This time of year is a hard one for many. Christmas brings up painful memories of loss and abuse that turn this happy holiday into an angry, depressed mess. Divorced people fight over who gets the kids. Those who don’t get their kids spend the days sad angry, and lonely. People who are pressed for money cringe because they can’t get their kids many gifts. Older ones who have no family left spend the holidays alone and lonely. People who feel trapped in an abusive situation see everyone else happy as they reluctantly go home to violence and instability. Children who are removed from their home form tragic Christmas memories, and those who remain in an abusive home dread it. For many, Christmas symbolizes loss, depression,being hurt, violence, sexual abuse, abandonment and homelessness.
Those of us who are blessed enough to not have this kind of stress around this time of year, it’s important to be aware and kind to those who seem to be having a hard time. To someone who is angry and stressed, a kind word, or opening a door for them often makes a positive impact on their day. Little things like buying someone coffee, dropping a gift off to a local charity, sponsoring a family, or donating food to the mission make a big difference in others lives.
Be patient with yourself and everyone else this season. Send out positive energy and blessings to everyone you cross. Even if you don’t directly see it, every bit makes a difference in others life.
If you are one of those who is having a hard time this season, be kind to yourself. During my divorce, there were times where I was in the depths of dispare. Christmas was not a nice time and I spent my time off sad and full of tears. A very low time for me that over time has become a time of thankfulness and joy. Having gone through trauma and abuse in your life causes hardship in many ways. No doubt about it. But it also gives you the compassion and understanding to help others in the same predicament. As you heal yourself, you are able to help others heal those wounds also. Reaching out and helping those in need helps heal your wounds and help others. A helping, understanding hand means the world to someone who is in a desperate and hopeless situation. This time of year magnifies that for many. Be compassionate and aware of those around you that may be depressed or going through a hard time. Offer your help and support. Most people have a hard time accepting help and will refuse it. Make the first move. Bring in a gift for them. Stop them in the parking lot and give them a bag of food or clothes for the kids. Invite a single parent over for dinner. Offer your home to a friend in an unstable or abusive relationship. Be there for those in need. Often they are in our circle of influence, such as at work, or a neighbor, or friend.
When we find ourself angry, sad, or our junk being triggered, take the time to heal it. Recurring memories and feelings about a trauma is normal. Each time these issues come up it gives us an opportunity to heal the wounds. Be kind to yourself. Love yourself and remember that it’s OK. You’re not the only one having a hard time, and there is support and help if you seek it out.
Acknowledge the event and feel the feelings. Tears are cleansing. Give yourself permission to be human and process your life lessons. Always remember that this moment might be unbearable, but there is the next moment. Take time to be in your stuff, but pick yourself up and do something good for yourself. Helping others also brings you out of your own situation and puts your focus on making others happy. Seeing what others are going through often helps you put your own situation into perspective. It brings joy to your heart to put a smile on others faces. It helps you appreciate the blessings through the hard times.