'Old Marley was as dead as a door nail....' so begins my favourite Christmas story, A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens. There are lots of memorable moments and passages in the story and it has been portrayed many times on stage and screen.
For me, the most memorable moment is when Scrooge meets his long departed partner, Jacob Marley. Marley is weighed down by a large chain with cash boxes strung along its length. Marley says to Scrooge, 'I wear the chain I forged in life, I made it link by link, yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it.'
The message Dickens wants us to hear is that we have free will to act as we choose and that sometimes the choices we make as to who we are and how we are in the world can weigh us down. We can arrive at a place where we are chained, prisoners of who we have become and seemingly doomed to stay that way.
This isn't completely true though. We are not doomed to stay the same way. Are you chained up by your lifestyle, your habits, your relationships? Do you long to release the chains and be different, to make the changes that you want to your life? Very much the same as Scrooge, there is another way, there is always a chance, you can make the changes that you want and remove the chains you have made for yourself. If you need help you will not need visits from three spirits, it is much simpler. Counselling can help you to get back on the right track of your choice.
Have a Good Christmas or as Tiny Tim said at the end of the story 'God Bless us every one'.