What Happens To You When It’s The Holidays?

Pure Joy in a cup!

Pure Joy in a cup!

How do you feel when it is the Holidays? Are you excited? Ready to decorate, bake, and buy presents? Or are you dreading it? Are you feeling like “Oh boy, another year already?” Are you grieving a recent loss and can’t imagine how you are going to make it through the December and the holidays, no less another year without them?  To me, the Holidays sneak up on you every year and boom its time to decorate, buy presents, and there is the unspoken pressure to do what is expected you do. It really can be such a mixed holiday bag of emotions.  The holidays are amazing with all the beautiful and delightful decorations, wonderful food, spending time with loved ones, generosity, giving, joy and memories of holidays past.  They come also come with so many different emotions, expectations, disappointments, drama, stress, anxiety, joy, happiness, love, gratitude, celebration, desperation, loss, sadness and real hardcore depression.

I personally love the Holidays. I love the decorations, the little white lights on all the trees, the brightly colorfully lit and adorned Christmas trees,  my quality time with my friends and my family, the specials Christmas blend coffee flavor at Starbucks (I can’t get enough), and picking out the perfect gift for others. I love this time to thank those that make my life better, richer and supported during the year.  I take time to feel grateful for all the good that has been provided for me and for those I love.  I just know personally, there is a sadness too that can sneak up on you. It hides in the shadows.  I know several people who have suffered with profound loss this year, and it has been a few years of losses in a row.  There is a void in your life that has not be filled when the person passes on. The pain is real, raw and new. The grief is profound. As the years progress, the pain lessons and as people start coming into your life that begin to fill the void. They do not replace your loved one but they do start to fill and heal the empty space in your heart.

I understand that when a Holiday comes after you have had to say good-bye to a loved one either through death, divorce or a break-up for example. There are many levels of saying good-bye.  The Holidays seem to heighten and make that loss feel greater and more profound. Sometimes, you forget why you broke up in the first place or got divorced.  The person can seem almost Saint like during the holidays. As for me, I have had a lot of loss through close family members passing some way before their time and some big break-ups over the years.  I miss them everyday but I know they are with me in Spirit and it gives me comfort. I know that this type of profound loss can feel that you might not make it without that person.  The holidays just makes it feel that much worse because it looks on the outside that we should be happy during this time, that joy and love are the only emotions we should be feeling.  That everyone else has their parents, their children, their spouses but its just not real or true.  That is a Hallmark or Hollywood story. It is what they want you to believe.  You know, that its really just like any other time of year, another day you are alive and breathing. Another day to take life in, to breathe it in.  To be alive with all its joy and all its sadness. To feel real feelings.

To listen to your heart and what it desires.  If you are grieving, allow the space to grieve. Give yourself permission to be sad, and miss them. Feel the feelings.  As you do this, it helps to surround yourself with those that are in your life, and those that love you. If you are by yourself, love yourself.  This is sadness and loss is an opportunity to love yourself that much more by treating yourself with care, as a fragile package. Be ok with this holiday being what it is. It is another one on your life’s journey.  You will be ok. Promise.

Love & light,

Carolyn

 

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