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In marketing, preparing for the Christmas season can always seem chaotic and challenging – it is the time of consumption and sales and getting the final word out before the end of the year. I am in charge of flooding the world with more during this time of year, asking for more relational action from audiences. Being a consumer, I feel my capacity is challenged this time of year. 

This year, as I was preparing for the end-of-year campaigns for THRIVEtoday, I immediately saw a vision of a night sky with millions of stars around me. My body seemed to relax, my forehead not as scrunched as it usually would be as I was working, and I felt immediately held by something so much bigger than me. I felt the divine whisper to me, “Feel me hold you.” 

Often the holidays are talked about as being a high-energy time of stimulation and joy and the coming of Jesus, who will save us from the chaos of the world. It is the straightforward message of “Be joyful and Merry! Remember the light!” But at THRIVEtoday we often talk about how too much joy can blow our capacity and keep us from being relational with each other, and this year, I was starting to feel that. 

When I heard Jesus say, “ Feel me hold you,” it reminded me that from the relational joy we talk about at THRIVEtoday comes the ability to find moments of quiet in your day. Quieting (Skill 2) is the ability to integrate our nervous systems to change our states from anxious to calm. It is a purposeful pause. 

Shalom in Hebrew is commonly translated to “As peace is with you,” but the literal translation means “to be in the completion of wholeness.” The concept of being held in wholeness helps me remember that when we purposefully pause, we feel the presence and connection of Immanuel expansively in our bodies, but also in the sense that he is glad to be with us, that we are good, despite our internal chaos. 

So peace becomes something beyond an emotion of ease. Peace acknowledges that something bigger holds us- that we are connected to something much more significant that brings the sense of wholeness to chaos. We are not alone. It flows from connection, just like joy, but gets different results to our state of being. It helps us feel safe. 

This makes the practice of learning to keep our relational circuits on for us to stay connected to the divine so much sweeter and necessary, as we are able to find a new way to wire our nervous systems for safety and groundedness. Feeling grounded and held means our nervous system isn’t too high into hyperarousal or too low in dorsal shutdown; it is just right. We are in the ventral vagal state; we feel safe and able to connect to the world around us without losing who we are. We can also stay stable and grounded in the present moment and move with authenticity into action. 

Jesus, as the Prince of Peace, invites us to more than emotion or pain management. There is an invitation to a deeply embodied (connected to our body and sense of self)  knowing that we, in our seeming incompletion, are complete. Peace isn’t a bandaid for hard feelings. It is a shifting of our ability to process those hard feelings in a way that keeps us connected to our deepest selves that mirrors Jesus.

This change of perspective helps us view our chaos with the lens of wholeness, and increases our ability to accept who we are. It is remembering that Immanuel doesn’t require us to clean ourselves up to be seen by a love that already sees us. When we can acknowledge and live from this shalom in trust that as we stay connected to the wholeness Jesus holds us in, we see ourselves as a whole and become more whole in the process. From the cosmos of the universe; to the eyes of a person you love, there are reminders that everything is held in completion through the presence of divine love. 

May this holiday season bring you time to quiet and find the wholeness that you are held in. As we celebrate the coming of Immanuel, God with us, I hope you feel the peace of not having to be alone in your overwhelm. You are safe. Love is always with you. There is wholeness in your chaos.

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