Finding Peace and Joy Today
No doubt, when discussions about the holidays come up, there are always mixed feelings. Thanksgiving is here, and I would guess that some people reading this are looking forward to the holiday, while there are others who cannot wait for this day to pass.
I recall a client talking about the year her mother passed away and Thanksgiving was the darkest and saddest that year. However, the following Thanksgiving my client was reunited with family members who she had not seen in a long time because of a painful misunderstanding. She worked hard throughout the year rebuilding bridges until the broken relationship was mended. “This year is going to be the best Thanksgiving ever,” she excitedly announced.
We all have memories of the past rooted in traditions and expectations for what this day should look like. In each of our minds we have stored pictures like a collage that we glue on a poster board. As the holidays approach, we invite these pictures back in year after year.
As I consider my own collage over the years, I see lots of laughter, but there are many pictures that are painful as well. I embrace the laughter and allow it to take space in my heart filling me with peace and joy. As for the pictures that are difficult, I embrace them as well, because these pictures represent experiences that have had a big contribution to my growth, have taught me to love deeper, and have made me the person I am today.
The truth is…. everyday life, problems, and difficult circumstances happen regardless of whether it’s a holiday or not. And still another truth…. our families /friends do not suddenly start to behave as perfect functional, without stuff kind of family units just because it’s a holiday. If you need peace and joy this year, be encouraged, look back at your own collage of pictures and consider:
What traditions/expectations are you holding on to that no longer serve you?
What new traditions can you start this year?
What memories of the past do you need to let go of?
What memories can you embrace?
Is it time to forgive yourself and begin to show yourself more compassion?
What are 3 things you are thankful for?
What circumstances beyond your control can you give to God?
How can you make this day the best day possible?
Practice this breathing exercise daily throughout the holiday season
Relax…. close your eyes…. and breathe in peace and exhale any negativity. Repeat several times. Visualize in your mind exhaling anything that does not serve you well as you breathe in deeply, peace and joy.
I give thanks for you today. You are the only one of YOU and you were created with a purpose and created to live your best life possible! I pray that you find peace and joy today!
Your life matters and the world needs you!
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