Perhaps this is the Christmas that I am going to gift myself with developing my unique inner world. But before doing this I suggest trying to answer these questions: Am I aware that I have a unique inner world? What treasures are in my unique inner world?
My inner world is where the child in me still dwells in this older body: the place of magic, positive energy, and intuition. Or the child may still be hurting, alone and afraid within my adult body if I have not allowed myself to heal. If my inner space holds emotional pain instead of peace and self-acceptance then maybe my Christmas gift to myself is that of inner healing so that I may experience magic.
Just watch children play from their magical, energized, fictitious world. They are very aware it is fictitious and not real but they relish in it all the same: and it makes them giggle and want to share it with us: oh, so mature adults. Children respond to ‘Once Upon A Time’ stories.
When I had my private practice in counseling I asked a client this question. “If I had a magic wand and could wave it over you so that your life would be as you would like it to be: what would it look like?”
The client was annoyed and said, “I am a realist and don’t believe in magic.” To this statement I said, “then I am not the person to help you. If you can not tell me what your life would look like if it was how you would want it to be then I can not help you get there.”
He straightened himself up and said, “I’d have a more interesting job, my mortgage would be paid and I would never spend another winter in Canada.” He allowed himself to dream and a few months later this man won the lottery. Hard to believe, but it happened.
The fact that I am a unique individual living with trillions of other unique individuals on planet Earth I have had or will have many life-changing experiences regardless of my race, gender, age, status, or culture.
A few common life-changing events are: being in a car accident, having cancer or another debilitating disorder, accompanying a close family member or friend with cancer, the death of someone I love, losing all my belongings in a house fire/wildfire, being a refugee, being in a war, being imprisoned, being married, having a child, the death of a child, going to university, going through a divorce, losing a pet, going through a recovery program, getting counseling and even winning a lottery.
By its very nature, a life-changing experience alters our daily routines, and perceptions. Often when these life-changing experiences happen in life they come as a shock and upset the equilibrium forces within and around me – often leaving me vulnerable to a downward emotional spiral of feeling hopeless, abandoned and even in some cases suicidal.
This Christmas can allow me a fresh opportunity to take charge of my life rather than wait for life-changing events to happen. This Christmas and New Year of 2018 truly can hold magical moments for me if I am open to receiving and being pro-active in a healthy self-care manner (refer to previous column articles in the Chemainus Valley Courier, Aug. 17, Sept. 14, Oct. 12, Nov. 9 and always on page A7).
It is up to me and me alone how I live my life day to day. No matter what unforeseen event happens to me, I still have a choice in how I am going to respond.
Here in Chemainus, there is a man in a battery run wheelchair who is a paraplegic and has also had his right arm amputated at the shoulder. You may have had the privilege of encountering him as he rides up and down the streets of Chemainus in his chair.
This man is a tremendous inspiration to me as he is both realistic and positive in his whole approach to his present life situation. When listening to him, it is hard to believe he is paralyzed from the waist down and has only one useful arm. He has high interests and just returned from a wonderful holiday with his wife and friends in Europe. He has not allowed his physical limitations to completely restrict him from magical moments in life.
May I wish you readers of this column a magical Christmas filled with the wonder of our childhood dreams, trust in others, and a total belief that Santa Claus is real. Let me meet Santa or be Santa this year in my own unique way. Be the angel on top of my Christmas tree. Be the tinsel that shines and twinkles with such delight as it simply hangs from the pine-needled branches. Be the light bulbs that comfort in the darkness. Be the old ornaments that hold treasured memories or the new ornaments that create new memories.
When I live from my inner space, childhood dreams are made real because they never really die inside me: they simply go dormant when I choose not to believe in myself or healthily care for myself. This Christmas will indeed be more meaningful for me and for everyone that shares this time of year with me if I hold onto all magical energy in and around me. See you in 2018.
Kathleen Kelly is a Chemainus resident and author of the book ‘The Tornadoes We Create.’