As we move into the holidays some people revert to the giddiness of a child while others are seeking the energy to just get through it all. The holidays can be both a blessing and a curse for many. One minute we are enjoying the lights, the music and all the yummy baked goods and the next we are in tears missing a loved one or in an anxious spiral of fear about the financial burden we feel in our perceived obligations to not only gift the ones we love with something but also our kid's friends, teachers and every single person that has provided a service to us throughout the year. Phew that's a mouthful and a mindful.
Whatever you are feeling this holiday season I want you to know it's ok and you are not alone. The holidays can trigger a lot of emotions and bring up a lot of unresolved trauma and pain. Whether you have lost a loved one, your kids are with your ex this year, you have a family member in the military thousands of miles away, or countless others reasons that make you feel like curling into the fetal position, you do not need to "RISE UP" for this occasion. #sorrynotsorry.
I know because I am one of these people. It started in my childhood and for decades to follow I put on a brave face pretending the holidays were pure magic while inside I was screaming for them to just go away. Every cell in my body was overstimulated with the lights, the music, the crowds, the obligations, the presents, the expectations, to the point where I would just become numb. Everything I did became robotic and I had to shut myself down emotionally and mentally to just get through it all. By the time New Years Day rolled around I was exhausted, and quite frankly, angry.
I turned all this around when one year my husband, children and I decided to open our restaurant doors on Christmas day to feed anyone in need of a hot meal while delivering pre packaged homemade meals to all the shut ins within our town. Our reasons for starting the tradition sadly were not 100% "pure" at the time. It was more about getting out of those dreaded family obligations however as we planned the event with the help of our kids, customers and friends it took on a life of it's own that actually became pure magic. We continued this tradition for the next three years, not to get out of anything but rather to continue with this beautiful tradition of community we created even just for a day. It absolutely changed my vision of what the season was truly about. It didn't mean my pain went away nor did it fix my childhood trauma, but it allowed me to channel my energy into something positive. Something that made me see the beauty of the season and be grateful for it even in my pain.
Since closing the restaurant to pursue my dreams of being of service in a different way I find myself falling back into those moments of not enjoying the holidays like I did for that short period of time in my life. I'm once again overstimulated from the lights, the noise, the people, the expectations and even the financial aspects of feeling obligated to get my teen daughter's entire list (don't worry it's not happening) all while having a son in the military, thousands of miles away at the moment. And you know what? It's all ok. I don't have to put on a brave face anymore. The holidays though presented as bright and cheery aren't always what they appear to be.
So, if I find myself singing along to Silent Night only to end up in a heap on the couch because it triggered me then you you know what? I'm going with it. If my son is unable to come home for the holidays guess what? I'm gonna ugly cry. If I need to lock myself away in Klarity Kottage for some peace and quiet away from all the noise then so be it, I will. Because not going numb this year and feeling everything I need to feel is awareness and awareness leads to growth and growth leads to expansion and expansion leads to healing.
My wish for you this holiday season is that you truly see, even if only through my words, that you are not alone in your feelings. That one moment you can be flying with reindeer magic and the next you can be bunking with the Grinch. To see the light you must first be left in the dark. It's what you choose to do in the dark that makes a difference.
Kelly McCarthy is a passionate universal energy teacher, intuitive practitioner and insightful sacred speaker located in Litchfield County, CT. Though not a published author yet, once in awhile she feels called to write about something that speaks to her.