UnHome for the Holidays: Breathing through the Holiday Blues

When I was younger, several family friends found the holidays depressing. This perplexed me, I wondered how people weren’t joyous during the holidays. Now I understand. This year marks the 4th Winter Holiday Season since separation, and eventual divorce. Having two young children who are now “forced” to split their holidays between parents, this time of year brings to the forefront the loss of the “Norman Rockwell” image of family that I have held since a young age (sometimes with a white-knuckled grip) in my mind.  So while I can still find joy in the holidays, there is an ever present longing that I am keenly aware may never be filled…and part of me blames myself.

Breathing in, I feel the grievances of childhood ideals. Just for this moment, I choose to not question them, for to do so would be to question my right to feel the losses; losses which are palpable for me at the moment. 

Breathing out, I feel my grasp on the ideals slowly slip away.

Breathing in, I allow this cycle to repeat: allowing the feelings and the ideals to be, then allowing my grip on them to release.

So now I feel better about Christmas, at least. Now to move onto New Year’s Eve, another year in which to celebrate being single, while grieving the vacancy at my side. 🙂

May we each find a greater sense of peace about where we find ourselves in life during this more sensitive time of year. May we further allow our grievances to surface, so that we may acknowledge and honor them, then allow our grips on them to soften, freeing us to enjoy greater degrees of freedom from our suffering. Peace begins within.

Namaste

Know that you are not alone in this. If your emotions are overwhelming and/or preventing you from activities that you normally enjoy, please reach out to someone who can help: 

  • National Suicide Hotline (US) 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or chat available 24/7
  • Mental Health Referral Hotline (US) 1-877-726-4727 available 8 AM – 8 PM EST Monday-Friday

Shake It Out

It can be a real struggle to move out of grief during this time of year when the overarching myth is that everyone should be happy and celebrating. 
Wednesday, the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, changes the tide from outgoing to incoming light. Today, we have the opportunity to look into our own darkness to find our lights, for it is only in the darkness that we can most fully appreciate the stars.

Personally, the holidays have become a reminder for me of what was. Interesting to look back and see where I have painted Pre-divorce winter holidays in a golden light that is only partial truth. In elevating the past, I devalue the present. Now I’m changing the tide by allowing myself to feel gratitude for all of the beauty I do have in my life. This gives the present moment a greater sense of wholeness.

So please join me, “shake it out” so that we can all more fully appreciate who we are and what we do have, even when we believe more is never enough, when we celebrate what we do have we open ourselves more and more to love. In the presence of gratitude the closed heart opens what grief has “stolen.” Let’s shake it out! 

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