In the native spiritual traditions, the winter solstice was associated with the beginning and ending of a rotation of the season. Tonight we celebrate the darkest night and shortest day of winter, the true beginning of the year because we re-emerge from an underworld of the cold, unfruitful darkness.
It is the metaphoric Dark Night Of the Soul and a hour of personal reckon from which spark fresh hope and meaning. During the darkest part of the night, let us use this time for meditation and reflection, our regrets and “unfinished business” can be burned away. Now we take with us into the new year all that still serves us. Let it be gentle as it serves to move us forward or slowly and softly remove the chains that bind us the old version of ourselves.
Those old unwanted emotions that Little you has been carrying around for so long must be released. Let go of those old unwanted beliefs of self. Do it in whatever way you see. Closing your eyes, let go now of those old unwanted emotional ties to our past. If not now…when?
Choosing what to bring into the new year implies deciding what we want to give over to the flames, or to transform: where we want this process of metamorphosis to take us.
Reflect on the ups and downs of the seasonal cycle you have just finished. What has served you and enriched your life, taken you closer to the completion of your goals, towards personal maturity and an authentic voice? What darkness has this past year brought you, what concealed spaces have shown up again, what relationships, patterns, losings, mis-steps or unfairness have caused you grief? What part of you is crying out for relief? What little voice is wanting to be heard?
Reflect on the year past, and the lessons each difficulty has birthed, because the observing of any challenge provides an opportunity for growth.
Then comes the tipping point where we need to make decisions to build, to go forward with our lessons, to practice self-forgiveness, to unload bitterness and rage towards another, lest we carry this poison into our future. Releasing the control of our egoic self-sabotaging patterns and toxic behaviours, excuses we build which limit our lives, our perfectionism, removing emotional and spiritual anchors which weigh us down. These excuses and anchors hold us back from developing to our full potential. The anchor is in our past, our emotional past and only there can we truly release it.
What impacts our psychological wellbeing is a sense of personal identity, efficacy and a purpose for existence. When we lack that sense of meaning in our life, we flounder and can be burdened by hopelessness and depression. Do not allow the Winter Solstice to become a year of constant dark nights of the soul. Consider this: do you have a purpose or yearning so compelling that it taps you on the shoulder every day, and inspires you to excel, gives you a reason to get up every morning?
Use this night to look at your past, your old unwanted beliefs, that little part of you crying in the dark for help and reassurance. Reach out in the darkness to that little part of you and simply say: Thats ok, I understand.