Ah, the holidays. This time of year can be stressful for many, peaceful for some; a bit of both for most. I’ve learned to take the opportunity to let my inner child enjoy the season; the food, the festivities and the fun. Even the cold weather here in the northeast can be enjoyed given the proper clothing. My family members are far from me so I’m often celebrating with friends, my cat or other people's families. It's all good, right?
I came across a journal entry from years ago written while I was visiting my mother and sister in Oklahoma:
As we were looking through photo albums and reminiscing I teased my sister about how she had ruined Christmas by telling me that there was no Santa Claus when I was around six years old. She had pointed out that it was our mother’s handwriting on the gift tags. Smartass.
My mother said that I had come running to her in tears, sobbing “Just tell me the truth!” The knowledge of being deceived by my own mother was too much to bear. How could I even know what truth was? Yet, there I was, demanding it from my mother. I had to know what was real and what was not.
Countless children, at some point, having been led to believe in Claus had to face the devastating revelation that no such man existed. I felt compelled to unpack my childhood experience because something told me that there was an untapped connection to my work with Personal Mythology and this strange and twisted rite of passage.
Through self-guided meditation, I brought myself back to that moment so that I could converse with my six year old self about that rude discovery. I came away with much more than I had expected.
My child self (that's her in the blue) told me that that terrible realization not only changed the feeling of truth from good to bad, it destroyed an entire realm of existence-leaving devastation in its wake. My child’s mind interpreted this blindsiding revelation as death because she couldn’t grasp the idea of something made so real by her own imagination never actually existing. So now, Santa was dead! Not only was Santa dead, his wife was widowed. His reindeer and elves were suddenly without purpose. What were they going to do now? She really cared about Santa’s visit. Yes, the gifts were a big part of it all but she loved him for his generosity and selfless service to the children of the world. She, like so many children, wanted Santa to have his traditional snack so that he would be fortified to carry on the impossible task of traveling the world in a single night, dispensing much anticipated gifts to all. Instead, she had come to the sickening realization that Mommy probably had to choke down all the milk and cookies we had left, before wrapping gifts and placing them under the tree. Poor Mommy had stomach issues...so now there was guilt on top of grief. I comforted my child self and assured her that all would be well in the future. She asked me, "How? How can all be well when Santa is dead?".
This is where things get a little....weird.
"Because, little one," I found myself saying to myself, "there have been marvelous discoveries in the areas of human consciousness, shared and individual AND we've come leaps and bounds in what we know about quantum physics. It turns out, my darling, that there are many, many realities happening all at once and each one is as legitimate as the next. So it stands to reason that if enough of us believe in Santa, he actually does exist! You have the power to choose." She nodded wisely, as if she totally grasped what I still grapple with. She looked up at me and asked, "Do we still believe in Santa, then?"
Hmmm. Great question. Aha!
I hugged her close and answered, "Yes, there is a special way of being whereas you and I can believe in Santa and I'll meet you there at this time every year." Her little body relaxed and she melted into my embrace and in our merging, I felt a great healing.