It’s a busy time of year for EVERYONE. The holidays either bring joy, sadness or both to each of us. I wrote a post earlier this month titled “When the holidays hurt…what to do for your friend and yourself.” The reality is that we are all so busy, the people who may benefit from this post – maybe didn’t have time to read it.
So, I’ve summarized the content, in hopes that someone who needs to either be encouraged or affirmed will take a few minutes for self care. Sometimes, we need information in small portions vs. the main course.
Here’s the appetizer.
If you have a friend who has suffered a major loss or challenge this year (i.e. a death in family, divorce, job loss, major illness, etc.), you will benefit by moving toward your friend, rather than away from your friend.
You can be the light he or she needs this holiday season.
You will experience life in a much richer way by:
- Acknowledging your friend’s loss
- Not making decisions for your friend about holiday events
- Being understanding and flexible about your friend’s involvement in holiday celebrations
- Doing something special for your friend
- Keeping your commitments – don’t bail on your friend the last minute
When people have shown me these kindnesses, it has given me the gift of unconditional love.
Now, a word to those of us who are in the middle of a deep loss:
- Realize our grief over ANY loss is important; there is no grief hierarchy
- No guilt over sadness about a loss when others are happy; there is no grief timeline
- Accept grief as unpredictable and messy
- Ask for what you need – don’t pretend or stuff your feelings
- Find a creative way to honor your loved one or acknowledge your situational loss either privately or publicly
- If you just can’t go to holiday gatherings, don’t – give yourself permission to say no
We can have glimmers of bright moments during difficult life situations. They start by being our authentic selves with family, friends, co-workers around us. Be real. Don’t hide in the dark.
The holidays give us an opportunity to see people who we haven’t in a long time. It’s helpful to realize we’ve all struggled with something in 2017; it’s the better to choice to be genuine reflections of reality to one another.
Wishing you peace.
Note: If you’d like the main course on this topic, please read the previous post.