During the holiday season, I run workshops called, “Grief Never Takes A Holiday” to help those who are experiencing grief and sadness at this time of the year. Though grief is a huge issue for many people over the holidays, I’m not expecting a big crowd. I don’t expect many people because grief is a very “personal” thing and not many people have the courage to come out in public and admit that they are grieving a major loss. But the ones that do have started the slow process of healing, something that is very difficult to do by yourself.
It’s very difficult to do by yourself because a catastrophic loss splits you into two people. One side of you is devastated and wants to just sit and wallow in the “why questions” (“why did she have to die?”, “why did God take my husband?”, “why didn’t I do more?”, “why is God doing this to me?”, etc.). Since “why questions” have no answers, the fear, anger, guilt and shame just continue to emotionally pummel you into the ground. This is your emotional side, the side that is owned and operated by your ego. And your ego’s job is to make you the center of the world, portray you as the biggest victim and use guilt and shame to make you drag your pain through the rest of your life.
The other side of you wants to move on, wants to start again, wants to try to make the most of whatever life is left. This side of you understands that the pain will change over time, the sun will shine again and your loss could be a great opportunity for personal growth. This is your logical side, the side that is owned and operated by your faith and belief that life and God have a better plan for you than eternal pain and suffering. It’s very difficult to come to this spot by yourself, you need the help of others because on your own, your ego will always win. Emotion always wins over logic, but if let other “logical” people into the discussion, you can gradually wear down the emotion. It’s like Lao Tzu’s description of water wearing down the stone in the Tao Te Ching.
The holidays make it doubly difficult because it’s when we miss our loved ones the most. It’s also the time of the year where we hurt the most, but it’s also the time of year where we can give the most. Everyone needs emotional support during the holidays and the act of giving helps us to heal ourselves. We also have the choice to focus on what’s missing in our lives or focus on what we have and be grateful for those gifts. It’s a Universal Law that whatever we choose to focus on expands and once we have the “attitude of gratitude” we see the abundance of blessings in every corner of our lives.
If you are grieving this holiday season, accept the love and help of others, then give that love and help to the people in your life that need it. It’s OK to feel sad during the holidays, but if you focus on what you have, you create an opening for the joy of holiday season to shine into your life.
Benson Medina has been writing, teaching and speaking the field of self-development for over 30 years. His professional career includes sales, training, marketing and program development for several national companies. He is a contributing author for the Gratitude Book Project of 2012.
He authors several blogs including “Any Moment” [http://www.bensonmedina.com] and can be contacted via Facebook and Twitter. Benson is the founder and president of Rising Through Grief, a grief recovery company that helps people re-integrate back into their lives after catastrophic loss. Go to our website and register to get a free copy of “What to Do Now”, a quick guide to managing grief. [http://www.risingthroughgrief.com]