The Gift of Holiday Sadness

I want to write to those of you that may be feeling sad during this holiday season…..to let you know, to let myself know (for I always am writing to myself as well as to you) that it’s ok to be sad. It’s ok to feel whatever is coming up for you. It’s ok to feel the grief, the loss, the emptiness, the pain that may be more intensified this time of year against all the images of what the holidays should look like and should feel like and should be like. As they say in the language of recovery, we need to “stop shoulding” on ourselves. Enough.

You are sad. You have good reasons. I am sad. I have my reasons. And it’s ok. It does not mean that I am not grateful and that I cannot experience moments of such joy and tenderness, even in the midst of the grief and sadness. Life is not black and white. We are not all one feeling or another. We are complex, and we can contain all the feelings. Every last one of them. Even the oh so painful ones.

So during this holiday season, I wish you the space to feel what you feel, to be who you are, to experience life on your terms. And I want to sit beside you quietly, with my words here on this page, and let you know that you are not alone. Your sadness is a sign of the depth of who you are and the depth at which you can love and become attached. Your grief is a sign of the love you are capable of. Your pain is a sign of your humanity, and of your ability to connect with others and understand them and offer them some comfort and support and quiet companionship, Your complexity is a sign of the depth and growth of your tender soul and all that it has gone through and endured….and become richer from.

I wish you understanding and self compassion and self love and tenderness….Whatever you are feeling is ok. Let it be – give it space – and breathe. It is one of the gifts of life. There will be enough time for deadness when we are no longer here. But, for now, let us be alive….let us feel it all. I am right here, quietly beside you.

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