A fellow blogger recently posted an excellent description of the emotional discord many of us experience: sadness blends with happiness, grief mixes with excitement, anger overpowers serenity, despondency tramples on connectedness. While this sentiment is true for me year round, Christmas is notably difficult. December is full of sad anniversaries, much grieving, wistful thoughts of what could have been, and ultimately to the greatest loss of our lives.
Beautifully written, this is a good reminder for those of us grieving that our feelings are valid. For those who mercifully don’t understand that kind of grief, it offers a delicate explanation of why tolerance and compassion can be the greatest gift to extend this holiday season.
You’ve heard it before, “Well, [insert appropriate subject pronoun here] look(s) happy”. And so they are pronounced as such. We go about our way. They often go home and cry. We too easily forget that smiles are often a coaxed response of self, not Soul. In that way, they don’t equate to happiness that exists; oftentimes, they equate to happiness one hopes we believe exists.
I write this because I have a contagious smile. It has opened doors and closed them gracefully behind me and it has also led others to believe that I am boundlessly happy at all times. I was recently told this: “You’re always happy, Dani. That’s a wonderful thing!” As I sat there perplexed by her comment, I asked myself, what is wonderful about that?
If I have learned anything, it’s that we were gifted a spectrum…
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