Mixed Feelings Around the Holidays

 http://kimfredrickson.com/2017/11/22/mixed-feelings-around-holidays/

Happy Holidays???

Hello! The Holidays are just around the corner, and it’s normal to have mixed feelings about this time of year.

For some of us, this time of year is a blessing, full of anticipation and positive feelings. For others, it is a painful time. This is especially true if you’ve been through a recent loss, tragedy, or extended period of stress. If this is true for you, please accept my condolences and hugs from afar.

Trying to feel thankful about anything may be impossible now. Click To Tweet

This is normal; it’s part of the process of recovery from what you’re going through. Let yourself be where you are, and be kind to yourself. Don’t pressure yourself to be, or feel a certain way. Instead, take the time to be kind and compassionate with yourself. Do some things that comfort you, and soothe your soul. Think about ways that have helped you in the past.

Know that you aren’t alone

I’ve had plenty of Holidays that I couldn’t wait to be over because of going through intensely difficult times. A lot of people feel the same way, but don’t talk about it. Holidays usually involved family, and time with family can sometimes be a mixed and painful experience.

My kind encouragement to you is this: You matter, and what you are going through matters.

Take a minute to talk to yourself with compassion. Click To Tweet

“I’m going through a very terrible time. I’m suffering because ____________. I have every reason to struggle; anyone in my situation would. I’m not going to expect myself to be up and happy, and act like things are okay. They aren’t. Instead of trying to celebrate the Holidays, I’ll make sure I have time to care for myself. I’m not wrong or bad for struggling. I’m grieving during these difficult times.”

Sometimes, the Holidays are a mixed experience

You may be very aware of good things in your life, and also lingering sorrows or disappointments. This is also quite normal. If this is true for you, take time to notice both the positives and negatives. It’s healthy to acknowledge both, because both are true. Take time to speak to yourself with compassion as well:

“I’m grateful for the Holidays this year. I have so much to be thankful for, even though there are hard parts too. I know other people have it much worse. At the same time, what I’m going through matters, and is difficult. I’m going to acknowledge that this time of year brings up pain for me about _________. At the same time, I don’t want to miss the good that is here for me to enjoy. I think I’ll pay special attention to all the things I have to be grateful for. I also want to make time to do some things that are meaningful to me.”

Sometimes, the Holidays are delightful, and we can enjoy them fully. If that is true for you this year, please soak in all the good experience before you. What a blessing this time is…so enjoy these moments to the fullest!

Be kind to yourself

No matter what the holidays are like for you, take good care of yourself. Include things that are important to you, do things as simply as possible, and draw comfort from your faith. How you treat yourself is of the utmost importance.

I’d love to hear from you!

What jumped out at you from this post? What was it like to know how normal it is to struggle being thankful sometime, and know it’s okay? How can you be kind to yourself this Holiday season?

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10 thoughts on “Mixed Feelings Around the Holidays

  1. Kim, you are a blessing! I know that a lot of my stress is self-imposed due to my own expectations on myself. I want to “do” and “be” and my body doesn’t respond as before or finances are limiting. I’m learning to look each day at what I can do and be thankful. I’m on this earth now for a reason and wallowing in self-pity is not it, plus where’s the joy in that.

    1. Thanks for sharing Kathy. I love how you are healthily adjusting your expectations, and being kind to yourself. “I’m on this earth now for a reason and wallowing in self-pity is not it, plus where’s the joy in that.” Amen!!!

  2. May you both have a Thanksgiving filled with the blessings of peace love and gratitude. Your message is one that is valuable and necessary for those facing difficult times or even bad memories to accept that it is difficult and still move into a time of being thankful for whatever blessings they can claim. Giving ourselves and others a break is healthy, as you have so wisely shared with us.
    You are loved, you know!

    1. Thanks Ann, We did have a lovely Thanksgiving. I hope you did too. I love your words,”being thankful for whatever blessings they can claim.” So wise, because there are blessings even in the midst of pain and disappointment. They are jewels to be found!

  3. Thank you, thank you for this! It was so very helpful & needed in my life. Your voice of compassion always ministers to me. Thank you.

