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Natural Awakenings South Jersey

Letter from Publisher

Few seasons of the year so reliably surface the perpetually intertwined ups and downs of life as the winter holidays. Nostalgic memories, present joys and the tug of loved ones now present only in our hearts all combine in a rich tapestry.

I’m reminded of younger days when my only concern was whether or not I’d get the toy or bike I wanted for Christmas and how much I enjoyed huge family celebrations when I got to play with cousins visiting from near and far. When I became a young man, I began to discern less pleasant occurrences, like the plight of the homeless in winter and how societal and world violence seldom takes a hiatus. Later on, the loss of loved ones that have long been fixtures at our holiday feasting weighs on my mind. Every year as I celebrate life’s joys, I like to take time to remember and honor them.

It would be easy to tell myself that holidays are meant for joy and nonstop happiness but that’s not realistic for me. In my book it’s not healthy to either focus on or suppress the sadnesses that bubble up. I try not to fight them or feel as though I’m flawed by feeling sad at times during a season meant for happiness. Instead, I see that existence at its core is beautiful in every way.

 The joy of the holidays comes from our humanity. Celebrating it. Not suppressing it. The simple fact is, there can be no happiness without some sadness. No holiday season without seasons that are otherwise. And so it goes, the infinite positive and negative of existence. I try not to fight it or feel as though I’m flawed by feeling some sadness at times of joy. It is what defines my very existence. An existence which, at it’s core, is beautiful. In every way. So let yourself feel for this holiday season. The ups and downs. Process the emotion. Let it run its course and allow yourself to find Peace through that process.

 This will be my first Christmas without my brother, Domenic, who will be dearly missed. But I know he would want me to celebrate all of the joys the season can bring.

May you too find peace,

Pat Vacanti, Publisher

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