The Need for Silent Night 

Everyone is talking about self-care this Christmas. For each of us, self-care will look different, depending on our personality, holiday plans and personal circumstances. 

Personally, I am living with childlessness and chronic illness. (And a cat. So it is not all bad.) Which begs the question: how does a person with grief and sickness celebrate something as complex as Christmas, loaded with expectations and, for many people, disappointment? 

How does a person with grief and sickness celebrate something as complex as Christmas?

Well, I have a thought on that. (That’s why I’m blogging about it!) And it aligns with the well-known carol, Silent Night. 

‘Silent night, holy night

All is calm, all is bright…’ 

There is a certain beauty in silence and stillness. But I struggle to experience it in daily life. I don’t know about you, but my brain seems to get cluttered with to-do lists quite quickly and I pack my days full of endless expectations of myself. All is not calm. 

I need to create more space for it.

Which is why I need it so much. If I do not experience calm in my world, I probably need to create more space for it. One way in which I am attempting to do this is to practise being still at night. Before I go to sleep I pray a little bit, and then I let my mind go quiet. No words. No songs. No expectations. 

I lie still and listen to the sound of night creatures outside, the howl of the wind, the light patter of rain. It’s magical. And it somehow restores my inner equilibrium. 

There are times, in the silence, when I hear the Spirit speak. 

There are times, in the silence, when I hear the Spirit speak.

This is the kind of self-care I need this Christmas. I am already doing it, so my intention is to do it more than usual. I want to spend large chunks of time in stillness. Things like being in nature and breathing the fresh air help usually me with this. Nature is very grounding for me. 

Perhaps you, like me, can sense your need for quietness this Christmas. Perhaps your life has become cluttered, or your calm has vanished into thin air. Perhaps you are travelling well but want to get re-centred. Stillness is a great way to reconnect with yourself. 

I hope this Christmas you will find your Silent Night. May God restore your calm, your inner quietness, your capacity to be still. And may he free you from expectations, either from yourself or others, that may be weighing upon your shoulders. 

‘Let tiny drops of stillness fall gently through my day.’ – Miriam-Rose Ungunmerr Baumann

‘Let us be silent, that we may hear the whisper of God.’ – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do you have any self-care plans these holidays? Do you share my craving for stillness and inner peace? How can you create more space for silence? Share your story. Let’s have a countercultural conversation. 

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