Holiday Grieving

The holidays are not only a time for cheer but also one for grief. It is simply a reflection of our human fullness - our yin-yang, our masculine-feminine wholeness, our empty-fullness. In a season when we tend to focus on the cheerfulness of celebrating, we often forget that it is also the perfect time of year to grieve wholly our losses of the year. In order to truly celebrate the wonders of the year we must include how we have been altered by our losses. Because our losses alter us. When you grieve all your losses fully they teach you about who you are, what you value and what you want your life to represent. Allowing yourself time to attend to what needs to be grieved equates to masterful and kind self-care.

Things you may be grieving and not be consciously connected to:

* The perfect holiday family experiences that are the "fantasy" of the season. We have the family we have - the good the bad the beautiful and the awful. This doesn't change because of the holidays. Not having the ideal family life often means a time for grieving these dreams and hopes during this season. By grieving more fully, we more readily embody acceptance of what is, and then move into a more creative future.

* Not having the money and abundance to give the way you want to or think that you should. Fully grieving this allows us to live within our means, to share what those means truly are with our families and loved ones. Going into debt to give holiday gifts means denial of our financial circumstances. The truth will and does set us free, including freedom from debt.

* The losses of the year that mean you are now different this season. Every small and large loss of the year works through us, eventually developing into a new awareness of Self. We may be happy to be becoming the more conscious Self, and still we leave behind a past Self. It all adds up to a grief process that must not be ignored and is often full of complex emotions.

* Changes that you have resisted and have not fully accepted. These losses are hard to grieve if you continue to deny your truth of today. The healing medicine for this is brutal self-honesty and a kind and compassionate listener with whom to share your truth. This honesty and grieving creates a new beginning.

* Old losses that run deep. My dearest friends and family who have passed on - those memories and the sadness for their void in my life - my love for each of them presses at my heart with a mixture of grief and gratitude most years during this season. It is simply the reality of having loved them deeply and the truth that they are no longer here to share life with.

Allow yourself time and space to sit with these feelings, to acknowledge your losses and to tune into your inner life. In so doing, you give yourself a true holiday gift, Your Truth. Through conscious holiday grieving, you free yourself to be more fully present to the year to come.