Those who know me closely know that I have quite a unique marriage with my beloved husband.
Ron’s work schedule keeps him abroad for many months at a time, which has allowed me to pursue my personal studies freely while he’s away. But, when he’s home, I must make a complete gear-shift in my normal routines. This, along with his polar-opposite outlooks to mine, keeps me living in two very different worlds. I bemoaned this for a long time, but today, I realize that our unique arrangement allows me to be fluid in the “inner” and the “outer” worlds. This most recent solstice, however, brought to my awareness just how these worlds would collide most intensely.
Excited to be going out on a double date with our good friends, and eager to wear make-up and an outfit other than gym-clothes, I put on my new sweater and boots and tried out some hair product (which I never wear).
“Baby,” my husband declared pleasantly,” we’re just going to sushi up the street.” He smiled and embraced me with a husky purr.
“I know, but I hardly ever get to go on dates with you, and I want to wear this pretty sweater I found on clearance today and use my pretty purse you bought me.”
“Well, I don’t know if we’ll get to play cards for long with you wearing that outfit, ” he said slyly. After 22 years of marriage, I am so blessed to still be my husband’s one-and-only, and he, mine.
With all the hustle that the holidays bring with the family, I had not even noticed the date, Friday December 20th, the eve of Solstice. We arrived to the restaurant and visited with our friends in the usual comfortable way, and the waitress asked for our drink order. Normally, my friend Brian joins me in a cocktail, but I was the only one to order one tonight.
“I’ll have a dry martini, please.”
The server came back with the brimming cocktail that I had to begin sipping straight away to keep from spilling it on the table. The rest of the interactions I had with my husband and good friends telescoped into a manageable, then a cloudy, distant blur as we dined together. Never in recent memory has a cocktail hit me so fast and hard as did that single martini.
Once we returned home, I remember pulling off my boots and sitting on the floor in my purple tights sobbing uncontrollably at my various troubles : the “loss” of my eyeglasses (“I can’t see!”), at the disappointment of letting my daughter down (called her on the phone), and at the attempt my husband made at turning off the Christmas tree (“But it’s Christmas! Don’t turn off my tree! Please! It’s Christmas! Leave my tree on!). I could see myself acting like this, but I couldn’t believe that I (the gin) actually allowed myself these tantrums. I have no recollection of the rest of the night.
The next morning, I had to be up to join my daughter for an appointment, but I could still feel the influence of the “spirits” moving through my body. I felt like I was still drunk. I managed to join my daughter, but I returned home and had to stay in bed the whole of the next day – Winter Solstice – just to rest and recover from the affects the martini had on me.
“You must have been drugged! There is no way you got that f-ed up on just one martini!” My husband relayed the details of my outbursts the night before. “I have never seen you like that, and I’ve seen you drink many drinks! I’m going to call that bar and tell them someone drugged you!”
Ron was clearly upset, as was I. I couldn’t believe that I felt as horribly as I did.
“Baby, no. I don’t think anyone drugged me. That was just a big martini, and I think I’ve just become way more sensitive than I’ve realized.” He was not convinced, but refrained from calling the restaurant.
He took care of me as he always does, and ensured that I rehydrated myself and rested. I felt so terrible, I managed only a short silence in the sunshine to connect to my center, rather than the usual ritual that the bright day would inspire. It wasn’t until that evening that I actually realized that it was December 21st.
On December 22, I still felt drained from the Friday night event, but after a long walk with Ron in the crisp foggy morning, I began feeling better and stepped into my normal spiritual routine later that morning. In this silence, I began to realize the significance of what had happened to me.
In reflection of what it was I was actually sobbing about that night, I realize just how much we go through our lives as “strong adults,” not allowing ourselves to let out our worries. That night, my vulnerable inner-child was not holding back all the tears over the seemingly silly occurrences we grown-ups overlook: how the reliance upon my eyeglasses brings me face-to face with the fact of my aging eyesight; how I still have a deep desire to truly connect and really know my oldest daughter; how the magic of Christmas has seemingly passed me by this year, and how keeping the tree lights on somehow would bring the magic into my heart.
I realize the toll “being strong” has had on my precious spirit, our precious spirits – how the disappointments and despair of the evil circus of the outer world has hurt my heart at the deepest level. Then I realize, how owning and embracing these “shadow” parts of myself, these fears and doubts, was exactly the medicine that Winter Solstice offers. Even though I – we – can feel so lost and disconnected, we are never really so disconnected as we might feel.
The magic of Solstice began to illuminate me this morning, Christmas Eve, as I stood in the sunshine, absorbing its light like a plant wilted from darkness.
It is these dark times- these times furthest from the sunlight of our creator – that we discover just how much we radiate our own light.
How much of the Light of our Divine Presence do we shine into those dark parts of ourselves? How much light do we shower upon the wounds of our inner child who screams in the night? How much Faith do we have that we will see the Light again?
These are the inner journeys that Solstice offers us, and these are the journeys that Solstice would not allow me to ignore.
Though I myself was more interested in looking attractive for my husband and having a good time, my Divine Presence – even though I didn’t feel so “connected” during this Christmas season- didn’t allow me to miss this cosmic opportunity.
We can open ourselves to the beauty and the magic of our Soul connection to Source when we nurture the sacred fires of our heart flames. This connection doesn’t let our human-self get in the way of the gifts our Soul has to offer; it doesn’t let cosmic opportunities pass us by despite our ignorance of them.
The sacred flames of our heart actually become the alchemical fires we require to pluck the jewels of our Soul’s elastic growth.
The seemingly dark journey that this winter solstice compelled me through allowed me the vantage point to see and nurture the scared child of my heart. This morning’s Christmas gift, was the following understanding:
Feeling the despair and grief that has been moving through me – all of my personal insecurities and global concerns – has been a necessary element of alchemy to harvest the quality of compassion in my Sacred Fire Love and Grace , that I may better radiate this frequency as I grow in my Soul’s expression of Love.
I then saw my Presence pluck this jewel of what had been alchemized through the shadow and despair and add it to the magic mantle It dons.
Like the Christmas trees of the season, may the ornaments upon the Tree of Life of our Soul glisten all the unique gifts It has to offer!
May our light shine ever brighter and more colorfully as we grow in our divine nature. May the Sofia-Christ of your Being never let you miss an opportunity to have a cosmic tantrum for a cosmic revelation!