Is It The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year?
By Resna Marie Brunson, MSC

What is your “most wonderful time of the year.” For some it is their birthday. For others it can be an anniversary. It could be the first day of the year or even a season. Movies, songs, and commercials have designated Christmas as the official most wonderful time. Christmas is not seen as one day of the year but more like a fifth season. Many look forward to the new colors, sights, sounds, and smells at this time. There are food and drinks like eggnog, hot chocolate, and gingerbread that seem to delight our palates more. However, there are those who do not see anything wonderful during this time. On the contrary,  some find this time to be somber.  How can the Christmas season bring about such emotional polar opposites? Here are some possibilities.

Loss. Feeling “wonderful “ may be difficult when grieving a loss. Grief of a person, relationship, or tradition/ritual makes it challenging to experience the wonders of the Christmas season. Unfortunately, feelings of grief do not shrink nor are they  put on hold because of Christmas festivities.

Loneliness. In a previous post It Is Not Good For Man To Be Alone, we read about the importance of connection and the benefit of safe relationships. For many, it is incomprehensible for someone to be truly lonely. If only the person was more friendly, assertive, or more out going. We sometimes confuse being alone with loneliness. Loneliness is more of an emotion as opposed to a state of being. Feeling misunderstood, unappreciated, unwanted, less than, ashamed… can contribute to feelings of loneliness. Loneliness is not cured simply by attending holiday events or inviting people over for Christmas dinner. 

Longing. What have you been longing for? Because the Christmas season falls at the end of the year it can also be a time for self reflection. I sometimes find myself waddling in regret over longings/goals/desires that were not met in the year. It can dim my “strength for today” and lessen my “bright hope for tomorrow/the new year.” Unfulfilled longings can stand in the way of seeing your glass half full instead of half empty. 

The Christmas season and the end of a year may cause a flood of mixed emotions. Moving through grief/loss, loneliness, and thinking of our unfulfilled desires  play a huge part in our moods. The sights and sounds of this season may appear to be like white noise; only a temporary distraction from what is going on inside. Having someone to help you make this “a more bearable time of the year” may be helpful. 

Ready to take the next step?

Resna Marie Brunson, MSC

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