It’s the holiday season of love and all around us we are surrounded with music, joyous color and beautiful twinkling lights. Life is quite magical during this time of year because many people are focused on all that is good with the world and thinking about ways to give those they love a merry Christmas or a happy Hanukkah or whatever it is they celebrate. BUT…not everyone is full of holiday cheer. For some people this is also one of the most depressing times of year. Those who are grieving grieve more, those who are unhappy and sad are even more so. No doubt about it…the month of December amplifies feelings…good and bad.
Since I celebrate Christmas, I am not going to say “holiday” so if that offends anyone (though, truly, I fail to see any offense especially when none is meant in any way whatsoever!)…well, sorry. The option is open to not read any further. Honestly, though, it doesn’t matter your belief and what you do or do not celebrate…what truly matters is the state of your heart. Which in turn often affects the state of your life. If your heart is hurting or your life a mess…then Christmas (this particular time of year) magnifies those states to a pretty high degree. I’m sure you’ve heard the statistics declaring that suicides are high in December. If you are lonely and are unhappy with your life or missing someone you love…then you REALLY feel that when everyone around you is focused on being happy and spending time with loved ones. What if the one you WANT to spend time with is no longer here? HOW do you deal with that? What if your family has fallen apart due to divorce? MAJOR upheaval almost always results from a marital break-up…especially when children are involved. It isn’t only heartbreak to deal with but often financial disaster too. And what if you have your marriage and family in tact, aren’t missing anyone BUT you’ve lost your home, or COULD be losing it? Or you haven’t a job? OR, you do have a job but it doesn’t pay enough to cover the bills let alone Christmas!
Life is freaking tough. It is challenging and disappointing and hurtful. It is also joyous, loving, rewarding and delightful…BUT, not when you are suffering in any way.
I have been through enough heartache in my life to know what it feels like to both celebrate Christmas and all the joys that come with it…and to cry my way through it because of all the other crap life has thrown my way. One of the worst Christmas’s for me was right after my divorce. I had three kids, they depended on me to give them the Christmas they have always enjoyed…the making of cookies, the hanging of lights, the gifts, the music…all of it. But my heart was aching and I couldn’t bring myself into feeling anything but sorrow. For them I tried to put on a happy face. But I had no money to buy them gifts, no money to buy cookie making supplies, no money to even make a Christmas dinner. I remember worrying through that Christmas with constant fear that they would not be happy on Christmas day. It’s hard to hide the tears falling like a steady rain in your heart. Thanks to my friends and family, the kids had presents under the tree and though it wasn’t what they asked for, they were happy. We were invited for dinner elsewhere so we didn’t have to worry about that either. I don’t think my children were traumatized by that Christmas as much as I was. I remember setting out the kids’ gifts that awful Christmas Eve and crying my heart out. I was not happy with my life and I had no joy in my heart. I loved my kids and was thankful for them…but they did not fill the other gaping holes gouged in my heart. They did, however, get me through that Christmas. Some people don’t even have that.
Someone I am close to is now going through what I went through that awful year and under almost the same circumstances (isn’t it weird how life can repeat itself in a family?). He has three kids and they are about the ages that mine were when my marriage fell apart. He told me yesterday: “I need to vent a little bit if you don’t mind.” (he said it in a calm voice, an almost incredulous look on his face…a “how did I get to this” kind of look). So I give him my attention and wait for his venting to begin. He continues in a calm voice, “I have nothing in my life. I just lost my wife, two of my kids (they were his wife’s kids from a previous relationship but he thought of them as his) and my home. I have no job, about a dollar to my name and nothing to show for my life. This isn’t how I expected things to be. This isn’t where I thought I would be at this time of my life.” I KNOW how he feels and it totally sucks. Pointing out to him the positive aspects of his life doesn’t change the facts as he stated them. He has a supportive family and he has his three children whom he had to fight hard and long for during his first divorce (yes, he is now going through yet another!). Finding THE ONE…the one significant other that you can spend the rest of your life with is one of the hardest treasure hunts you’ll ever conduct!
When you are sad and hurting, everyone wants to point out all the positive things in your life to help lift you up. That’s all well and good BUT it doesn’t make you feel better. In fact, sometimes it makes you feel worse because you are feeling bad EVEN THOUGH you have those other things! Yes, I was happy to have my kids (they have been my lifeline when I was drowning in hurt) BUT my hurt was coming from the loss of my marriage and all the memories we shared together (doesn’t it suck when you can’t SHARE memories? That’s part of the joy of having them…sharing them with the person who encountered them with you). Yes, I had friends and family to help give me things that I needed…food, clothes, Christmas gifts for the kids…BUT the fact remained that I was not capable of acquiring those things myself and I was without a life partner. I was in the military during my divorce and was living in base housing so I had a house to live in and didn’t have to worry about rent and utilities. I was grateful for that. I truly was! BUT, I didn’t have enough money left after paying bills to buy decent groceries or clothes for my kids. I constantly worried about that. I was always scrounging for change, counting pennies and praying for miracles. Those miracles came…eventually and when really needed (see God, Money, Faith). I can look back on those hard times now and chalk them up as experience…a time of learning and discovery. Learning my strength, discovering my true friends and knowing that God gives us what we need when we need it.
