For you, my friends. If the holidays are hard for you. If you find yourself catching your breath at the sight of seemingly put together families. If you wince in pain when you realize that this year, and forever, you will now be “one less”. If you want to shut the blinds, lock the door, and hide under the covers until January 2. If you think that the whole word just sucks, here are some gentle reminders for you this holiday season.
I’m so sorry. This sucks.
There are not two ways around it. I’m sorry. This sucks. It really sucks. You shouldn’t have to be here, but you are, and for that, I am so sorry. I wish things were different. Sometimes, I wish hearts didn’t break. I wish death did not exist. I wish relationships never ended. I wish life were better and easy and full and the world didn’t have to be cruel.
But it isn’t always. And that sucks. Badly.
I’m so sorry.
Be whatever you need to be.
In a situation of few comforts, give yourself freedom right now. Be whatever you need to be. When you go through difficult situations, it’s so taxing to put on a face, to fake it, to be something you’re not. Give yourself permission to be authentic. Surround yourself only with others who will take you, your sweet little, honest, sometimes broken, always true self. Just you, no extras.
A wound that is constantly covered doesn’t heal as it should. In the same way, if you can never let your guard down and just be, your wound can’t mend.
Let yourself be. Whatever that means, and it should be noted that it’s just fine to laugh. It’s just fine to enjoy this holiday. It’s just fine to find yourself smiling and letting your guard down. It’s just fine to feel like you are mending a little. It’s all fine. Be whatever you need to be. If that is sad, so be it. If that is happy, don’t feel guilty. You’re free.
This holiday season, do what you can to be kind to yourself. Be you, my friend.
Choose to hear love instead.
Because not all circumstances are avoidable, you might find yourself sipping eggnog next to your Great Aunt So-and-So who loves you and wants to solve all of your problems because of that love. She may say hurtful things. She may say nothing you want her to say and everything you wish she wouldn’t. The best advice I’ve heard is this, “choose to hear love instead.” It’s hard. Boy, is it hard, but most people genuinely want to scoop you into their arms and take away any pain, they just don’t know how.
So when they open their mouths, and it doesn’t feel like it’s love coming out, choose to hear love instead. Choose to see a heart that wants to reach out, it just doesn’t have the right words to say. Choose to hear just love.
You are not alone. Ever.
Know that you will not be the only person aching this holiday. It’s a horrible reality, but know that for every moment of pain you feel, that someone else out there is probably feeling the same way. Know that they are surviving. They are breathing. They are making it through, and so you can, too. Know that you are not alone. Know that you can do this. Know that you are doing just fine, my friend.
You’re never alone.
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