Counselor?s Corner: The month of becoming aware

 Here we are in the month of December again. Most of us are thinking about holidays. Whether we are Christian or not we all have to realize that Christmas is coming. The music is in the air. The stores are filled with shoppers. Online shopping is booming in December. There will be Christmas parties, Christmas preparations and Christmas celebrations. All of this will take place before December 25th. People will greet us with “happy holidays” or “merry Christmas.” This is the month of sending Christmas cards and giving gifts to family and friends. 

In December we become aware of a simple principle: it is important to give gifts to others and to share what we have with others. It is a time when we become aware that there are other people on this planet besides ourselves. Charitable contributions rise to high levels during this month. We become more aware and grateful for friendly people and more sensitive to the pain caused by crabby people. These days of December are when we become aware of relationship conflicts we may have with family or friends. It’s the month of becoming aware of how present or absent love is in our lives.
To become aware of something is the first step of embracing our personal struggles and successes. When ‘love is in the air’ the awareness of the importance of Love keeps surfacing. We may try to stifle this awareness but it persistently continues to surface during the month of December.
Listen closely and pay attention to this awareness of the need to give and receive love during these December days. Do everything slowly and reflectively as you walk through the rest of this month. In slowing down and reflecting more on what life is all about you will discover that there is a sacred presence all around you. This sacred presence keeps tugging at your heart and mind to pay close attention to the presence or absence of love in your life. This presence challenges you in the midst of the music and reminders about the approaching holiday. The challenge is to look deeper at what life is all about. Is there a God in your life that connects all the dots for you? Is there harmony between you and all the important people in your life? December for all of us can become a wonderful time for renewal and awareness of where we are going in our lives. What is life really all about? What is most important? What energizes us and gives us a purpose for living?
To become more aware of love and life is to begin to have an experience of God. To become aware of the resentments we may be holding tight to our hearts is to become aware of the things we do to keep ourselves in an emotional prison. December can be the beginning of letting ourselves out of the emotional and spiritual prisons we have made for ourselves.
Let the music of December positively influence you. Pay close attention to everything and everyone during this month. When I become gently and empathically focused on whoever is with me and whatever is in my presence, something peaceful and powerful happens. I begin to experience the sacredness and profoundness of the present moment and all the goodness that is in this moment. It becomes a divine encounter because I am totally open to this moment. There is something about this month that can help me to find freedom in being more loving and more attentive. December almost forces us to pay attention to life. December challenges us to discover that everyone is really searching for more love and more positive emotional connections in their lives. December can lift us up to a better spiritual and emotional level where the meaning of peace and love become important. 
During these next couple of weeks the doors of your heart will be knocked on often. Open the door. Embrace everyone with warmth and kindness. Open your heart to inspiration. Look for the love that is in the air. Make the effort to see goodness in everyone. The month of December simply challenges us to be more loving and more aware of life. Let the awareness happen. Let love happen in your life. Let God, whoever God might be for you, touch your heart and inspire you. It is a month to be loving, joyful and reflective. It is the month of becoming aware.
Fred Cavaiani is a licensed marriage counselor and psychologist with a private practice in Troy. He is the founder of Marriage Growth Center and a consultant for the Detroit Medical Center. He can be reached at 248-362-3340. His e-mail address is: and his website is

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