Tis the Season

PrintIt’s no secret that the winter holidays are difficult for many people. For some, it’s the stress of family gatherings. For others, the problem is feeling isolated and lonely. Articles abound offering tips for surviving the holidays. They contain some helpful ideas and I’ll give the links below. However, I wonder if we can do more than simply survive the season. What if we can put our discomfort to good use?

From a forgiveness perspective, the fact that the holidays surface our challenging issues is a good thing. When we experience anything other than peace and love, an opportunity for healing awaits us. If you get tense when you think about seeing a certain family member, or think about being alone, this stressful situation can be the doorway to healing.

Finding that doorway, as with any forgiveness process, begins with noticing your story. What is your truth about the holidays? What is your greatest concern? What is hardest for you at this time of year? Write out your answers. Get everything you are thinking and feeling down on paper.

Once you have written this, step back from it. Observe that what you have written is your story about the holidays, what you tell yourself. Observe this without judgment, without making it right or wrong, without making it good or bad. Simply observe that this has been your story about your family or about being alone during the holidays, or whatever it is for you.

When you can observe that you have a story about the holidays, you have found the doorway. Healing occurs when you disengage from the old story with a willingness to see things differently. This is done by realizing that you created the old story and equally have the ability to create a new one.

Perhaps the greatest gift of the season is the opportunity to discover a place within yourself that is ready for healing, ready to experience more love and wholeness than ever before.

Holiday Resources




About Eileen Barker

EILEEN BARKER has been writing and speaking on forgiveness, and guiding people who need to either forgive themselves or someone else, for many years. A practicing litigation lawyer who rejected the traditional adversarial role, Eileen has focused her practice on mediation, helping thousands of people resolve disputes outside of court. This work led her into a deep exploration of forgiveness as it relates to resolving conflict and making peace, both with others and oneself.

Speak Your Mind