The winter solstice has always been special to me as a barren darkness that gives birth to a verdant future beyond imagination, a time of pain and withdrawal that produces something joyfully inconceivable, like a monarch butterfly masterfully extracting itself from the confines of its cocoon, bursting forth into unexpected glory. The death of a friend, an incapacitating illness, or a tragic loss are such times of hopelessness and despair, pain and confusion, when all bearing disappears and the void engulfs everything without mercy. These experiences are the soil in which the Universe plants the seeds of your potential for you to cultivate no matter what, and somehow you do, even in those times when you feel you have nothing left to give and no one to give it to.

Now I see more. The coming and going of the seasons give us more than the springtimes, summers, autumns, and winters of our lives. It reflects the coming and going of the circumstances of our lives like the glassy surface of a pond that shows our faces radiant with joy or contorted with pain. It also shows us our amazing independence from our circumstances. In cold or warmth, light or dark, deprivation or abundance, we can choose to respond with love or react in fear. Who could have dreamed such a choice is possible? When a child dies, we grieve and despair until we can see the change in our lives as a gift instead of a loss. Now millions of us are beginning to see the painful AND the joyful circumstances of our lives as opportunities to expand in love or contract in fear. We can experience anger, jealousy, loss, rage, or resentment without acting on it. We can act in love instead, even while we are immersed in anger, fear, jealousy, or rage. We can choose. We can cultivate care, patience, gratitude, and contentment each time we feel them. We can choose.

Each solstice shows us that we can choose. We cannot stop the winter or the summer from coming. We cannot stop the spring or the fall or make them other than they are. They are gifts from the Universe that we cannot refuse. But we can choose what we will contribute to Life when each arrives. We have always done that, and we always have. Now we have a new and liberating awareness. We can greet all the experiences of our lives joyfully and use them all wisely.



  • Published: December 12, 2011
  • Filed in: Blog

5 comments on “SOLSTICE JOY”

  1. Kitty says:

    The Solstice for me is the Celebration of Light. The light changes for the golden light of the shortening of days to the crisp blue light or the coming of light. It is always the time for me of great joy and the rearing of much fear.. an internal battle. This year the concentration of trying to make decisions around how I react is helping with this. Thank you for the lessons and the guidance around joy vs happiness.. I look forward to the connections.. and the celebration.

  2. tfarzalo says:

    Great article, thanks!

  3. Blessed1 says:

    I just found out that after a year of really hard work I will not be getting a bonus. My first thought was “Why is this happening to me?” and I began to cry out of total frustration. Then this thought came into my head: They cannot stop my good from coming to me! I know I am good at what I do and if I am not appreciated and recognized for what I do at my current company I will find the place where I will be. I choose to believe that it is so and step out of the darkness into the light.

  4. Regina says:

    Your beautiful words come at a time of great loss for me, and I feel their power. I am a work in progress, and that progress seems always to come with pain. Life is not easy and sometimes the blows come thick and fast, but we can choose to be strong without becoming hard. We can choose love instead of fear…. I too have come to appreciate the winter solstice, its eternal stillness, and its promise. “Within the stillness, the new life abides, when the seed is ripe, the new Spring arrives.” Thank God for spring! Thank you for your beautiful words!

  5. binra says:

    I havent read where, but I’ve read that somewhere in the Bible it says that once the Holy Spirit is welcomed fully into your life, all things become the Teacher – not of some lessons of pay back or sacrifices to go through – but of opening into the Presence of Love.

    In Peace


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