As we enter into the holiday season, it is important to be mindful that while this is a time of celebration, for many, holidays stir up old sorrow, old wounds and feelings of loneliness. This is also true of the midlife journey. As our Soul tries to be awakened and birthed through us, it brings to the surface old wounds in search of another layer of healing. Today’s blog presents a strategy for dealing with these old wounds when they come to call.
Last night, after a beautiful afternoon and evening of celebrating Thanksgiving with family and friends, I suddenly found myself feeling sad. Then, as I slept, I found my dreams troubled by stories of frustration, heartache and sorrow. Upon risinng, I realized the source of this sorrow and the troubling dreams. A deep, and apparently as yet unhealed wound/loss had come to pay me a visit. The resurfacing of this wound, I realized, was so that another layer of healing could take place. My job, was to allow myself to acknowledge the wound and then to make time in which I could grieve another layer of this loss.
Midlife and Holidays
We have been speaking much about the midlife journey – the process through which our Soul seeks to be born and through which we have an opportunity to discovery the uniquely creative way in which we have been gifted to realize peace, love, joy and fulfillment in our lives and through which we are empowered to contribute to the betterment of the world. During the midlife transition, it is common for old wounds, hurts, losses, disappointments, betrayals, perceived failures to resurface. The intention of this resurfacing is so that we can find another layer of healing and release from the pain that might otherwise hold us back from the birth of our greatest potential. This resurfacing is especially acute during the holiday season and is not limited to those in midlife. Again, this resurfacing is not there to harm us, but to give us another opportunity for deeper healing. Our job is to allow the healing to take place.
Strategies for Dealing with Holiday and Midlife Pain
In a word: GRIEVE. When old pains, ancient losses, past betrayals resurface and we experience the memories and emotions related to these situations, we need to grieve. And the healthiest and most effective ways we can move through this grief is to provide a space in our lives in which we can grieve, and then we must grieve. These old wounds are here because they are ready for another layer of healing and the best way we can heal these losses is to be present to them and accept whatever face of grief shows up in the face of these losses: sadness, depression, anger, maybe even denial and bargaining. The greatest thing we can do for ourselves is recognize that we have been hurt, that we are grieving and then allow ourselves to stay in bed for a day, find a healthy way to channel or express our anger, or maybe even spending part of a day obsessing about the past hurt and working out plans for how is wouldda couldda shouldda been different. Then, once we have engaged in all the external symptoms of grief, we need to make room for the real emotion of loss – sadness and we need to cry, or at the very least, allow ourselves to feel and be present to our sadness. In this way, we are taking care of ourselves. We are honoring our loss and we are allowing ourselves to heal. And, if the pain becomes too great, seek outside help and support in the form of a good friend, loved one, counselor, spiritual director or Anam Cara (soul friend.). The most important thing to know is that you do not need to bear this pain alone. And if you are a person of prayer, always remember to turn to the God of your understanding for help and support in times of grief.
Lauri Lumby provides support for men and women moving through the midlife journey and moving through the pain of loss. To set up a one-on-one session, call Lauri at (920) 230-1313 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.