I hope you’re having a relaxing and fulfilling festive period. I am gratefully immersed in a cocoon of blissful rest, homemade food overload and plenty of couch time. So let me get to the point.
I noticed on social media for the first time this year, a welcomed awareness, that holidays are not always merry. This time of year can amplify people’s loneliness, home sickness and loss. The loss of loved ones, stability, health, a place to call home, a country, faith. This time of year when a lot of us are lucky to be spending time with our families (real or chosen), there are plenty of people who will not feel joy. I often struggle with this thought, as I do at other times of the year, experiencing an unhelpful emotional cocktail of guilt, helplessness and remorse. But the point is, feeling guilty for what you have will get you nowhere and it certainly doesn’t help the people you so wish to touch. I know a lot of you will resonate; 2017 has been full of horrible, inexplicable events that will go down in history and the conversation is often the same – what can I do to make a difference?
So in this festive period, if you’re blessed to be celebrating, all I ask of you is to remember:
To say Thank You to those who have helped you, to those that are working today, to those who keep you safe.
To be grateful and outrageously happy for everything you do have.
To release guilt or shame for where you are and to use your power and privilege to the world’s aid.
To ask yourself about what makes you sad, angry and frustrated in the world today, and to pick one thing to learn more about and act upon.
To call friends or family that may be alone or suffering or in need of an act of kindness.
To not be afraid to say you need support – just because you are not in crisis doesn’t mean you have to do everything by yourself.
To pause, take a breath and take a step back before defending your point of view; to remember that life is rarely black and white.
And if you’re feeling lonely or sad, to reach out. To remember, you are not alone.
Sending you lots of love