Carole Lynne, author of Cosmic Connection: Messages for a Better World, Consult Your Inner Psychic
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Behind our holiday smiles and good wishes, many of us carry feelings of deep grief. So how can we have a wonderful holiday if we are experiencing sorrow? Each one of us can choose to have a good holiday or bury ourselves in our troubles.
Following are suggestions for transforming your grief during the holiday season.
Realize that you are in charge and can make the best choices about how to cope with your grief.
If you are in grief because of the passing of a loved one, decide whether you will be happier being with family on the holiday or being alone with thoughts of your loved one. Know that it is your decision and do not let others orchestrate your life with activities they think will make you happy. You are in grief and that is enough to cope with. This is not a time for you to carry the extra burden of pleasing others.
If you choose to be with people, have as nice a time as you can by asking questions about their lives. As you listen, you will get your mind off yourself and this may bring some much needed relief. If you choose to be alone, then pamper yourself with a cuddly blanket and your favorite snacks. Spend the time focusing on memories of your loved one and sending prayers of gratitude for the time you had together.
Practice unconditional love.
If you are in grief because you are not getting along with members of your family or members of your family are not getting along with each other, this is a time to rise above your everyday human mind into a higher state of Divine Consciousness where you can see the Light of unconditional love. While the voice of your ego gossips about members of your family, allow the voice of your inner wisdom to kindly ask your ego to calm down. While the ego-voice makes you feel sorry for yourself or irritated with the way you are being treated, allow the voice of inner wisdom to see beyond petty circumstances. Let Divine love shine through you and not only will you feel better, but you may notice that as others feel the presence of Divine love, they will also calm down, without knowing why.
Find a family if you do not have a family.
While many feel they have too many relatives, there are those among us who have no family as all of their loved ones have passed into eternal life. There are also those who are separated from their families by distance or emotional battles. If you want to celebrate the holidays with family and do not have a family, then find one. You are a member of the human family, and there are millions of people who need your love.
Volunteer your time on the holiday and serve meals in a community soup kitchen, hold and sing to babies in an orphanage. Make bags of sandwiches and hand them out to homeless people sleeping in train stations. As you find a way to give to others, you will receive the special rewards that giving always brings. Your heart will fill with gladness.
Remember that the holiday is just a day, and tomorrow will be another day.
Do you suspect we get just a tiny bit carried away with holiday expectations? We want the holidays to be a time of wonder and glory. We want relationships to be perfect and special moments to be had by all. And sometimes our expectations are met and sometimes not.
Tone down your expectations. Get rid of unrealistic fantasies about yourself and your loved ones. You will have a much better time if you are not expecting all your problems to be solved because it is a holiday.
Take special care of yourself if you are in grief on a holiday.
Think about what activities make you feel happiest. Do you feel good when you exercise? Do you like to play the piano? Or is cooking one of your most enjoyable activities? Especially if you are in grief, you must include activities that make you feel good this holiday season.
Take care of your body, especially if you are in grief. This is not the time to eat and drink things that you know do not agree with you. You really do not want to have to cope with the extra stress of indigestion and heartburn. Pamper your body by eating and drinking the foods and beverages that bring feelings of calm and well-being.
YOU are a special person. Treat yourself well. Cry if you need to and reach out to others if that will be helpful. Remember you are in charge and you are a strong person. You can cope with grief and find happiness. Life is never one thing or the other. Life is a mixture of many emotional textures that all weave the patterns of our human experience.