Monday, 31 December 2012

Memories, Traditions and Realities


Memories may be beautiful and treasured but they invite us to be backward looking. Looking back life seems somehow better…..they days were longer, there was more to smile about, our bodies and minds were vigorous and some of us really had some good times.

These are the lucky few who can look back without anger and pain. Your memories may be scattered with smiles, laughter and general merriment but spare a thought for those whose memories are weighted down with negativity – frowns, admonishments, sharp words all reverberate around the hallowed hallways of their minds. 

Face it, your memory lane had a pneumatic drill in residence and more than a few potholes that you try to repair with each passing year. You want to remember the good stuff but sometimes you just can’t. Your light was snuffed out long before you were even conscious that you were in the business of memory making.

Traditions are usually the generator of memories. I consider myself a traditionalist but with a heavy dose of modernism. Take Christmas…I love the sentiments of the season but could do without the commercialism. Yes, it’s nice to get a little something wrapped up in paper and ribbon but only if it’s heartfelt. 

Most people give presents ritualistically but I like it best when you give and don’t get anything in return. At Christmas, I think most about people who don’t have loved ones to share it with and they are the people worthy of a little something or two. A great many people feel alone at Christmas but it’s all the hype that makes them feel that way. Aloneness is not confined to any season and we can experience it all throughout the year.

Some traditions serve; some do not. Are you the kind of person who has a house full of Christmas songs, miseltoe, wreaths, twinkling lights, wine and mince pies? That’s good…if you’re helping to make Christmas for others but what about the attitude you bring to your festivities? Are you of good cheer when you notice those tiny faces that were once aglow and looking forward to the arrival of Father Christmas are now all grown up. This is a time to remember that there’s a child in every heart and it comes out at Christmas, birthdays, anniversaries and any kind of celebration. We need to feed our hearts and minds, as much as our bodies.

At every table there’s a Grinch. Someone who doesn’t believe in creating a warm and loving atmosphere. Someone who's overdosed on some sad pills!! He or She is the person who wants to be a party pooper and rain on your parade. For a child, this is especially difficult, as their heart is naturally light and this figure is someone they love but it’s not a two way street. Love is withheld and withdrawn and, for a child, that’s devastating. It taints every memory and destroys traditions that may never be passed on. This is a reality that no child should ever have to witness but it’s the stuff of many a childhood memory.

Christmas realism
When we arrive at that mature place in our life’s journey, we sometimes turn a cold eye over our memories and traditions. In truth, they were less than joyful and there’s a dent in our hearts but we can’t risk passing it on to the next generation. Each person will face their realties associated with the important milestones. It’s easy to be judge and jury and call for capital punishment for those who’ve mistreated our memories and traditions. 

I don’t want to be the bringer of pain to anyone but, subconsciously, I act out my anguish and that’s torment for people around me. There’s a little Match Girl inside me that feels cold and hungry despite being surrounded by warmth and food. She’s the part of me that’s feels the hurt and rejection despite it all being in the past. My heart can sometimes feel a little frozen in places but I never freeze out the love.

We are the sum total of our memories, traditions and realities – we can’t escape. Losing the defective, emotional baggage should be on everyone’s new year list of resolutions and we must fight the good fight to restore balance. Staying in the moment is the goal though the past and the future will vy for our attention. Our souls always know the light and she must be the guide in 2013 and beyond.

I wish you good memories, healthy traditions and enlightening realism too for the year ahead.

Happy 2013 to you and yours!




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