,

Getting Through a Sad Christmas :039

I Believe More People are Sad at Christmas than Will Admit

Sad times seem to stem from one thing… death: death of loved ones, relationships, ideas of what could or should have been, death of the past.

Christmas is about the celebration of LIFE. But like any good life lesson (and story), the potential for great joy is counter balanced by the likelihood of great sadness. Oh, how life can be so poetic!

I don’t mean to be negative. I’m actually wanting to relate and reach out; to help those who are struggling and truly suffering at this time. I’ve been there. Sadness overcomes me at these times too.

 

If the Christmas time is sad for you I welcome you in

I still haven’t decided how much or how to share all of my story on this podcast. Believe me, I know the pain of separation from people who said they loved me, but whose actions did not speak the same words.

I’ve felt the guilt of not being able to make things better, to be the solution I knew I could and wanted to be. I felt guilty, even when others tore apart the progress that we made.

Divorce is now accepted as a normal way to separate legally and otherwise from a troubling spouse. What is not so widely accepted is to separate from troubling people whom you had no choice in being involved with in the first place; family.

I am divorced from my family of origin, and like any divorces, there are multiple sides to the story, and a lot of hurt feelings.

I fought to mend a complex codependent family dynamic relationship while striving to understand my own values, standards and to create healthy boundaries.

It’s difficult to know how much to share. I want to help others in a similar situation and I also want to break the taboo, that being separated from one’s family is unacceptable. Is the only way to do this to share all? I’m still looking for other solutions.

I have forgiven these people and do not want to cause them any hardship by what I share. So I walk the line steadily. I still love them, but at a distance.

 

Is the feeling of loss making you sad?

It’s natural to mourn what we have lost: a loved one, a relationship, even a thought or idea of how we thought things were or how they should be.

Grief is different for each person and each situation. Check out this wonderful, short book, Tear Soup.

If you’re reading this you’re experiencing legitimate sadness. I encourage you to feel it fully, work through it, but also seek help.

 

What can help to overcome this sadness?

For deep grief there may be many waves of these feelings, especially when the grief is struck by timely events like Christmas and birthdays. It’s very challenging also, when the people or situation that you grieve are still alive; when there is no definitive death. When family members (or people in the sidelines of the situation) don’t know the whole story and don’t seem to strive to hear you, this can make things even more difficult to endure.

Here’s what I suggest to help overcome bouts of sadness at this time:

Gather a Group

Gather a group of people whom you really love and appreciate and who reciprocate this care. Make your own festivities, not out of spite, but in order to create what you desire!

Let go

Let go of assuming what others are thinking. Similarly, let go of desiring to be understood, especially by extended family or those in the sidelines of your situation; leave this for your therapist or maybe your best friend. Others will always have their own perspective and proclivities of what they will believe. Be free of the thoughts (or assumed thoughts) of other people!

Seek help

Allow yourself to process. Ask someone close to you to remind you if you’re perhaps “grieving by the clock” – that is, if the coming of the holidays or birthdays start to trigger sadness instead of joy or more positive memories. In this case, knowing is definitely half the battle!

Accept

Accepting a situation as it is does not mean that we like it, it just means that we no longer allow it to have hold of us. Once we can accept a situation as it is – a death, the ending of a relationship, the loss of a belief or desire – we can begin to feel whole again. Accepting a loss is like offering the object that is being taken from you. Imagine someone trying to steal a very prized possession. Let go of it. When you give up the object, you no longer struggle. You can rebuild and renew.

Love

Love yourself, love others and perhaps even eventually love and forgive the situation or other party that seems to have caused this sadness, maybe. To begin this, get out and help others somehow. Volunteer somewhere. Get out of your house where your thoughts seem to loom, and help and serve others. This is an amazing healing remedy!

 

When the sadness won’t let go

There are people who hold onto feeling sad because of the attention that it gains them. I don’t think you’re one of these people… if you were, you wouldn’t have read so far, looking for a solution.

There are also people and situations where sadness takes a very strong grip and won’t seem to let go.

If you’re in this state, even though the above suggestions may seem totally incomprehensible. I encourage you to just imagine what it would be like to just do one of them!

 

It is serving you

This grief, this sadness, this situation is serving you somehow. I know this may sound ridiculous, but it’s true.

Think of how you’ve become stronger, wiser, more observant, clearer in thought, etc. from all of this already. Imagine more solutions, see who you can become through this, and soon you will be living and being that person, rather than this.

 

Sending you much love from one mending heart to another, Tara

 

“Love allows understanding to dawn, and understanding is precious. Where you are understood, you are at home. Understanding nourishes belonging. When you really feel understood, you feel free to release yourself into the trust and shelter of the other person’s soul.” 
― John O’Donohue, Anam Cara: A Book of Celtic Wisdom