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Loneliness At The Holidays
Most of us a familiar with the statistics showing that holiday time has one of the highest suicide and depression rates of the whole year. Even if you are not feeling overtly depressed or even suicidal it is quite possible that you may be one the millions of people who have feelings of loneliness and sadness this time of year. So what is it about the holidays that causes us to feel so sad?
The problem is not with the holidays themselves but with the many stories and beliefs we hold about them. It's important for us to understand that we never have an emotional reaction unless we have perceived something and judged it in some way - good or bad. Once we see the truth or "what is" about the holidays we no longer will be affected by any story that our minds put forth.
Some things we may believe are:
You should never be alone this time of year, everyone should be with someone.
You should connect with your family this time of year.
You should not go on a vacation holiday time without your family.
If you are not with people at the holidays you are not loved. If I were in a relationship I would not be alone now.
I have no friends where I live now and the holidays are making it worse.
I have nothing to do and no parties to attend, no one wants me.
These are just a few things you may be thinking as there are many sad stories of holiday woe, so do make note of what lies your mind has been proposing to you so you can move past them. This is how I approach these thought-forms so I can enjoy the holidays with an open heart, gratitude and joy.
First, I recognize that my family also has many beliefs about the holidays that they feel compelled to hold me too. While I respect my family and do my best to be with them (since it brings them so much joy) - there have been times when I've been exhausted and personal time took precedence over being with my family. If this is the case for you - don't defend yourself to your family as you are not a victim. Simply let them know what is going on, what you are doing and do your best to find a way to connect with them again as soon as you can. That is being respectful to both dreams. Know that there is no absolute rule that you must be with family at this time of year - but also look at the reasons why you might not want to be with them. If you have any fear on your side born of judgment of any of your family members then you are not acting from love but from your fear-based thought-forms.
Second, if you're alone at the holidays it's because you've created your life that way, not because the world is against you or that you're unlovable. If you've just moved to a new city and you don't know anyone “ join a club and go to their holiday activities, take a class in holiday cooking or wine tasting, or even commit to volunteering at your local hospital. Notice how your mind will create the exact conditions you need in your life to prove to you what you already believe about yourself (that you are not loveable).
Third, neediness is the expression of a victimized mind that has no self love. If you think your holidays would be better if you were in relationship this is simply not truth. The most important relationship you have is with yourself. And if that is fulfilling you will not need anyone else. Yes, of course it's lovely to have a companion in life as we are social animals “ but neediness is not love.
Last of all, the bottom line is that the holidays are just another set of days in your life “ no better or worse than any other days. It's only because you assign great import to these days do they become painful. I encourage you to purposely spend your holiday with yourself doing fun things like ice-skating, holiday window shopping, catching up with movies, listening to beautiful music in the tub, having a massage, and just relaxing. Learn to take actions that prove to you that you love yourself rather than using the holidays to prove that you are not loved.
© Villa Lemonia in Miliou village near Paphos