Profound grief during the holidays is something with which I can empathize. I can recall 2 different chapters of my life where the pain in my heart was so deep that I just didn’t want to bear the holiday without my loved ones. I saw people laughing and celebrating and simply felt a disconnect.
Without my mom’s traditions, grand gifts and family gatherings, I wasn’t sure how or even why to proceed. We certainly never want it, but life is something we move through. It is not a choice but a requirement that we surrender our attachment to the past and open our heart to what or where or whom is drawing us forward. Her passing was my inevitable gateway to find my own ideas, new family members, new traditions. The pain of grief is always temporary and here are 3 steps to move yourself through grief during the holidays.
- The gift is in the present: Thoughts are like wild horses and they will try to run away with us. Become aware of when your thoughts run you backwards into the past. During the holiday when you are experiencing grief, it may not be the best time to reminisce. This can take you deeper into sadness like a quicksand that you cannot escape. Alternately, if you allow your thoughts to race you forward, it can trigger symptoms of anxiety. Projecting into an unknown future when you are not yet ready to design it, can create a sense of losing control. Be in the present. Close your eyes and place your hand over your heart. Breathe into the truth of the moment. Yes there is aching and you may need to feel it to move through. In this moment you are alive, breathing and safe. Stay with your breath and the rhythm of your heart for awhile. Be present and you will feel the gift and comfort of some stillness.
2. Take control of something: The best way to brake the grip of negative emotions is to do something else. You can be your greatest and most loving ally. Make a simple list of something you would like to accomplish. You can keep it as simple as 1. Get washed and dressed 2. Make bed and hang up clothes. 3. Take a walk. Be your coach and every time the wild horses of thought try to distract you, take the reigns and command the next step. The accomplishment of the list restores a sense of control and prepares you for moving forward to power.
3. Connection: The path to inner peace always includes connection. Connect to your emotions and allow them to move through your body. Pushing them down or denying will only delay the healing. Connect to another person. Is there anyone that brings a smile to your face? Is there anyone who is lonely today? There are many reasons and many ways to connect with other people. It is in service that we find solace. Connect to your Spirit. Grief can be a passage to deepening your connection to Spirit. Remember that when you are IN the drama, you cannot have relief. When you lift your attention higher, you can remember that you are a magnificent creation, an eternal soul, passing through this world with so much to experience and offer. Be the Light for this needy planet.