  4. “What jumped out at you from this post?” . . . .How much of yourself you give to us! Thank you so much Kim.😊 💕 . . .This also:“. . .I’m not going to expect myself to be up and happy, and act like things are okay. They aren’t. Instead of trying to celebrate the Holidays, I’ll make sure I have time to care for myself. I’m not wrong or bad for struggling. I’m grieving during these difficult times.” . . . .When I despair, I remember I cannot protect myself from sadness without protecting myself from happiness. ―And when it gets even worse, I try to not cry because it’s over, but smile because it happened at all. All through history the way of truth and love have always won. There have been so many things that, for a time, they can seem invincible, but in the end, they always fall.

    “What was it like to know how normal it is to struggle being thankful sometime, and know it’s okay? How can you be kind to yourself this Holiday season?” . . . . .I’m going to try (―try) to believe that self-care is not selfish. We can’t serve from an empty shell. . . .Self-care is not selfish and yet I’m pretty sure that I may still continue to believe the exact opposite, especially in my actions ―where it *really* matters. . . . .That to care for my own heart, first, is not unloving.

    . . . .When I lay these questions before God, I get no answer. . . . .But it is a special sort of “No answer.” It is not the locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but like He is waiving the question. . . . .Like, Aleea, child; just experience My love and let it engulf you. It’s not about doing anything, but just being. It’s about being who you really/already are. The Lord is not served by us not assuming our real/ true identities . . . .God wants us so close to Him that we are radiating His glory. When we do, we liberate others from all their fears and give them permission to do the same. I know Christ has done that for me, even though I still have *lots* of faith issues. These are probably not faith issues at all, they are *love* (―especially self-love) issues. I don’t know how to deeply love and deeply accept myself even if I “know” Jesus does. ✞♚♛

    It takes a woman with a real heart to make beauty out of the stuff that makes us deeply weep. Imagine smiling after a slap in the face. Then think of doing it twenty-four hours a day. Tears shed for another person are not a sign of weakness. They are a sign of a pure heart. Tears are words that need to be written in my journal.

    . . . .I also learned, and maybe this is spiritualizing it, that the only love that makes a difference is God’s Love and appropriate self-love and compassion. We don’t need more and more confirmation from the world or more and more other people that we matter. We simply do matter. If we can finally believe that truth and actually live it, then we can do amazing things with our lives. God’s Love. . . .I don’t know, it’s like when you sit in front of a fire in winter —you are just there in front of the fire. You don’t have to be smart or trying or anything. The fire warms you. . . . .It is very hard because I reduce God to my own dimensions, ascribing to Him sort of my own reactions and responses, especially my own petty and conditional kind of love, and so end up believing in a God cast in my own image and likeness. The living God, is entirely “other”. . . . .Radical otherness and transcendent otherness for which totally limited human love is a totally distant metaphor. God’s love is much more than our human love simply multiplied and expanded. God’s love for us will always be an unfathomable mystery, entirely beyond my expectation. Maybe precisely because God’s love is something “no eyes has seen, nor ear heard nor the heart conceived” (1 Cor 2:9). . . .Something like that.

    1. Aleea,
      Thanks for your always wise and tender comments. I just love these words, “When I lay these questions before God, I get no answer. . . . .But it is a special sort of “No answer.” It is not the locked door. It is more like a silent, certainly not uncompassionate, gaze. As though He shook His head not in refusal but like He is waiving the question. . . . .Like, Aleea, child; just experience My love and let it engulf you. It’s not about doing anything, but just being. It’s about being who you really/already are.”

      Isn’t is marvelous that you can see His “No answer” as an invitation to reflect on His love and all that is here for you. You are learning and growing so much. It is a pleasure to read your reflections. Blessings and Compassion…

  5. Thank you so very much Kim for your true and wise and loving words. This season brings the overresponsibiliy the over functioning of I must be everything to all . That their Christmas happiness is my responsibility. Wrong I know…struggle all my life but now with on difference : I can learn to be kind to myself and take care of myself and that is allowed. I am learning very slowly and He has used you and your writings to teach me and leaf me to all Truth. I am extremely grateful. Thank you! Thank you! .

    1. Rachel! Yahoo for growth and freedom! ” I can learn to be kind to myself and take care of myself and that is allowed.” Amen!!! What a delight to know that God had used my words to help. Makes me smile!

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