Friday, December 6, 2013

Don't Miss The Good Stuff

The holidays are here. Some of us may have mixed emotions, leftover memories of Christmases past haunting us. Often, it’s a time when single people pine for a relationship that mirrors the romantic movies and TV diamond commercials. It’s easy to go numb, walk through the holiday with blinders on hoping to not feel the pain. But, going numb means we also miss the joy of the season. 
While part of us looks forward to Christmas, another part remembers how our hopes and dreams were shattered in the past. Joyous times ended in violence. Soon, the holidays were something to dread, not anticipate. If any of that dread is still lurking in you, write in your journal, talk to a friend or therapist and clean out the hurtful feelings that are suffocating your happiness. 
It’s common to have our self-talk convince us to block out joy as if that will prevent us from being disappointed or devastated should things go wrong. It won’t. Both, disappointment and happiness come as a part of life. Focusing on the bad, does not exempt us from it nor does it lessen the pain. What it does, is keep joy at bay. Should our self-talk warn us to expect the worst, let’s tell it to shut up and replace those thoughts with a list of the blessings in our lives. Rosemary Clooney, in the movie White Christmas, had it right when she sang, “When I’m worried and I can’t sleep, I count my blessings instead of sheep.”  Stay present and see the beauty around you. Make a list of the good things in your life. Count your blessings.
Holidays can make your life seem empty without a partner. You feel that you can’t be happy without that “someone” in your life who makes you feel special. That’s the downer voice, again. It’s not true. Yes, the transition time between relationships often stinks - that voice inside you whispers that you’ll never find anyone who will love you, you’ll never have a happy life. At this time of year it’s easy to rush into a relationship hoping that this new person is the right one. Often they aren’t, and you come away devastated and the downer voice inside is reinforced. Right now, accept that you don’t have a partner and that’s okay. There are people around you that love you. Embrace that love and let it fill you. Instead of putting off living, create a wonderful holiday for yourself and others. Revel in your children’s excitement. Invite loved ones over to decorate and make cookies, feed the hungry, ring the bell, join a choir, go caroling. Get involved in causes that mean something to you. Make each day special -- play. You may feel hollow inside at first but soon Christmas joy will fill you. Don’t put your life on hold. Create a new life that’s filled with the people and things you love. Stay aware and breath in the holiday spirit.
You are a blessing in my life. Thank you for your notes, comments and reviews of my book.

Merry Christmas Dear Ones.

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