held a stronger magic of love.

The other day I heard someone refer to themselves as an orphan and having an ‘Orphan Christmas’ because their parents had divorced. I felt so saddened by that. I thought of all the children who have never had parents, are living on the streets, or whose parents have passed away and therefore cannot have any part of the physical Christmas with them. I understand, I think, what they meant, but I couldn’t stop the tears forming, as I thought of the fact that my parents were no longer here, my brothers not speaking with me and my children unable to visit this year. I was selfish, I know, but the words hit like a barb bringing all the other barbs to play.

What hit the hardest was knowing that this move from giving Christmas cards means that I don’t even have the joy of a card to say – Yes, they are thinking of me. There is a part of them here too. Of course, they are in my heart, but I have to wonder why people are so reluctant to spend a few dollars sending a card.  What has happened to the feeling and magic of Christmas?

Oh, I know, its expensive sending cards today, and if you are giving someone a gift why spend a few extra dollars on a card? Better yet, why send a card when the postage costs more than the card? Perhaps it’s the thought, why send a card at all, we don’t see or hear from them most of the year? Somehow this just sounds like excuses or miserly thinking. (To me). The Christmas Spirit seems to be vanishing, or has the Christmas Grinch caught up with most people?

I am often heard wishing for snow at Christmas, the feel of the crisp air and the crunch of snow underfoot. The robins and tinsel, mistletoe and fairy lights. My mother’s fantastic Christmas tree decorated, which eclipse mine to this day, I can never see again, except in my memory. The paper decorations we all made as children – do you remember the strips of coloured paper, we glued one end to make a circle, then added more? Paper chains, we had a houseful one year. 🙂  I have beautiful cross stitch ornaments and sequin balls made at school by my children. Yet there is a hollow feeling in my heart. The Christmas magic is being stolen.

If I was allowed only one Christmas wish I would give it to –  all of you. I would wish you; a Christmas filled with joy and magic, the excitement of family or friends, or someone who cared, to make your Christmas special. If I could I would make sure that everyone received at least one Christmas card, with wishes for a safe and happy Christmas, filled with love and that you would all return safe and sound in the New Year.  

~

Wherever you are, my wish is that you receive the joy and magic from my heart to yours. That you feel the love and happiness of Christmas, of time shared however briefly together.

~

This, is my Christmas Calling to You.

~

Blessings, Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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Being Thankful

image from sunni-survivinglife.blogspot.com – #Being Thankful

Being thankful isn’t always easy

In fact sometimes it’s downright hard

But the evangelists tell me it’s all just an attitude

Well, Grammy Jen tells me I have an attitude

And what’s more I should just get rid of it

So I’m a might confused about what I should do

~

Like yesterday

Momma told me to get to the wash

And I pounded and pounded to get Tommy’s jeans clean

That basket was like to tear my arms from my shoulders

But right in the middle of the yard

Little Bobby went scooting past on his wagon

I got my feet all tangled and down went the wash

All over that dirt yard

And I started to tremble something fierce

~

Momma whooped me plenty for being so careless

And I had to pound those clothes extra hard this time

Every time I pounded those clothes

I pretended I was pounding some gratitude in there

It helped take my mind off the whooping

But it didn’t make me feel any better

~

Later when I was helping Momma with dinner

Tommy told her I tore his jeans

He only has one good pair cos he’s always tearing them

So she whooped me some more with the big old spoon

For being so careless with Tommy’s jeans

I know it wasn’t Christian like but I snuck a bug

On his plate of squirrel stew

He never noticed and I figured God would understand

It’s sure hard to be thankful when it seems like it’s always my fault

Being Thankful

image from dougsploitation.blogspot.com #BeingThankful

~

I figure if I keep being thankful

Even when it’s always my fault

Maybe eventually all my daily ‘ thankfulness’

Might fill the biggest old barn around

And then instead of all that whooping

I might get a barrel full of hugging

To make it all worthwhile

~

But Grammy says it don’t work like that

She says, “Girl just fill yourself with gratitude,

Don’t worry about all that attitude,

God’s watching all we’re doing, and girl you’re doing just fine,

So go on now and sneak down to the river and play

Momma’s gone for the rest of the day.

And Tommy’s out after squirrels,

I’ll look after little Bobby and today we’ll both

Get our fill of thankful and gratitude

And I’ll see that sweet smile of yours for a while”

~

So I ran down to the river and swam for hours and hours,

Lay on the grass and watched the angels in the clouds

And I could feel all that thankful and gratitude Granny told me of

And I knew that everything was going to be alright

Because I could see my road stretching far away

On God’s beautiful highway.

Being Thankful

image from forums.vwvortex.com – Seward Highway, AK       #BeingThankful

 “Life without thankfulness is devoid of love and passion. Hope without thankfulness is lacking in fine perception. Faith without thankfulness lacks strength and fortitude. Every virtue divorced from thankfulness is maimed and limps along the spiritual road.”
― John Henry Jowett

Thankfulness and gratitude are used almost interchangeably. For those things we are giving thanks for, we are expressing our gratitude for. There is no need to become bogged down in the correct terminology, if we are looking at life, at our day and being grateful or thankful for the good things which happen, then we are doing all the right things to make our world a better place.

