When You're Not So Happy During the Holidays
by Lisa A. Romano
Forgive me for not sending the standard, 'Ho Ho Ho Happy Holiday Message'. I promise you I am not a scrooge or some old resentful woman whose agenda it is to bring people down during the holidays. In fact, this message is really about LOVE, HOPE, and JOY in spite of its title.
As a Life Coach and as someone who has coached thousands of people personally, as well as through my online coaching platforms, I have learned to believe that the majority of us who have come from less than super nurturing homes, don't always look forward to the holiday season. In fact, many of us experience an exacerbation of feelings of loneliness, depression, sadness, and despair.
There are many different reasons why so many of us experience less than joy during this time of year. Sometimes our bodies are recalling the trauma and the drama we experienced during the holidays as children, and below the veil of consciousness, our subconscious mind is simply making connections. In my childhood home, for instance, it was routine to walk around on eggshells, especially if my two alcoholic, intense, highly reactive uncles were going to spend time with us. I never knew when the house was going to explode.
Some of us NEVER had a Christmas at all. Some of us spent our holidays in shelters or police departments. Some of us were visiting one of our siblings or parents in jail. Some of us spent the days in the hospital. The point I am trying to make is, for many, many abused adult children, the holidays are NOT a time of joy. In fact, it just may be a time of the year that brings about tremendous anxiety and if so, this message is for you!
YOU ARE NOT CRAZY!
One of the most powerful things any abused adult child could do is, surrender to what has been and accept how we feel about what has been. This does NOT mean we enjoyed, liked, or are happy about what has happened. It just means we no longer need to PRETEND our life was peachy keen when it wasn't. This does not mean we expect people to feel sorry for us or wipe our behinds during the holidays. It just means we stop pretending like we are supposed to be one of those Target or JC Penney models we see on television ads throwing snow up in the air with big smiles on their faces carrying gorgeously wrapped presents to our friend's front door.
We might have to process emotions other people who came from homes that were healthier than ours do not. And that is totally OKAY!
Take a deep breath Dear One. If you are not full of Ho Ho Ho's and you find yourself feeling a little off until January 2nd, 2019, fear not. You are NORMAL!
Don't compare your emotional experiences to those who have NO clue just how difficult, challenging, or chaotic your past has been. No one compares oranges to apples for good reason. It doesn't make sense to. And it makes no sense to compare yourself on any level to any other human being.
YOUR PERSONAL EXPERIENCES MATTER and how you feel during the Holidays will reflect how you may have felt in the past.
Don't let the holiday music, the Facebook or Instagram posts that show people feeling all fuzzy and bright during this season bring you down. Instead, accept how you feel. Love that inner child within you. Understand why you feel the way you do and you will be surprised at how doing so lifts your spirits.
This is my first Holiday without my mom and last night I had a very emotional dream about her. This morning I woke up weepy and you know what I did? I ACCEPTED how I felt. I didn't judge myself or criticize myself for NOT waking up full of Holiday Cheer and in a short amount of time I began to feel less heavy. My children have ZERO contact with their father and when they speak about how sad they feel, I stand as a witness for them and encourage them to talk about how they feel. I also told them to NOT judge their emotions. It is totally NORMAL to feel less than happy during the holidays when you are managing troubling relationships and in fact, the holidays only make things worse!
Dear One, if you don't feel full of holiday joy, accept it and give yourself a great big hug! Don't allow what mainstream media and social media tend to imply what we should be feeling during the holidays to make you feel worse about how you feel.
You are ENOUGH no matter how you spend your holiday!
I created this short video to help you feel more LOVE for self this season.
I hear you--I understand--I have been there--and now I know--accepting how I feel whatever I feel is the fastest route to personal happiness.
All my love,
Your sister in Love and in Light,
Lisa A. Romano