When there is Grief during the holidays

“Hurry is the death of loving others,” writes Rick Warren

May I gently suggest that hurry is also the death of loving yourself, especially if you are grieving during this holiday.

Please go slowly through this holiday week. Consider recognizing your vulnerabilities. And please accept them. Vulnerabilities are not always permanent. Like a favorite teams’ winning season, they may only last for a short time.

Grieving may take many forms. Like steroid-fueled linebackers in a dog pile on the quarterback, you and I may be grieving over many people, places, and things. What begins as missing someone can dog-pile into mourning a loss of a job, an opportunity, a dream, a hope, or an identity. Best to take it slowly. The enticements of Distraction and Busy-ness perhaps are best avoided. Choosing them in the past may be a reason this time feels so intense.

Some of the grieving we do is not for people but for the masks we wear, the coping strategies we adopted that did not work. ~Emily Freeman

This may be the year that you choose to relax or reassert. To ramp up or idle. To be vague or cautious in what you accept and allow. To dwell in the protection of His grace.

Perhaps shorter visits are less vulnerable or arranging for short breaks. Perhaps groups or partners or being alone is nurturing. Or comfort yourself by recreating traditions, recipes, and activities. It does not have to be perfect this year.

Is this the year to set a goal to do something brand new? The focus on what is new can be a welcome vacation from the pain. My head hosts neighborhoods where I do not need to cruise in very long. Certainly new things do not have to be elaborate or excessive. Just listen to the whispers of your soul.

For too long, we’ve stood in the background, attending to the needs of others and claiming we have no needs of our own. We’ve shut off, for too long, the part of us that longs to be nurtured. It is time now to claim those needs, to identify them, and to understand that we deserve to have them met. Melody Beattie, The Language of Letting Go  

Perhaps this is the year to nurture yourself and allow yourself to be nurtured by others, especially if you have been the caregiver of another. Let people be there for you. Because of Grace, God, alone is perfect. You and I do not have to be. “It” does not have to be perfect either.

not perfect

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