by: Martha Pasternack
Wow, can you believe it’s almost December already? For me the Winter Solstice is the day I most look forward to. I look forward to the other holidays too, however they still have a knack of bringing up many painful memories for me. So, I turn my attention to prayers for peace, kindness, and blessings for all people. I take the Winter Solstice’s promise that the sun will return and the days will become longer very seriously.
Some people dread the December holidays. I know that’s hard to believe unless, of course, you are one who dreads them. Pain that was numbed or ignored suddenly surfaces from the depths of emotion. Emotions like recent grief, unreconciled grief, anger, or sadness. Some people are acutely aware of the varied loss suffered in their lives and miss the people they once shared the holidays with. Some people are painfully detached from the spiritual significance of the holidays. Some people experience profound loneliness. December may herald feelings of depression, anxiety, and the pain of financial struggle and lack. The darkness of each day and the darkness of separation from those they love mingle and may become dreadful.
Those that are with family may dread the inevitable conflict, fighting, over-eating, over-drinking, and drunkenness. As innocent as the memories of last year are, when some relatives get together, family strife is “lit up like a Christmas tree”, a menorah, or the Solstice fire. Even the warmth of Kwanzaa can cause one to overheat with uncomfortable emotion.
Not the least of these dreaded events is the boredom felt by some. Some people are bored with the rituals, the same people, the same food, and singing the same old songs year after year. Whatever inspires the dread of the holidays, it usually declares itself as pain. Most of us dread pain. Believe it or not.
One of my greatest teachers about pain has recently been… my finger. (Stay with me now.) I cut my finger doing some menial housework. I ignored it, as is too often my way.
I had work to do.
I put a Band-Aid on it but it still got infected. And it hurt. I was wounded for sure. The whole universe became MY finger. The pain said “Hey look at me I need your attention. NOW!” So, I came into the present moment. I looked at my finger. I washed it carefully, making sure to clean the infection. I put some Neosporin on it and a new Band-Aid.
Then I kissed it like I used to kiss my children’s boo-boos. I kissed my sore finger. I kissed my pain. It now had what it needed to heal itself. And it did a great job too. That was physical pain and it got my attention.
Most, yet not all, of the pain people dread is emotional, especially around the December holidays. Emotional pain is often the experience that drives people to life coaching. They desperately seek relief from the pain and may feel helpless to figure out how to find that relief.
That is where coaches can help and support someone. When we engage in the coaching relationship and infuse the IAC Masteries into our coaching, we can empower the innate desire for healing within each of us. This is the metaphorical way we kiss our client’s emotional pain. We kiss with compassion, forgiveness, and tenderness. We support our clients to do the same for themselves. When we embrace our experience and give it a kiss, the wound can heal itself with time, nurturing, and more kisses, if need be.
Martha Pasternack MCC (IAC) www.CircleofLifeCoach.com My passion for witnessing the beauty and mystery of life, healthy healing and the promotion of Peace on Earth are integral to my daily life. I have been life coaching since 2004 as a Fearless Living Coach after working 30 years as a health care professional.