Focus on the good things, no matter how small and more of those good things are magnetised towards us and life can become a wondrous place. It’s that easy – just remember that like attracts like.

May your days be filled with thankfulness and gratitude.

Blessings,  Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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Falling Softly

Like spring raindrops

Slowly trickling

Ever downwards

To the faint beat

The pulse of life

Always with gentle heat

The beat that’s all life

Slowly etched

In widening caverns

Like Tears of Acid Rain

Dreams unspoken

Love gave no token

By growing isolation

Rejection

Raindrops of blood

Acid etched by sorrow

Never more tomorrow

Alone

Tears of Acid Rain

Tears of Acid Rain

image from bleeding_eye_by_flauschvampire91

Ciao, Susan

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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I looked with eyes of wonder

Wide with delight and awe

At all the new discoveries I made

With the start of each new dawn

Love and light surrounded me

Kept me safe and warm by turns

I learnt the ways of life and love

Through my parents eyes, hearts and hands

A childhood filled with glee and wonder

I’d live through it all once again.

As time slipped by my eyes grew round

With amazement, glee, then shock and horror

As life in all its intricacies

Bright Eyes

image from angiesdiary.com

Was laid bare before my feet

The chaos, hurt and cruelty

A police woman’s eyes must see

Yet love remained in sheltered places

In the eyes of sweet-smelling babes

Whose lives I cherished and nurtured

Through their own discovering years

Time slips by so swiftly

And eyes see more and more

Love sometimes leaves more scars behind

Than joy and laughter have been made.

Eyes grow wearied and tired

As pain and loneliness soar

And parents whose place is untarnished

Bright Eyes

Mum and Dad

Leave holes in your life as they go

Loneliness settles deep,

In heart and bone and soul

A bystander you find you’ve become

As your children take up adults reins

Then, without thought or warning

A miracle arrives beside you

In a pair of bright, loving hazel eyes

A life once thought lost and desiccated

Now blooms anew like youth

As loves great power enfolds them

And their garden, their life, flowers anew.

Bright Eyes

Beautiful Butterfly

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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“There is nothing I would not do for those who are really my friends. I have no notion of loving people by halves, it is not my nature.”   ― Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

A strange thing happened to me tonight as I read through the blogs I follow on my reader.  Someone I have come to know very well, and for whom I have the greatest admiration for, was obviously having a very hard time. In fact, as I was reading this post my husband walked in to find tears streaming down my face. At that moment, at trying to explain what ‘was wrong,’ I came to a startling realisation.

For the first time in many long years I have found, here in cyberspace, on Word Press, a group of people who have become friends. In fact they are very dear friends, and this has happened without my being consciously aware of it. The realisation was, for me, quite momentous. I have spent the better part of my adult life without friends.

There had been several reasons. My ex was a police officer and many people find that confronting. They were polite, to a point, but really didn’t want to socialise. Then there were those who wanted to believe the worst of any police officer, and his family, during the Fitzgerald Corruption hearings, and as you can imagine some very cruel things were said. He had a phobia about retiring and finding he was penniless and so everything we had earned whilst working went into our home and investments. We owned our home but our family life had been – somewhat lacking. Holidays were something we dreamed of as everyone went away over the summer holidays.

Still, they couldn’t know this but it was said that ‘he must be corrupt because we owned our home’. Cruel, senseless and divisive. It was needlessly cruel towards our children and for that I despised, with a fierce intensity, those people. Then later there were those people who had professed to be friends and evaporated like a summer breeze the moment my ex husband and I separated. It felt like I had contracted some unknown contagion and I felt more isolated than ever.

“When you have nobody you can make a cup of tea for, when nobody needs you, that’s when I think life is over.”    ― Audrey Hepburn

I was asked recently when I had built a wall around myself. It took a while for me to follow the thought back, inside myself, and to realise when it had begun. This protection mechanism to prevent the feelings of hurt and rejection. I had an image to protect, that of the competent no-nonsense individual who could do anything, despite the difficulties. It was a persona which had developed over many years and for those who have read my posts about Voice Dialogue and Sub Personalities you will recognise this was “The Protector”.

However, I have moved on and against the odds I have met and married a wonderful caring man, someone who takes the time to understand the complexities of my nature. I am daily grateful for this miracle. Yet he has also done more than allow me to love freely again. He has allowed that shield I erected to start to come down. I have extended myself to others and been accepted. I have found people who are genuine, who wish me well and whom I have come to care for deeply. Should anything happen to these people I would feel all the grief one would normally feel at the loss of a close friend or family member.

Friendship

image from http://www.hbdragon.com     Lives entwined.

This may seem like a small thing for some. It may seem trite to others. Yet I have learned that friendship is one of the most important things we can give to each other. The knowledge that we need not put on a face to shield how we feel from them and that they will still offer support, an ear to hear you or kind words to help you knit those fraying emotions together again. It means, very simply, that no-one need ever feel alone because feeling alone, feeling isolated and misunderstood is corrosive to our hearts and souls. Our spirit is damaged by the isolation from other spirits, from other spirits in human form as we are here on earth.

