By Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP
Most of us will agree that there is great upheaval in the world. It is the kind of upheaval that challenges us and tests us.
Much of the challenge and the test relate to how we can celebrate during the holiday season when there is so much struggle – whether in our own homes and hearts or on the other side of the planet, or both. Really bad things are happening, and they continue to happen, darkening not only the season but also shading the upcoming new year.
Folks, I’m with you on all of this. When I’m pulling out my Christmas treasures to decorate my tree and craft my packages, it’s hard to step into the place of being fully joyful. Although it’s true that many kindnesses abound in so many places, the sting of awareness -- which some people are calling “wokeness” -- reminds us that suffering is present.
Sometimes the suffering is loud and headline worthy, and sometimes it is quiet, even nearly invisible, but still present.
We notice that holiday season is a season of finding, honoring and keeping the light: From the wearing of candle-crowns of Swedish girls on St. Lucia Day, the eight candles of the Hanukkah menorah, the bonfires of the ancient Winter Solstice, the lights of Christmas, the candle lighting rituals of Kwanzaa to the fireworks of the new year, there is light.
And I think that it is no accident that Dec. 8 commemorates what is known as Bodhi Day, the anniversary of the day that The Buddha found enlightenment. That’s en-LIGHT-en-ment, may I point out.
Dr. Mary Pipher, the clinical psychologist and author of the new memoir A Life in Light: Meditations on Impermanence, wrote beautifully about light earlier this month in The New York Times.
In an article titled “Finding Light in Winter,” she writes:
“No matter how dark the days, we can find light in our own hearts, and we can be one another’s light.”
You may read the full article here.
On my holiday list this year, I notice that many of my gifts to friends and family are candles. So I suppose that I could say that I am bringing light, and I hope you will bring light too.
Wishing you to find the light, to spread the light, to be the light.
Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP, is a nationally board-certified practitioner of psychodrama, sociometry and group psychotherapy and the founder and director of the Lancaster School of Psychodrama and Experiential Psychotherapies in Lancaster, Pa. You may subscribe to Karen's e-letter here.
Karen Carnabucci, LCSW, TEP, is an author, trainer and psychotherapist who promotes, practices and teaches experiential methods including psychodrama, Family and Systemic Constellations, sand tray, mindfulness and Tarot imagery.