Leave the stuffing for the Christmas turkey

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Leave the stuffing for the Christmas turkey

Chocolates from gifts, second and third helpings of roast potatoes and mince pies, thin mints, liqueur and then someone breaks out the assorted biscuit tin. The over-indulgent Christmas season is in full swing even if we ourselves can’t get off the sofa.

These feasts are portrayed as a time to gather around and spend time with friends and family and yet, as the meal continues our overeaten state brings with it a sense of numbness and disconnection . . . and this isn’t even accounting for the altering substance known as alcohol that accompanies this plethora of sweets, treats and meats.

How can we possibly spend time with our loved ones when our senses start to dull and our focus redirects to “Ohh . . . too full” from the pain in our guts? Alcohol numbs us from remembering what we did with who, when and where at any time of year, and Christmas is not exempt from this.

As we come together around the dinner table we find ourselves in a situation whereby we fill ourselves, the table and the space in between us with objects, foods, tensions and emotions.

Is it possible that our longing for connection is being clouded by . . .

  • The push and drive to match up to the pictures and expectations of what the celebration/occasion, family and getting together with others in general should be, even if there are hurts and disagreements between people we sit at the dinner table trying to make it all work while acting like repellent magnets to each other . . .
  • The pressure to push all issues aside for the sake of matching the pictures of ‘good times', ‘to be polite’, ‘to eat what we are offered’ and many other beliefs and social etiquettes around meal times and gatherings . . .
  • The frenzy that we are presented and engage with that comes with Christmas sales, being sold the belief that our material gifts will be everything for the other person and ourselves – buying gifts for the sake of buying gifts when it may bring up situations whereby we have no idea what they like, highlighting the depth of the relationship that has been up until this period . . .
  • The stress that can occur from arranging, attending (or not) Christmas parties and social gatherings – gifts, party plans, what to wear, etc – again feeding the notion of everything having to be picture perfect, again affecting the quality we are in while with others?

Is it possible that the over indulging, stress and numbing we see at Christmas is alluding to how we live throughout the year?

As we try to stop and make our lives about human connection, our momentum of disconnection and indulgence in food and material objects becomes more apparent.

  • Is it possible that when we come together the mechanism of overeating to avoid what we are feeling becomes more apparent the closer we come to each other?
  • What if Christmas and any celebrations could be about connection first?
  • What would that even look like?

Coming together is not just for Christmas or other holidays but an everyday occurrence, and then no matter what the occasion, the question is – what is the quality we hold ourselves in as we come together, be that alone or with others around the table?

It starts first with ourselves, in listening to how we feel and holding ourselves in that connection. When we have a sense of who we are from listening to our bodies we are connected, and then that connection becomes transferable in our relationships with others.

By holding ourselves in the qualities of our inner-most feelings in our daily lives, the end of the year can be a celebration of what has been lived and how we have grown over the last 12 months, or since our last gathering.

It takes time to develop this connection with ourselves that can then be shared with others, but when we do address the underlying inner issues and hurts that other people can often trigger or highlight as being present within our bodies, the only thing that’s stuffed is the turkey!


Filed under

EmotionsConnectionOver eating

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    By Leigh Matson

    A lover of exploring everyday life and what there is to be discovered each day. Waitress, cook, writer and so much more.

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    Photography: Matt Paul