“Every idiot who goes about with ‘Merry Christmas’ on his lips, should be boiled with his own pudding, and buried with a stake of holly through his heart. He should!” ― Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol
Now, don’t get me wrong; Christmas is great! The little sparkling lights, the nostalgy-inducing songs, the markets with all the cinnamon-y smells and hand-knitted sweaters, the adorably cheesy movies, the cheeky flashbacks to that wickedly wild Wham video; it’s all very brilliant!
Over our lives, we’ve been bombarded with enough Christmas propaganda to know that Christmas time stands for love, and peace, and family, and all things good and pretty. And though I’m betting that things are hardly ever as peaceful over family dinner preparations as we’d like them to be and though the statistics show that the holidays are also that time of year where many people’s sense of loneliness and depression sink to the bottom of the bottomless pits they feel they’re in…when it comes to war and peace, at Christmas we all lean towards peace don’t we?
The most extreme, and to me heart-breaking, example of this is ‘The Christmas Truce’ which was a series of (unofficial) ceasefires in World War 1 around Christmas 1914.
Wikipedia explains it as follows:
“In the week leading up to the holiday, French, German and British soldiers crossed trenches to exchange seasonal greetings and talk. In some areas, men from both sides ventured into no man’s land on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day to mingle and exchange food and souvenirs. There were joint burial ceremonies and prisoner swaps, while several meetings ended in carol-singing. Men played games of football with one another, giving one of the most memorable images of the truce.”
Can you imagine?
Seriously, close your eyes for a second and really step into the boots of those soldiers at the Western front.
Imagine how you would, rather tentatively I assume, stick your head up from the trench you’ve been hiding in for months, wave your white flag, and see that the enemy on the other side (the one that’s been throwing grenades and bullets at your head for the longest time now) is doing the same on their side. Can you then imagine stepping out of the trench and walking over to the no man’s land in the middle, shake hands, sing carols, and play some football?
And see how your so-called enemy is every bit as human as you are?
That they want to be home by their fireplaces, in their warm beds, and with their families too? That they also mourn over the brothers they’ve lost? That they want this f*cking war to be over as much as you do?
Can you imagine going through all that only to return to trying to kill one another the very next day?
How does that even make a little bit of sense? Sure, these men deserved a day off the living nightmare they were in…there’s no denying that… But how is it that they only deserved to do so on Christmas?
See, that’s why I’ve got personal beef with Christmas…
Peace is not supposed to be a 1-day movie-worthy phenomenon…peace should be an all-year, every-year normality.
[bctt tweet=”Seriously, how is peace not normal whilst war is?” username=”lindacoussement”]
But…despite our outrage, frustration, and the ample efforts of so many of us…2016 has not proven to be the year of world peace. Instead, this has been a year in which the little peace we assumed to have in the bag was disrupted and distorted in very upsetting and unsettling ways…
But let’s not go there now…let’s not exhaust ourselves with things that are out of our circle of influence. Let’s instead look at what we do have influence over, like the peace in the world that is our own head, heart, and life.
Here’s the question I would like you to ponder on:
What unnecessary war(s) are you still fighting in your life?
In other words, what is creating ‘unpeace’ in your life? What do you still consider to be ‘normal’ in your life even though it really isn’t?
That pretty much chronic cramp in your neck and shoulders that feels like you’ve been lugging around big ol’ jolly Santa on your back for the past year (though it’s obviously caused by too much stress for too long a time)…not normal.
That primal instinct to shout “Humbug!” at everyone you come across in the street…nah, not normal.
That sensation of a 1000 scary snakes wriggling in your stomach and the fact that it takes you weeks to muster up the courage every time you need to talk to your boss…dude, that’s sooo not normal!
The fact that you need to dodge a dozen pink elephants dancing in the room every time you’re trying to have a serious conversation with your partner…GOOD GOD (WO)MAN, THAT IS NOT NORMAL!
It’s not that I care for ‘normalcy’ all too much but seriously, it’s NOT okay to constantly feel friction, stress, anxiety, and fear in your life. Though they have perfectly valid reasons to be there on occasion (they are part of the human experience after all), they don’t have to be there ALL THE TIME.
Really, they don’t!
(Check out the workbook if you’re curious as to HOW to make that inner peace happen.)
Life will never be an endless string of lazy hazy summer days in which we happily skip through grassy meadows whilst playing harps and flutes…but that does not mean we can’t be at peace in the lives we do lead. The ones in the here and now. The ones that are occasionally messy and confusing. The ones that require money and food and come with all types of responsibilities.
We do, however, need to make the very conscious decision to make our own inner peace happen.
So how about…this Christmas…and every single day beyond it…we DON’T choose a temporary truce…
How about we, instead, DO pro-actively, choose ever-lasting peace…
How about that?
Are you with me?
“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future.” – Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol