Holidays Holidays

I’ve spent weeks trying to decide what my first blog post would be. After realizing that my procrastinating was chasing me into 2018 with the potential of leaving unfinished business in 2017, I decided to present in the now… My blogs are meant to edify and encourage you. I invite you to follow me by subscribing in Contacts. You will receive periodic blogs directly to your email so you won’t miss out. Please like and comment as often as you are inspired—this is a judgment free space and I’d love to hear from you!

HOLIDAYS: For some of us, the holidays during the fall and winter seasons, that also mark the end of the year, can be particularly emotional. Some of us choose not to be with family members because of unresolved—or perhaps resolved—issues from the past. I can’t say whether either case is better because I don’t know your individual circumstances; however, sometimes healing entails a time of separation from those who are abusive.

Those of you, like me, who will not be with your bio-families for the holidays may be experiencing a gamut of anxious feelings. Your reasons may differ from mine, but the resulting feelings can be the same. Some of you may be sad due to being geographically distanced from your families, whereas some of you may prefer to be distanced. Still others may not be welcome at “home,” but are longing for the restoration of relationships lost.

I defer to my mother’s wisdom from time to time. One of the phrases that she repeats when helping me to understand things is, “Everything happens for a reason.” This may sound cliché and insufficient to comfort, but when we view our lives from a holistic perspective, in hindsight we can see that there were valuable lessons within some of our most challenging situations.

I recently heard the testimony of a man who had changed his delivery route for the first time in all his years of employment with his company. He stated that he believed that it was God telling him to do so. On that day, he reversed his route to later discover that the time that he would have made his first delivery was the precise time that a bomb had detonated at that client’s front door! In hindsight, he knew that his earlier decision had been “for a reason.” What a valuable lesson it is to trust your intuition!

Sure, most of us would rather have done without some of the abuses that we have suffered in life, but had we not, we wouldn’t have developed the fortitude that we have—and we’re still here “for a reason.” From what we’ve come through, we’re now skilled to lead others through, those who are willing to come.

“All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us” (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, NLT).

This morning I read a Facebook post that said, “Stop blaming the holidays for your emotions.” This started a conversation of differing opinions. I understand it to mean, “Stop blaming your emotions on the holidays.” In fact, holidays can bring out some of our deepest emotions. Because holidays are largely about relationships, family, and the giving or sharing of something, they beg our attention to things that are latent—things that we’ve stuffed down to effectively navigate our ways through life. In this vein, holidays can be times of introspection. It must happen sometime; ergo, why not during our times of vulnerability on Thanksgiving or Christmas?

It would be easier if we didn’t have to suffer the scrutiny of those around us—those who also have exciting plans and traditions to uphold. Those who wonder what it is that we must have done to be ostracized by our families and loved ones. And even those who care less about that, and more about us, to share their love on those days off from work when we’re all supposed to be with family.

We’re fully aware that festive lights are twinkling, candles are flickering, music is playing, ovens are baking, stoves are steaming, and gifts and good cheer are being exchanged as readily as hugs, kisses, and libations, along with humorous and embarrassing childhood stories… Somewhere… Everywhere except the place where we would be, if we didn’t accept the grace to be, rather than ruminating the reasons for everything. Time eventually provides the answers, we must only be patient.

Before we know it, the 24 hours of excitement, or anxiety and panic, of feeling unsure and vulnerable, has passed, and life commences with our focus towards the beginning of a new year. We feel as though our lives have become equalized with others,’ based on our getting through those dreaded 24 hours of inquiries and silent accusations, along with our own insecurities and self judgments.

Exhaling, we remind ourselves that feelings of guilt and shame are unloving and unacceptable regarding personal growth. We put those emotions in their places and open our hearts to receive what is available, even if it’s merely through the worldwide web or a blessing from our own hands in loving ourselves.

I challenge you to celebrate the story of your life looking forward to the chapters yet to unfold, one year at a time. Reasons always reveal themselves, even if the answers come under the healing tree on the other side. Cross your bridges courageously, faithfully, knowing that in so doing you are living affirmed! LYLA! Meanwhile, dare I declare to you, Happy Holidays!

 

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