The holiday season is always tough but it is more difficult when you are dealing with the pain of the death of a loved one, divorce or those awful words, “I don’t love you anymore!”
Many times death takes us by surprise. Even though we know in our hearts that it has to happen to all of us; it is never easy on the ones who are left behind. Our mother died on Christmas eve; several years ago. We knew that her death could happen at any time; it just slips up on you. This is why we need to take very good care of ourselves during this holiday season. Depression slips up on us too.
Death of a spouse or a child is probably the toughest thing anyone ever has to face. I refuse to even think about this; not because my head is in the sand but because what you think about you bring about. Just know that my heart goes out to you who are mourning this loss. Please get up and take care of yourself.
The holidays bring out another type of loneliness and stress; Divorce! As perfectionist we feel like failures because we just couldn’t make it work. Boy do we ever try. We put up with all sorts of things because we do not want to be considered a failure by ourselves or the rest of the world. So in other words you were putting yourself and your children through this stress because of what others would think.
Those other people are not living in your home and have no clue what you had to deal with. We have to dismiss those feelings of failure because if we don’t, we will be stuck in that time warp forever. We all make mistakes and there are no perfect marriages. So forgive and get on with your life: Even if you have been hurt deeply. Forgiveness is the greatest healer. If you would like to an essay I wrote on praying for your enemy; please send me an email with PRAYER in the subject line to FlyLady@flylady.net .
Then we make the holidays even harder on ourselves by wanting to have the perfect celebration. Well let me tell you; Make the most of your time with your family; it doesn’t have to be on that particular day; any day can be a celebration. Relieve the stress by letting go of the ideal picture perfect holiday and turn the day you choose into your celebration.
I will be doing this because of my son’s travel plans for the holidays: December 28th will be our big family day! Some years we do it earlier. Personally I think it makes the holidays last longer. No more crash and burn all in one day; we will be having lots of mini holiday get-togethers.
If you are going to be alone on Christmas Day then get over yourself and get out there and volunteer somewhere. Plan a little celebration for your friends who have no place to go. Instead of feeling sorry for yourself get up and do something to help others. That is the fastest way I know to get off your pity pot. Be thankful for what you have and bless others! You can always find others who are in need, if you will just take your eyes off of yourself for a few minutes; focus on someone else.
When you are feeling like this and your home is falling to pieces around you; try this. Your home being a mess is just a symptom of depression. Set your timer and go get dressed to shoes then do 15 minute in the kitchen, shining your sink. Don’t question me on this; just get up and do it.
Now I want to talk about our fear of abandonment and those words; “I don’t love you any more”. They really do pitch our self-esteem out the window. Been there; done that and I learned a lot about myself during this time of self-discovery. As devastated as I was by being dumped by this man; I realized that the presence of him does not or did not make me who I am. In our neediness, we settle for any ole lost puppy that comes around because in our perfectionism we think we can change them. So instead of working on ourselves, we set out to fix and mold this diamond in the rough. The only diamond you can polish is you!
When we quit trying to ride that black stallion and train him, we can begin to find out what make us tick. It is only when we open up our wings to FLY (Finally Loving Yourself) that we find our true power. This is the power to attract exactly what we want and not just settle for whatever comes along. In order to do this you have to know what it is you are looking for! Being pitiful and begging this person to come back is not a position of power. Why in the world would you want to be with someone who doesn’t love you! Think about this. We are worthy to be loved for who we are and it is not until we know who we are and what we want that these relationships can develop.
The holidays can be rough but only if we wallow in our self-pity. My step-grand mother told me on her death bed, “Marla, don’t cry for me, because your tears are not really for me they are because you will be feeling sorry for yourself. Celebrate my life!”
Let’s commit to celebrating all of our days not just the ones that are set aside as holidays. Make your home hugable and when you feel yourself starting to get down in the dumps; I want you to set a timer and go put on some decent clothes, fix your hair and face and take care of yourself. Nine times out of ten when you start to feel this way; you have not gotten enough sleep, eaten a good balanced meal, had enough water today or you have crashed and burned by not taking breaks.
If you feel yourself wanting to isolate and CHAOS is reigning in your home: Call someone to come over! It is OK to reach out and touch someone. If you know of someone who is hurting; pick up the phone and give them an invitation to do something with you: Even if it is just a snack and coffee. Many a heart has been poured out at a kitchen table. Open up your doors to some of those heart to heart talks with a friend. Don’t assume that they are doing OK; on the other hand those of you that are in pain; People can’t read your minds either. You need to reach out and touch someone too. Facebook is not keeping up with them. Do more than just like a picture. People need people! Make an effort and you will be the one rewarded!
So take care of yourselves right now more than ever. Even though I have been preaching this for years; many of you have not been listening. Go download the copy of the Holiday Control Journal and take it to a friend. Sit down with them and do it together. Meet every few days to stay on track. You could have a holiday buddy! Get together and help each other with your homes. I want to hear those laughs as you Bless your Homes together.
I love you all; I want you to Cruise through the Holidays with joy in your heart.
Please don’t wait till the last minute to plan for the holidays. Procrastination will hold you hostage in your own home. This goes for shopping too. Buy a few gifts each week. Consider giving clutter free gifts this year.