Ever notice that during certain times in life you are supposed to feel a specific way, and if you don’t, it’s not okay?
Like, you’re on vacation so you’re supposed to have the best time ever…
Or it’s your birthday and you should feel so celebrated and happy all day…
Or it’s the damn holidays and everything should be joyful perfect family time.
As the holidays approach and we are bombarded with “It’s the most wonderful time of the year,” remember that it’s OK to feel whatever you feel, EVEN IF IT’S NOT WONDERFUL.
You’re grabbing the pine-scented candle at Target, and you burst into tears remembering how much your dad loved to cut down the Christmas tree, and he’s no longer with you.
You hear “O Holy Night” on the radio and your heart hurts remembering that time your ex said they loved you on the way to Christmas dinner with this carol playing in the background.
You get flushed as you listen to a friend describe their perfect mother-daughter holiday shopping and baking cookies, and you’re reminded of the strain with your own mother.
Grief and sadness are as much a part of the holidays as eggnog and cookie trays.
But we pretend like it shouldn’t be here and that we are being party poopers or worse when we don’t feel holly jolly.
The older we get, the more loss we experience. It’s just a fact of life — relationships have ended, people we love are gone, and disappointments have mounted.
Rather than pushing this down or judging yourself for being sad, just acknowledge that the holidays bring up a lot for everyone.
Normalize being sad sometimes. Let it be okay to feel disappointed, left out, or like you don’t fit in. Know that you’re not alone in this.
All your feelings are valid and okay. If you give them some room to be here, it will feel easier to get through the hard days and feel joyful on the good ones.
I’m sending love to all your feelings, whatever they are.