It’s the holiday season, and excitement is in the air. Holiday music is everywhere, and stores are filling with shoppers, their gift lists in hand. Attentions are focused on just the right gifts, food for holiday meals, greeting cards and phone calls–everything to make the holiday what it should be, a time of sharing with those you love, renewal of spirit, and hope for the future.
It would appear this is true for everyone, but for some that’s not the way it is. A holiday season can be filled with all kinds of emotions–beautiful wonder and excitement, or it can involve stress and even dread. It usually depends upon our circumstances and/or our ability to feel at peace in spite of some kind of adversity.
It’s difficult to feel at peace when alone, missing a loved one, dealing with illness or family upheaval or having an empty pocketbook. In these kinds of situations, anxiety, depression, and loneliness can creep in, and a person may feel so overwhelmed they seek isolation and say, “Don’t bother anyone with your problems.” And they give up. And they grieve alone.
“All art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and hanging on.” ~Havelock Ellis
A holiday can also be a time when our minds wander to years past, and we’re caught up in memories. At this time of year when I look at my grown children’s childhood pictures, I sometimes wish I could go back and re-live those times. I had little money for holiday goodies, but I can see their faces full of joy and excitement, and I want to hug them again. Today my children live in different areas around the country, and I don’t see them at all except sometimes for a week in the summer that passes too quickly. And I wonder where the time went.
I remember times in my own childhood when my single mother had no money to surprise my brothers and me with holiday treats. Sometimes angels came through for us, but sometimes not. Once in a while over the years, my scattered family has managed holiday reunions when we raised a glass to the wonder of the season and celebrated another year of being together. We still have those occasional gatherings, but now I look around and realize some are no longer there. And I miss them.
“If you don’t believe in miracles, perhaps you’ve forgotten you are one.” ~Unknown
Most of us have something we’re trying to deal with, don’t we? And this time of year can bring painful feelings to the surface, preventing our full embrace of the season. We think about what’s going on around us, and we feel inadequate. We forget that our own life is a miracle. Our strength is right there inside, in our own mind and heart. And each of us has more power than we know to create the emotions we want to feel. So do we suffer through it, deny it’s there, or find ways to actually find some joy as we face those challenges?
You may feel very much alone right now, but you’re never alone. Your angels are waiting to help you. But you have to choose–decide what you want to do with your present situation. You don’t have to give up old memories, missing the ones who are gone, or being realistic about a financial challenge, or anything else that takes your focus off what this season is meant to be. Your memories and your love of people and things from the past will always be dear to you. Keep them close in your heart, but don’t let anything now inhibit your expression of love in the present.
You have innate ability to focus within and reach the love, peace, and strength that reside there. Bring those up in a spirit of hope, and move forward. Reach out to someone you trust, and know it’s okay to experience and express your feelings. Volunteer your time. Be someone’s angel. Listen to music. Get back to nature and walk outside. Yes, even if it’s snowing. And if you fall back, get up and go again. And make miracles that will last all year.
I wish you peace in your heart this season.
Tune in next week for Part 2, Holiday Miracles
Marilyn Fowler, Author