I’m sitting here watching my favourite Christmas movie, Love Actually. It’s at the scene where the freakishly talented kid sings “All I want for Christmas…” at the school play.
it’s a popular song. You’d have to live under a rock to avoid hearing it at least once during the holiday season. I’m curious how many people may hear this song and drift to thoughts of a loved one who left this earth too soon. Or maybe an estranged lover who ghosted you without explanation. Or maybe the devastation of infertility issues. There are a million circumstances. And there are a million people who may hear the beginning, “I don’t want a lot for Christmas…” and start to cringe.
The holidays are tough in general. In addition to this one song and the general stress of holiday shopping and family gatherings, the season is FILLED with lights, red and green decorations, pine scents and cinnamon smells as well as traditions that can all be triggering elements to someone who has experienced grief or trauma during this time of year. There may also be expectations for your involvement at family functions where you will have to be in close proximity with a frustrating or even unsafe relative…
If you find yourself experiencing a “feeling” that washes over you without warning this holiday season, you may recognize that you’re not actually “drifting off into thought” and that there aren’t really THOUGHTS to process at all – instead… it’s just a gross FEELING. The unexplainable feelings of irritability or “yuckiness” may be unresolved grief that your body is holding onto.
Our bodies and brains store emotional impact. Our bodies hold on to the hidden hurt from painful relationships. Our bodies hold on to unmet expectations.
To others, it often looks like irritability, poor concentration, anger and numbness.
Listen when I validate this for you:
You aren’t consciously deciding to be irritable or aloof.
You may just be stuck.
If you’re finding this to be happening to you or a friend, please know that it’s completely normal. Also know that processing those conflicting emotions (getting out of your head and into your heart) and achieving clarity around it is possible.
When you’re ready, we have a safe space for you to dive into grief RECOVERY. And afterwards, you’ll be able to watch Love Actually (or It’s a Wonderful Life, Home Alone, Elf, or Die Hard :-), or any other Christmas movie) with clarity.
Hugs and Happy holidays,