Christmas Crying – A List of Probable Causes.

I drove home from a friend’s last night in tears, which is not a big a deal except I can’t identify exactly why. It started when I was praying, which happens, so ok, but I don’t really do basket case – except at Christmas and sometimes Mother’s Day – so I thought I’d make a list of probable causes.

And since I’m reading Brene Brown on vulnerability, I thought I’d write it here, in public. Lovely.

Photo Credit: Hebi65

Photo Credit: Hebi65

Probable Cause #1 – I could use more safe space to write the crazy shit in my head. Even writing that exposes “safe” for the illusion it is because that isn’t the problem. Caring what everybody thinks is the problem. In some of my circles it’s a little sketchy to admit I still say shit from time to time. I work daily on not conforming to the patterns of this world but sometimes, in certain circumstances, my word demons insist that shit is absolutely the correct word. Refusing to use it or just muttering it because I’m trying to look holy, is disingenuous. So I think I’d rather be a Jesus-following, recovering potty mouth than a churchy sweetie pie who says shit only when people who don’t care are around.

Ultimately, I am working to erase the line between my secular and sacred lives so you can expect the same person no matter where I show up – an objective, I think, worthy of suffering occasional profanity. However, if it offends you let me say, I am very sorry and wow, you should have met me five years ago.

Photo Credit: Hans

Photo Credit: Hans

Probable Cause #2 – I can’t find my wooly socks and my feet are cold, which is a distraction I don’t need. Also, because I am a woman of a certain age, I seem to be growing a beard and developing weird ailments in my feet, which cause me to perform yoga poses incorrectly while I’m teaching, so my feet don’t cramp. My hippie friends say my fear of stepping forward into my best life is manifesting in my metatarsals, and if that’s true, it scares me. My friends who aren’t doctors but watch a lot of Grey’s Anatomy think it’s tendonitis. If that’s true, it sounds expensive.

Probable Cause #3 – I used to read three newspapers a day. In the past four years, I haven’t read three newspapers in a month. It’s a totally selfish, defensive measure prompted by my disgust for corporate media and the mouthy outrage it provokes in me. To this day, if you want to talk immigration, please please only use the word “illegal” as the adjective it is – not the pejorative noun or personal pronoun favored by certain Americans. Plus, as I was learning to follow Jesus I couldn’t handle the behavior of some of his followers, so I shut everybody out. But since there have been 100 school shootings in the two years since Sandy Hook and each week a new unarmed black man is killed by police, sequestering myself so I don’t have to be outraged and discouraged, seems like a cop out. So, if you need me I’ll be reading and praying.

Photo Credit: Hans

Photo Credit: Hans

Probable Cause #4 – I love Jesus but Christmas wears me out. The solstice, however, resonates. December 21st is the shortest, darkest day of the year and, as it happens, the anniversary of the worst day of my life. I realize I’ve only written about that in kind of oblique ways, and maybe someday I’ll write it because if it helps you it’s worth it. But for now, if you’re trudging through the season, dutifully stringing garland on your mantle (yes it’s pretty when it’s done) and shoving a nine-foot tree into a room with eight-foot ceilings, I say, notice the trend. Maybe it’s time to consider different traditions. Some churches host solstice services where you can light a candle, acknowledge the darkness and anticipate the lengthening of days.

Photo Credit: Geralt

Photo Credit: Geralt

It’s clear to me now, this is all Christmas’ fault, but if you love the season, ok. I’m happy to to come sit on your couch, with my socks on, in front of your fire, to admire your mantle and drink eggnog, but I might cry on the way home too.

And maybe that’s just the way of things.


11 thoughts on “Christmas Crying – A List of Probable Causes.

  1. Good to know we still have LOTS in common (though I stlll prefer the more colorful curse words I learned at my fathers knee.) Many of the realities of Christmas make me cry also – which is why Advent is a bigger thing for me – especially this year – as it is the anticipation of a much promised messiah. Hugs to you – and blessings.

  2. Crying is cleansing. And Jesus knows about all of our tears. For the past 3 mths. just about the only thing that I’ve had to hold me together is the Lord. And the song, “I’ll Praise You In This Storm” by Casting Crowns. It’s old, but OH so fitting!

  3. I appreciate your honesty. I say shit too. 😉 I used to swear like a sailor. It’s a process. 🙂 Praying you get through the rest of the year without too much trauma. ❤

  4. As I told you last week, you can come sit on my couch, cry and pray any time – socks or no socks!!! The evening spent with you and another precious woman we love, taught me a very important lesson about being more like Mary and less like Martha. I NEEDED you to “do basket case” that evening, because it got my eyes off my “task-oriented” self and the shit with which I’m dealing and onto the deep, heartfelt needs of a precious friend who has been there for me through a lot. (Though you weren’t being a “basket case” at all. It was just real, raw…the way I want my friends to feel they can be with me.)

    Thank you for reminding me that night what friendship is all about, though you weren’t even aware that is what you were doing. I love you, my friend, and if you want to come to my house, admire the Christmas decorations — loving and hating them all at the same time — you are always welcome…because while you’re doing that, I am learning to love better, which is all I really need to learn in this life.

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