Agnostic Humanist In The South, On Body Image and Radical Self Love, On Mental Health


I know today is officially the start of winter, but for me? It’s the end.

My winter is the feeling of my seasonal depression as the days get shorter and shorter during and the days are cold and gray. But today is the shortest day of the year as the winter solstice so from here on out? It’s nothing but hope for me, baby. Every day that the cold and gray gets to me I tell myself: It’s okay. We get a little bit more daylight tomorrow.

The days will still be cold and gray but while I’m suffering under that cold, gray fog I will know that there will be more daylight than there was yesterday and I will be hopeful for the extra daylight that I will get tomorrow.

The summer solstice doesn’t send me into a depression automatically. It’s not like the knowledge of losing daylight immediately sends me into a downward spiral for 6 months. No, the shortening days don’t start bothering me until the the temperature drops and the gray invades. It’s the combination of the winter (I mean, I’m still in Alabama, winters aren’t that hard) and the loss of daylight. So, by the time the winter solstice arrives? I am desperate for a shift.

If you follow any sort of spiritualists or pagans or anyone who pays attention to astrology or mysticism, you know that today’s solstice carries a little more spiritual punch than previous years. There’s this “spiritual awakening” that has been occurring and there’s global meditations on healing and love that are happening and I find it all very interesting. I don’t necessarily subscribe to it 100%, because – like many spiritual and religious practices – there’s not a lot of talk about the practical difficulties to spiritual growth if you’re disadvantaged in any way. I don’t like the idea that there’s any sort of enlightenment/heaven that can’t be achieved if you’re too tired to focus on prayer or consciousness because you worked a 10-hour shift at McDonald’s.

But, at my core I’m a spiritual person and I love focused energies in any form…whether it’s prayer or meditation. I also love when there’s a collective effort towards anything good, and if your social media dips into these worlds of paganism or mysticism or spiritualism…you know there’s a lot of people trying today to focus on their own version of growth/healing/enlightenment in whatever way their practice calls.

Me? I’m going to watch the sunrise up on the mountain behind our house with my daughter. I’m going to try to remember to have a moment of meditation around 12:20 and again around 3pm as those are times I’m seeing some groups try to align global moments of silence/prayer etc. But honestly? It’s really just an excuse to make me stop and focus on light and healing. It’s like, if I know other people are doing it elsewhere it feels more significant. And while I don’t subscribe to biblical ideas around heaven or hell…I do believe that focused energy in positive directions disrupts negative spirals and since 2020 has been one giant negative spiral, I’ll jump in on any disruptions I can find.

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