I don’t know if you’ve read The Secret or not but I sure did and I think it’s a great concept. I also believe in its message. I ought to…I’ve had many things manifest in my life that I’ve dreamed of and wished for. BUT, until your wish or dream or need is fulfilled, you still have the sorrow and hurt to deal with! HOW to do it? WHY does life has to be so darned challenging? For all the wonderful messages being thrown out at us to BELIEVE and receive, it isn’t so easy to do that when your life is a mess and/or your heart broke.
Relationships are hard. They are what make or break our life. There are many books and lots of advice given that you must love yourself and be your own best friend and the rest of the world will fall at your feet. BUT, relationships are what makes our life tolerable, joyous, hurtful or sad. The relationships we have with family and kids certainly play a HUGE role in our lives. A momentous role. BUT…it’s the relationship we have with our significant other (our partner, our lover, our other half) that seems to be the driving force behind our happiness. I can say this because DESPITE my wonderful kids, my awesome friends, my supportive and loving family…I was not happy because my marriage fell apart and I lost my partner. Even now, when things are not well between me and my husband…none of the other stuff that is right with my life…all the wonderful family and friends that I have…is enough to make me truly happy. My joy, it seems, rides on my personal relationship with my husband.
Almost every person I know seems to be happy or not depending on the status of their personal relationship with their partner (I don’t say “spouse” here because a lot of people just live together, besides, this also pertains to boyfriend/girlfriend relationships). There are some people who don’t care about their lack of a partner or who don’t care that the one they do have is not all they wanted. That’s awesome for them. BUT, that doesn’t help the rest of us who do seem to hinge our true state of happiness on how it’s going or not going with our “significant other”. This explains how even those who seem to “have it all” (money, a wonderful career, lots of support) end up unhappy and sad…so much so that some even choose to end their life! Princess Diana always comes to mind when I think about someone who “had it all” and yet was very sad. She had some of the best life had to offer: two awesome boys, beauty, riches, love from the world at large…but she was not happy in her marriage and she suffered immensely because of it.
It would be nice if we could learn to be happy with ourselves and accept that anything beyond that is extra icing on the cake of life…but I have no answers on how to get there. Thing is, it’s hard to be happy with ourselves when we aren’t in a good relationship, or have a job we enjoy or don’t have a job at all! It’s hard to enjoy ourselves if others are giving us grief in some way. It’s hard to enjoy ourselves for many, many reasons. The fact is, life is hard. The hardest thing we’ll live through! I think it does help, though, to know that we aren’t alone in this mess. Young or old, rich or poor, we all endure the same feelings. We all want to be loved…and not just by friends and family, but by one special person. Okay…maybe not ALL of us…but I think it’s safe to say that a good majority of the world population wants that.
There’s no answer on how to make this part of our life easier or to make it go more smoothly but it DOES help to know that we aren’t alone. Being alone is the worst thing ever. Aside from those we have in our life…we also have many watching over us in the afterlife. Now, some of you won’t believe that and those that don’t probably don’t read my blogs! But, if you are following my blog, then you probably share SOME of my beliefs and one of them is in God. I also believe strongly in angels…be they Guardian Angels or Spirit Guides or just loved ones who have passed on but keep a loving “eye” on us! (in fact, it was these beliefs that inspired me to write Be Still, My Love!) My life started turning around from abject misery when I began reading material about angels and learning more about them. My life got better…and eventually I did meet my true Soul Mate!! It was my belief in angels, though, that helped my heart to heal…because I knew…just KNEW life could only get better having them on my side. You have to consciously reach out to them though. They can’t just interfere with our life…we must ask to receive their help. It’s just one of those universal laws. That’s why the “ask and you shall receive” thing is such a POWERFUL statement! Asking from the HEART is one of the fastest ways to achieve our wants! Asking out of greed, anger, jealousy and any other negative emotion does NOT bring about what we want. It’s the love in our hearts…be they broken or not…that heals all wounds. Every last one of them!! So, if you are hurting…seek love wherever you can get it…family, church, organizations…and GIVE love back. It will change your life for the better. And that’s my message today.
When I say “Many blessings to you”, I truly mean it from my heart…I am asking the angels (and thus GOD!) to bless your life many, many times over. So, as we go through this challenging month of December…I wish you many blessings and much joy. I wish for you to discover the awesomeness of the angels and KNOW you are not alone…ever. Until next time…Peace Out!!!