The Meaning of the Winter Solstice — Christmas as a Time of Rebirth

Darlene Lancer LMFT

December 22 marks the beginning of rebirth—following the shortest day December 21st. The winter solstice since ancient times represented symbolically the death and rebirth of the Sun on December 25th, marked by a festive holiday, Saturnalia, honoring the pagan sun god.

This day came to be Christmas. On Jesus' birth, the angel says "God's power will rest on you." The power of God flows through each of us. How do you call upon that spirit and manifest it in your life? Do you have a relationship with your higher power?

Soul vs. Spirit

Our soul refers to the individual expression of our humanity in our unique personality, mind, and emotions. Although some writers have a broader definition of spirit to include the soul and our intellect, emotions, fears, passions, and creativity, theologians claim that our spirit is that which communicates with God and connects us to the universal.*

Manifestation of Spirit

Everything on earth—including every species of plant and animal, and each individual person, plant, each flower, seed, and cell—is a materialization of supreme intelligence, the absolute, or the Godhead, which I refer to as the divine. Our spirit is our soul's conduit for its unique manifestation. It seeks full expression like an acorn becomes an oak and a caterpillar a butterfly. Each of us is a divine incarnation. In the Hebrew bible, the breath of God - spirit (ruach) enters the individual soul (nephesh).

The Soul, Our Real Self, and Codependency

The kernel of that “I” is there in infancy, though our latent potential lies hidden and camouflaged by external influences and our codependent “false self.” What does our soul want? It calls us to live an authentic life. Once we realize our true self, we discover freedom and our power, and our will enables greater self-expression. Expression of our individual soul, our real self frees us from the bondage of codependency.

We suffer when we don’t live our truth and our values. When we do, we illumine our authentic Self. We ignite our power and potential, and our mind, life, and relationships attain harmony.

Our discontent screams for us to change. Yet, too often, we resist the challenges that are required and instead deny our yearnings with excuses or try to change someone else. It’s the disconnect from our true Self that causes us pain. When we align our soul and our authentic Self, we are at peace, with no need for approval or to convince or change anyone. We find the resolve and courage to come into soul alignment and manifest what we want.

This is simple, but not easy for those of us who due to our past conditioning and trauma have abandoned our Selves, as we were once abandoned. In order to survive, we adopted a persona, beliefs, and habits that took us further from our true nature. Our soul begs us to come home—what we will never find in a relationship or work unless they support our authentic Self and allow our soul’s expression.

Recovery - Living a Soul-Centered Life

Recovery from codependency is a process of soul alignment It’s calling for change. How do we undertake this journey? We must spend time with ourselves, not in distraction, but by being quiet enough to feel and listen. Our awareness and perspective expand, and our perceptions sharpen. More time in meditation and contemplation infuse our body/mind with spiritual energy that allows us to perceive our soul’s guidance–whispers of wisdom from within.

Living authentically means thinking more with our heart than our ego. However, advice to “Follow your heart” can be tricky, for our soul’s guidance may be obscured by neediness, shame, and fear. Our heart may want us to cling to an abusive relationship, but our soul never wants us to be diminished or undermined. We can easily get lost by clinging to our traumatized parts. We may not hear or trust the leadings of our soul. They may be obscured by past programming, doubts about our worth, dependency, and lack of courage to step forward, take a stand, and make a change.

We each must find our way, learning to honor, express, and love our true Self. Every day, we have a chance to discover who we are, what we believe, feel, need, want, and value. Indeed, every moment provides opportunities to affirm our authentic Self.

When you don’t meet your needs or act in accordance with your wants and values, welcome this awareness with curiosity rather than self-judgment. What is the source of conflict between what you need and want and how you act? Self-examination provides clarity and potentiates better choices in the future.

For example, if you say yes when you want to say no, or eat a dessert when you’re trying to lose weight, instead of attacking yourself, develop compassion for the parts of you that still struggle and are in need of self-love. To deepen self-love and compassion, listen to the Self-Love Meditation and practice self-nurturing.

When we don’t believe in ourselves or that change is possible, working with someone who does can open real possibilities by removing cobwebs and blinders. A therapist or coach can hold a vision of the future you before you can see it and can support you in the changes your soul is yearning for. Mentor yourself by practicing the Soul-Alignment Meditation to begin living a soul-centered life.

Darlene Lancer © 2022

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Darlene Lancer is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and expert author on relationships, narcissism, and codependency. She’s counseled individuals and couples for over 30 years and coaches internationally. Her books include "Conquering Shame and Codependency: 8 Steps to Freeing the True You," "Dating, Loving, and Leaving a Narcissist - Essential Tools for Improving or Leaving Narcissistic and Abusive Relationships," and "Codependency for Dummies," plus seven ebooks, webinars, and other resource materials. Her books are available on Amazon, other online booksellers and her website,, where you can get a free copy of “14 Tips for Letting Go.”

Los Angeles, CA

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