COVID reminds me so much of becoming a special needs mom and of life as a special needs mom. There are so many similarities like the financial adjustments and change of working situations and careers. There are feelings of isolation and grieving the loss of the life you used to have. There is also the emotions of grief and loss and recognizing that life will never be what it was before. We must adapt and adjust to a new way of life. This is so hard as we had envisioned something different than what we were given. At some point or multiple points in the journey, we are brought to our knees and it is hard to find the good or even see a hopeful future ahead.
When we go through hard times, it shows us how strong we are and allows us to handle future stress better. If you get through the stages of grief to the point of acceptance, you can release some of the pain. You can see that with the loss of something, you were also given the birth of something new. Even though you did not ask for it, it is here, and you get to decide what you will do with it. This is the moment life can change for you.
Acceptance is a peaceful feeling and a recognition of what is and once you can get to this point, you can see the beauty in what can be. You can find the gifts and blessings from the experience and from all that you have gone through. You can create new opportunities and experiences. We are the creator of our own lives and we have control over what happens moving forward.
We often forget that we have that power. Challenges make us grow and reflect and we get decide the emotions we want to have and how we will feel moving forward. Maybe this happened for us and not to us. Maybe we experienced the challenge for a reason. Maybe we needed it to happen to slow down and appreciate the small things in life. Allow yourself to find the blessings in the experience.
As we enter the Christmas season during COVID, there is the reality just like the rest of the year with holidays, birthdays, etc. that things will not be the same this year. This can be difficult as it is a time of year for spending time with the people we love.
I want you to reflect about the holidays. If you can imagine the most amazing Christmas, what would it be like? Would you travel somewhere, or would you be in the comfort of your own home? How would the decorations look? What food would you have? Does it smell like cinnamon or gingerbread cookies? Are there lots of gifts or just a few special things? What people would be there? Take a moment to picture this in your head and visualize all the details.
In your opinion, what makes a good holiday? What makes it special? We all have our own belief about this, and we all have different expectations for the experience we want to have. The problem is that most of the time we do not plan properly for that exact experience. We just let life happen and we do not take the time to make the things happen that we truly want. Ultimately this can leave us feeling disappointed. We blame circumstances or the people around us for the dissatisfaction.
I want to encourage you to make a realistic decision about how you want your Christmas to be this year knowing that it most likely must be different due to COVID. In addition to the experience you want to have, I also want to encourage you to decide the feelings or emotions you want to have during the holiday season. If you tell yourself that this is a stressful time of year and focus on feeling overwhelmed and all the things that need to be done, then that is what you will feel. If you allow yourself to be consumed with how COVID is affecting your holiday plans, you will not have a good experience. As they say, “where focus goes, energy flows”. You can just as easily decide to feel happy and bring back the excitement of the season into your life. When was the last time you felt excited and joyful about Christmas? What can you do to bring back some of those enjoyable feelings into your Christmas celebration this year? What can you change or do differently to improve the experience? Is there an outer or an internal shift that needs to change or both?
I want to encourage you to grieve the loss of the Christmas you wanted to have if COVID wasn’t here and get to a place of acceptance. Find the beauty in the season and make the most of what you CAN do. YOU get to decide how your holiday season is going to be this year. How are you going to make it special for you and your family?
With Love and Gratitude,