This is the time of year that we focus on celebrating the holidays. We focus on creating the perfect experience for our loved ones, and look outward to meet the expectations of and provide happiness for others. For those of us who have faced trauma, the holidays can bring up a lot of unresolved feelings. In the chaos of all this, we tend to forget that our life belongs to us first.
You deserve to live a life of unrestrained joy. Celebrate yourself and the beautiful Soul you are. You don’t need to earn the right to be happy – you just need to intentionally choose YOU and what calls to you on this journey.
If you are celebrating the holidays and caught up in the craziness of preparing, include yourself on your to-do list. As you make your holiday checklist, take note of each item, and see if it still fits you. Does it make you happy to be doing this? If not, what would you rather do instead? Have a conversation with your loved ones about doing something new – they may surprise you. Often, we do the same things every year since we think our families want these things, yet they probably don’t mind doing something different.
If you are among those who do not enjoy this time of year, know that whatever you are feeling is perfectly valid. You need not explain why you feel the way you do. Instead, focus on YOU. What are your needs right now? What would feel good for you at this time of year? Perhaps it is starting a new tradition or maybe it is ignoring the holiday season altogether and doing something fun, unexpected, and unusual. We can choose to stay stuck in the hurt of this time of year or we can choose to create a memory just for us, based on our personal wishes, and without heeding external input.
Surround yourself with people who make you feel good this holiday season. Your time is precious and you don’t need to spend it with unsupportive people. Be around those you enjoy spending time with, and avoid people you don’t care to spend time with. Choose people who add to your joy.
Whether we are healing from trauma or not, the greatest achievement we can have in life, is to find our personal version of happiness. This is different for each person, even within the same family. When we create moments that bring us happiness, we can multiple this into hours and days. Creating happiness when you are hurting is hard. Start with small moments, such as something you really enjoy eating or a song that makes you smile. Find one thing to bring a smile to you today. Actively and consciously seek out things to feel good about and feel grateful for – find that which brings you joy. The more you do this, the more you will find.
Whatever you choose to do, you don’t need to justify or explain to anyone why you chose this path. All you need to do is check in with yourself and see if it feels right for you. If it is a yes, go for it unreservedly.
What are you doing, just for yourself, this holiday season? Share and let me know.