I was the bahumbug of Christmas until I finally chose to be in the moment.
Thinking back to high school after losing a loved one and feeling torn and confused about literally everything in my life, Christmas was not enjoyable. I was able to put on a face for the family and yes there were some highs but more than anything I couldn't help but feel like Christmas could never be joyful at all.
Dramatic? Sure. But here's the take away this holiday. For those of you who are hurting this holiday season, whether it's dealing with an illness or dealing with a divorce, breakup, custody battle, addiction, loss of job, loss of a friend and loved one. One of the best and hardest ways to push on through the pain a holiday may bring is to accept that you are allowed to take a break from being superhuman and allow yourself to feel.
A huge part of grief that so many people hold onto is the denial. Denial that you are going through this, that you are not ok, and that this holiday is hard because of… Any of these sound familiar?
Sitting in denial doesn't mean that you are bogging yourself down in this routine. It's making the point to accept that you are human and your emotions and feelings have a purpose. And from this, you pick yourself up and live one more day showing more care and grace for yourself.
Addictions don't vanish in one single day, mentally you are still battling. You don't just move on from an ex two seconds after the words "we're done" are exchanged. The heartbreak of losing a friend, family member to cancer, overdose, suicide, illness, accident, murder, etc. It doesn't end right after the funeral is over. Life can really feel like an ongoing battle of emotions. But you are not going through these alone.
And while at the moment you may feel like Christmas is the worst holiday ever and how could anyone be joyful right now, I encourage you to push through. Look around you today and find one small sliver of light in your life. It can be the tiniest speck of hope and it can come in a flash. But that's more than you had a minute ago.
This holiday season can be hard. And it may not feel joyful or hopeful. But it's one more day to find the hope. One more day to see a light in the darkness. One more day to show love and slowly accept love in return.
This Christmas, whatever you may do or however fake you have to be to get through the season, push yourself to acknowledge the pain and then to sit in a moment of gratitude for whatever you have on your mind that is positive. It may be as small as a mustard seed. But that's all you need.
There is a deeper and more powerful and graceful reason for this holiday that goes beyond the dinner table, the television, social media, and all pain and that is hearing the true story of Christ Jesus' birth and life. In a world that threw so much hatred and disgust at his face, every day he pushed on. All so that one day, as hard as life can be, we can have a true relationship with him. A relationship that will never leave us or forget us. A relationship that isn't deceitful on his end, and one that forgives and loves fiercely.
I was the bahumbug of Christmas. I faked it till I made it. Until one year I owned up to my pain, addictions, confusions, fears. And then I allowed myself to do the simplest and boldest thing, I forgave myself and loved myself. It's not the first or even the third thing we think of doing when it comes to moving on but it is necessary. It's more than just a baby in a manger. The baby in the manger is our friend, our loved one, our hero, our confidant, and our greatest cheerleader.
You can do this! I believe in you.