I was just struck by something. Do you remember what it was like to be waiting, and waiting for Christmas? The sweet agony (or just agony) of not knowing what Santa would bring, and if it would be the thing you REALLY wanted? Oh the days dragged, and the excitement and tension in your belly ebbed and flowed–oh, the waves of anticipation!
Maybe you used to say “I want to go to sleep now and wake up at Christmas. I just want it to be here already!”
The magic and joy of Christmas is usually reflected and represented as a good feeling: anticipation, mystery, wonder, excitement, or curiosity. Yes, good things. As we can see, it may also be agonizing, fraught with impatience, ripe for the urge to speed through the discomfort, and the feeling of “I don’t know what I will get”, can be really anxiety producing. Regardless of this, we remember the JOY OF CHRISTMAS.
So lovelies, when did we decide that we needed to focus on the discomfort of not knowing, and save ourselves from waiting and wondering? When did we decide we could no longer bear the process of “things coming to be?’. What if…you could link into the joy of waiting, mystery and anticipation? What if…as an adult, our resiliency and ability to bear the joy of pain of the unknown is a beneficial skill, and the place we reclaim that, is inside our younger selves?
As adults, this “ability to bear”, keeps us from making rash decisions, lowers our tendency to be reactive, allows us to leave space for the mystery of the unknown. It also keeps us from pushing things through the birth canal while still premature. Like waiting for Christmas morning, some things are better bared. As a parent, it’s hard to see the “joy-torture” my kids experience, but we don’t end it by celebrating Christmas early, we bear it with them, and encourage them to recover to happiness and gratitude when they sway into grouchy impatience.
As a kid, I thought waiting for Christmas might kill me. As an adult, I know waiting doesn’t kill me, and the sweetness and wonder of anticipation–is just that, joy and sweetness. So while it may not be Christmas you are trying to be patient with, maybe it’s a business deal, a resolution to an ongoing concern or a budding relationship or occupation. If discomfort and impatience makes you push before it’s time–what can joy and sweetness propel you to do instead?
What if…the joy and mystery of Christmas is our first early lesson in bearing discomfort for the sake of the beauty and joy that will come next? What if…one of the gifts or Christmas is an opportunity to continue to grow our Emotional Agility?