When It's Not A Hallmark Holiday

Holiday Stress

My hope is you have been enjoying the self-care series we have been doing over the past several weeks throughout the holiday season. I started in mid-November with sharing tips on getting back to basics and taking care of ourselves throughout the holiday season in order to be our best selves during this often stressful season.

Over the past two weeks as I have been deep in the midst of writing my book, I have taken pause on sharing Shirani originals and have shared some of the work of my colleagues instead. That was me practicing what I preach as I allowed myself to take care of me.

Today I want to recognize that no matter how hard you have been working to take care of yourself this season, there might still be areas where things feel out of hand and like you just aren’t measuring up. You may have had big plans or thought that by this point, things should look a certain way, and maybe they don’t quite look that way.

Today I want to share with you a message of hope, that even if your holiday plans aren’t looking the way you had wanted, that’s okay. Not everyone has Hallmark holidays.

The holidays are a season where there are lots of expectations based on ideas in our heads. All the Hallmark Christmas movies don’t help either. This is a season where everywhere you look there are all sorts of ideas about how things are supposed to look and how they are supposed to be.

Here’s the deal though: expectations are pre-meditated resentments.

When you have expectations of how things are supposed to be, you set yourself up for great disappointment. Yes, there are certain expectations we must meet, such as the expectations set forth before us at our jobs. However, almost all other expectations are the ways we set ourselves up to fail.

Holiday Expectations

If your holidays aren’t looking the way you were hoping for, I want to you know that’s okay. Perhaps you were hoping the family would be all together or that this year there wouldn’t be any family drama. Maybe you find yourself feeling disappointed that the family won’t actually be all together or upset that another year in a row, your family’s drama has let you down.

Take time to honor your feelings. Honor the fact that you feel sad. Honor the fact that you feel disappointed. Honor the fact that your heart hurts because one more year in a row, things didn’t go as you had hoped.

And once you have taken the time to honor your feelings, take pause and lean into the knowing that there are greater forces at play than you. The same Great Wisdom that turns acorns into oak trees and fetuses into babies is the same Great Wisdom that knows what is right for every person in every moment. If that Greater Wisdom knows the exact timing for flowers to bloom and babies to be born, then wouldn’t that Greater Wisdom know a thing or two about you, too?

One of the greatest gifts for me as I have been on my healing path has been the gift of knowing that I am not alone, and that there is always something bigger and greater than me that knows what the big picture plan is. When I allow myself to lean in and trust the wisdom of this something bigger and greater than me, my life always works better. The same has been true of every person I have ever worked with. When you allow yourself to know you aren’t alone, that you can never be alone, and when you allow yourself to tune into the power of this Greater Wisdom, your life will change for the better because you will feel better.

So, if your holidays aren’t looking the way you thought they would, take pause, honor your feelings, know not everyone has Hallmark holidays, and allow yourself to trust in the Divine timing and the Greater Wisdom of this something bigger and more powerful than you.

In the meantime, if someone’s drinking, druging, or overall behavior is bothering you this holiday season (or ever) please know help is available. While our office will be closed for the holidays, there are plenty of community resources where you can reach out for support. Al Anon is available for people who have been affected by someone else’s drinking behavior (or just by someone’s behavior in general). Or, if you find yourself struggling with the desire to drink or drug, you can visit AA or another 12-step program which might be right for you.

Miracles are a shift in perspective from fear to love. Many blessings to you and yours as you allow yourself to experience the magic and miracles of this season.