“Happy holidays!” “Merry Christmas.”  Really? The holiday season has been challenging most of my life.  The weight of expectations coupled with painful memories adds layers of difficulty to each day.   This year is the first in many years where I do not feel the normal ho-ho-ho anxiety.  I think it is a sign of the amount of healing which has occurred in my life. 

 In the midst of the cultural pressure to be jolly, to buy just the right gift and embrace the “joy” I want to acknowledge that this is not the experience of many of us.  Rather it is a time of increased anxiety, difficult memories, disappointment and lost dreams.  Holiday movies, with their messages of everything working out, happy endings and magical personages making everything right add to feeling that there is something wrong with us.  Of course, rationally we know these messages are not true or do not tell “the rest of the story.”  There is nothing wrong with us!

 If this is a good time of year for you, I am happy for you.  Good for you. 

If this is a challenging time of the year for you, you are not alone.  It is okay. This season will pass.

Practice good self-care.  Be gentle and kind with yourself and others.    Find the things which give you joy, strength, courage, health and practice them.  In the season where it may feel easier to hibernate, to withdraw, reach out to someone you trust and connect.

You can do this.  We can do this. Remember you are not alone.

The blog will be on holiday until the new year.  It is my hope and wish that you find a measure of peace and joy in these weeks which bring 2021 to a close.   See you on the other side of this season.

Be well.  Stay safe.  Take good care.

Mike

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