If you're anything like I am, you love the holidays. You enjoy the decorations, the food, the social events, the family time, the weather and everything else that goes hand in hand with the season. For me, it starts right before Halloween (yes that early) and lasts up until New Year's Day, where I then go into slight post-holiday depression.
This year has been exceptionally emotional, as I find myself embarking on a personal spiritual journey more meaningful than I've ever experienced before, and I find myself to be very deeply in tune with the feelings and concepts in life that are truly important. All of these emotions in mind, high moments have been tremendously high, and low moments have been intensely low. It took several disagreements with family, gift mishaps, flaky party guests, and food gone wrong before I stopped myself amidst the madness to recoup and rebalance. I realized I had complained more about those I love and care about in the last 3-4 weeks than I had all year long! I was ashamed and I felt like I betrayed the meaning of the season. Here's what I learned, and some things to keep in mind when you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed and little bit "over it all."
Love prevails. I wish (so deeply) that I could feebly attempt to create some magical assortment of words that could possibly make you understand the meaning of this in its entirety. I've learned however, that understanding this simple term requires your own spiritual journey, and of course I wish you endless love during that time, and forever, as the journey is never ending. Love comes from so many places, both known and unknown to us at times, and it will always keep us grounded. When stress is running high and is even caused by the sources from where you typically receive your love, know that there is still love out there for you. You have to acknowledge it exists, you must know that temporary negativity is never enough to tarnish love, you have to exude it in addition to receiving it and you have let it calm you. Let this resonate and let love win.
Regardless of the month or holiday, problems and stress will always arise. The intensity of the holiday season exemplifies all things good and bad. Stress will feel more stressful, just as warmth and affection will feel even deeper. Keep that in mind and understand that life doesn't stop because your Christmas tree is up. It's normal to still experience these problems and emotions.
It is REALLY easy to lose sight of the important things in life, even when the holidays are all about the important things in life (say that three times fast), and I think we can all relate. We all want to please, accommodate and let people know we are thinking of them, but don't let it bog you down. Thoughtful is ALWAYS better than price or status. Don't be afraid to show someone you're thinking of them with a card. We are way too hard on ourselves this time of year and there are so many things to be happy and grateful for. Don't let this beautiful time of year slip away to the evils and stresses of the materialistic side of the season. It deserves your better side. You deserve your better side.
The holidays come around once a year -- that's A LOT and it's also a little. Imagine doing the whole entire Thanksgiving/Hanukkah/Christmas/other things you partake in during this time of year more than once a year. YIKES. When you think about it like that, once a year probably sounds like plenty! Enjoy it and don't fall prey to excessiveness and greed and remember it's a beautiful thing to enjoy for just the right amount of time. Maybe you're thinking, once a year... that's nothing! Well then handle it beautifully, enjoy it, love it and then let it go. All beautiful things will always make their way back to us (and the calendar says so too).
You cannot change other people. It's not your job to try either. This is something I'm still learning everyday regardless of the season! People will always do exactly as they wish. Sometimes, that will make you the happiest person in the world while other times it will anger you beyond belief. It may even make you said or disappoint you, but the bottom line is this: You cannot change how other people speak, behave or act in any situation. The best thing you can do for your sanity and your stress level is let it roll off of you and conquer the situation with love. Maybe they're going through a hard time that's triggering undesirable behavior? Maybe they're not filled with as much love and joy as you are at the moment and you're not connecting how you'd like. Either way, they need more love. Give it to them. It's not only a better response to the situation, but you're helping someone else when they need it. This is obviously easier said than done, but you got this.
I don't doubt you'll experience stress or low emotional points during the holidays. Sometimes you need the low to reach the high again. Keep these things in mind and write down what you're grateful for this year. What and who are you truly celebrating?