**Note to reader: this is not a post about my suffering LOL. It is simply an observation about life. maybe it will ring true to some folks...
The "meaning" of the season. What is it anyway? Gift giving? Running here and there? Prepping feasts and spending time with family and friends? Helping suffering cats to find the Rainbow Bridge? For me it was the latter. Long story short, most people suck and others (humans and animals) suffer for it.
It was during this whole sad affair though that some thoughts started forming in my head about how we ourselves make the season's meaning what it is. We have choices in that just as we have choices in life. I know people who insist on spending more than they have and doing more than they can so that "their kids will have Christmas" while others try desperately to instill something else in the minds and hearts of their own and beat back the piles of presents that grandparents and others heap upon the young. People decorate their houses like castles and then complain about the mess. They travel far and wide and then, exhausted, say they are honestly glad it is over for another year. These are all choices. Just like leaving your inside-only cat in a hostile environment to fend for itself is a choice...
So, I started this thought process about how our choices really form our daily lives and how in forming our daily lives that translates into a pattern and that pattern sort of starts to create that which we manifest overall. Now, sometimes the universe puts us in a place and then we make the choices but in the end, it is the choices that shape our souls, not the place the universe has put us in.
So, I have cried more in the past several days than I have in years. It all began with that cat but I think that mainly, I have been shedding some sort of worn and weathered inner skin that is made up of my own choices. The cat reminded me that there is most often no beauty or peace in death. I was first introduced to this concept by working for a veterinary clinic. It is our nature (human and other) to struggle to live. We fight for it even when we should let go. Animals do this too. It is natural. So, in watching the cat, I was reminded of this and prone to think about death in general.
Death of youth, death of innocence, of hopes and dreams, of plans, of trust, of relationships, of almost anything that creates a transition in our lives is in some way a painful struggle. Remember that in the Tarot the card of Death is not about death per say, but about transition, often painful. Even when we do what is right or best or needed that doesn't mean it isn't excruciating.
Am I shaping my soul with my choices? Most certainly. What do I hope for it to reflect? Spirit, patience, kindness, healing, hope, joy, peace... As I think about those words and think about them manifesting in my life I am keenly aware that many of my choices will need to shift in order to accommodate them. My mom sent me a Christmas card that applauded my unique approach to life and the world, my "differentness" so to speak. And while I do wear it like a badge of honor I tend to go out into the world everyday looking for a fight, a struggle, with my guard up and my sword close at hand. This has been my choice and although I do it for armor I do not think it has protected me from hurt. It has certainly, most likely, kept me from manifesting some of the attributes I hope for my soul to reflect. Interesting, isn't it? Again, choices.
So the meaning of the season seems to be reflection for me. And the acknowledgement of choice and all of the suffering, sadness, tears, struggle, truth, growth and continual change that it brings.
Trying to live well in every way...and sometimes laughing about it later.