With November coming to a close, holiday cheer is ramping up…for some. However, at this time of year many individuals experience complex emotions that are less socially accepted. Expressions of anger, sadness, & grief in particular, receive a bad “wrap” (pun intended), and are often encouraged to stay hidden below the copious amount of seasonal décor. At the same time, trying to force a hallmark “happy holiday” demeanor, to avoid the label of Scrooge or the Grinch, can be exhausting.
I think it is ok if it isn’t a “happy holiday”, and we need to create space for ourselves and others to be authentic and feel whatever comes up. However, creating room for this does not mean tolerating poor behaviour (I’ll speak more to that in my next post). It only means understanding and accepting that others may not share how we experience the holidays.
There are endless reasons for emotions to surface. One is that the holidays can activate feelings of missing people. Perhaps it’s a past partner, family member, friend. Moreover, these feelings can become especially confusing when they involve people who are no longer welcome in our lives.
Regardless of your particular situation, when we miss someone it’s typically because we are trying to connect with a feeling.
I would encourage you to reflect on this: What feeling did this person help you connect with? Was it feeling connected, valued, certain, loved, desired, safe, seen, heard, understood etc.?
“Missing” is often regarded as a negative experience. Yet, it is really our body’s way of sending a message to remind us that something is important to us. When this embodied wisdom is acknowledged we can reap the benefits.
Knowing what feelings drive us can be the perfect way to enhance motivation, build a life we love, and generally get our needs met. Further, the more we do what is aligned with our authentic self, the more opportunities we have to receive these feelings in the future.