So, to all those who I have come to value through my interaction with you, I offer you my friendship, a delight in your creativity, an empathy in your difficult times, and a joy in your happiness. As much as people crave love, friendship is the glue to make or lives a glowing beacon.

I wish everyone, true friendship, and my heartfelt thanks for allowing me to reclaim this wonderful feeling. Thank you.

Friendship

image from quotes.lifehack.org

Be well, be supported, receive friendship and happiness, and smile at least once a day.

Ciao, Susan x

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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image from spirit_elements-www-josephinewall-co.uk

image from spirit_elements-www-josephinewall-co.uk

Recollections of that Christmas are strange, some vague and others thrown into stark relief. At times I felt alone in a darkness so profound I wondered if I would ever emerge again. I can remember desperately wanting to make it as happy and carefree as possible, easy and light, a remembrance of all the beautiful Christmas’ we had spent together. Above all it had to be as far removed from the reality of the situation as possible.  Despite the strain in Mum’s face, she was happy. Her family were around her and the love was overflowing. It was all I could have asked for. I was grateful my prayers were answered.

As though Christmas had never occurred it was back to ‘normal’ as soon as the New Year came around.  Hubby had spent plenty of time fuming over my response and as a result I wasn’t too surprised when, early in the new year, he advised me he wasn’t interested in trying to make a go of things, he wanted a divorce. It was a bad move on his part. I had a strong feeling that I should move and quickly. I haven’t felt such an urging before so I did exactly as he asked. As soon as the courts opened for business in the new year I went in, filled out the paperwork and less than three months later it was all over. He got his divorce finalised (the decree nisi) on his birthday. It wasn’t planned that way by me, but I have a feeling Spirit, and of course Dad had a lot to do with the speed of things. I had more important things on my mind. The darkness was drawing in. I also decided to change my name – I needed to sever the ties to him completely.

In early March Mum was rushed back into hospital and we, at least I, had been told that she wouldn’t be going home again. She hated the hospital and couldn’t rest. I was called earlier each day because she was calling for me, so I was there from 5am or earlier until 7pm when my brothers arrived for their hour-long visit! All day I made sure she received her morphine shots to ease the pain.  When they wore off during the night she was too ‘out of it’ to ask for more. My brothers thought she was doing okay because they only saw her after a day with regular pain shots. She was alert and pain free for their short visit. They refused to accept how dire the situation was. Several falls from bed and very nasty injuries and the hospital talked hospice. Mum was terrified since, even in her muddled state, she was aware what it meant. She wouldn’t be going home. It was prophetic that she had always said she would die in a hospital and that had made her more concerned about hospital visits during her life.

image from blog.iloveqatar.net

I was taking some enormous risks. I wasn’t sleeping, hardly eating and began having strange ‘black outs’ as I was driving to the hospital. At 120km/hr it was scary, and yes I was exceeding the speed limit.  They had begun when she was at home but I wasn’t going to say anything. She needed me with her. I was the one who bathed her and changed her clothes, helped her into and out of bed. I held her hand and prayed as I sent Reiki into her frail body. I think by then I had stopped thinking about anything else. I had to be there.

The day I was informed she was being transferred to the hospice was horrendous. I had been there again since 4am after she had fallen from bed and had seriously hurt her arm. It was heart wrenching to see the nurses try to dress the wounds, finally admitting when they couldn’t remove the dressings that it didn’t matter if they were changed.  My universe was collapsing.

The day was a nightmare.  The ambulance transfer was a trip from hell. Once we reached the hospice I helped get Mum changed and into her new bed. She curled up and “went to sleep.” I continued to give her Reiki until my brothers began to arrive.  They arrived around 7pm. After a half an hour they decided to leave since Mum was obviously “asleep”. My gut told me to stay. My car was back at the other hospital. Despite knowing I shouldn’t leave I allowed myself to be persuaded to go to my car and go home. Something inside screamed at me to stay, but out numbered and feeling cornered I felt I had no choice. I was so wrong and I can never forget that.

I debated, for the longest time, about going back to her, but I hadn’t seen my children and I was feeling drained. I arrived home as the phone began ringing. My mother had passed away ten minutes after I left her. I don’t remember the drive back, only coming back to myself when I arrived at the hospice as saw my brother there. I was angry. He had arrived first and had decided to sign all the paperwork. He didn’t want to stay at all. He didn’t want me to stay either, but he did want me to go back to Mum’s house with him  (where he was living) to talk about what ‘we’ had to do. A new nightmare was about to begin, one which would threaten to drown me.

image from bleeding_eye_by_flauschvampire91

image from bleeding_eye_by_flauschvampire91

That walk through Mum’s front door felt like a knife wrenching through my heart. Inside my head a scream reverberated. I wanted out! I wanted a little space to think! I needed to find something to hold onto! I was adrift in uncharted waters and I was drowning already. Somehow, some way, I had to find how to keep going and stay sane. I felt I was faced with a stacked deck, just how much that was true was to come to light soon enough.

.

Next week – A New Nightmare Begins.

© Susan Jamieson 2013

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