This time of year is about coming together with family and friends, celebrating what we are grateful for, and creating beautiful memories... for some. For a lot of people, the holidays cause a great deal of stress and often times bring up deep-seated traumatic memories. Anxiety runs high this time of year, and self-care is more important than ever.
Emotional trauma has been defined as, "The end result of events or experiences that leave us feeling deeply unsafe and often helpless". Emotional trauma leaves one feeling powerless, out of control, trapped, or scarred. It may have been a "one time" situation or a repeated experience. It may have been in childhood, or it could've happened later in life. Either way, the event was most likely very cruel and distressing, and the victim was not prepared to defend themselves or escape it. No matter what the trauma was or when it happened, the important thing to know is that a lot of people have experienced it, and everyone can heal from it.
During the holidays especially, it is important to know that you are not alone, and that there is support around you. There are some key words of advice that have been helpful in getting through challenging holiday situations. Loving yourself and making yourself a priority at this time of year is vital. Wherever you are during the holiday season, make sure you have an ally to help be a strength for you during challenging moments. A friend, family member, co-worker, neighbor, or anyone who understands you will really help make difficult times less painful. We have to speak up and speak out, even if it's only to one person that we trust. Silence is stuffing Truth down and allowing darkness to perpetuate, and that is the opposite of where we are headed. It is also very important to have ways to ground. Morning meditation, exercise, walking in nature, baths, creative projects, journaling, or anything that soothes the heart can transmute anxiety into understanding. Finding ways to see life in a different perspective will always support an energetic shift. Also, self-empowerment is key. When we understand our triggers, then we can act before a bad situation gets worse. If we know that a certain person or space would be harmful or unhealthy for us, then we can employ the power of choice and set healthy boundaries. Taking the time to think about what is best and then having the courage to act toward that will ultimately create more joy and freedom to celebrate and enjoy the holiday season.
Whether it is you or someone you know or Love who has experienced trauma, the choice is there to "be the change", and create a positive impact in any weighted situation. Kindness is needed more than ever right now. The key is that we are kind to ourselves and each other, as no one knows what others are going through. There are so many people suffering in silence, and small acts of compassion can make a big difference. During the holidays, we can always start over and create new holiday traditions based on who we are now and the Loving intentions we hold in our hearts. Instead of trying to change others, looking inward for change is true freedom.
One breath at a time, healing from trauma happens over a lifetime. There is no "one size fits all" to healing, and everyone is on their own timeline. So, honoring and respecting what you and others are going through is a great start to having a wonderful holiday. Remember, we can't control time, but we can control space. Creating a positive headspace, choosing a healing physical space, and staying in a Loving heart space is choosing Love over fear. This is how we create the world we can all live in together and a beautiful holiday. Our prayer is that you and your Loved ones experience peace and joy now and always.