Friday, December 10, 2010

Holidays

"Just as a puppy can be more of a challenge than a gift, so too can the holidays." John Clayton

Holidays....I struggle with them...not the way I used to. I use to dread them. All the emphasis on home and family accentuated the emptiness I felt...and  deepened the ache in my gut. I wanted so badly to have what others seemed to have...a place to belong...a place to call home...with people who cared. 

Today I do have a wonderful family...great friends...and a home where I belong....but I still struggle with the holidays. Now it's with remembering holidays are something to celebrate. They're special...a time to stop...reflect..kick back...and relax with people who are in my world....who are special....who I love...and who love me. 

Celebrations don't come easy for me. I spent too long on the streets... alone....fighting. I've learned to force myself...for my kid's....for my family...for my friends. It's a fight....a  push to be present...to be involved....to even show up. 

What's easy for me...is to give to others....people who are where I was - who feel what I used to...that horrible emptiness....being left out...nowhere to belong....no one to belong to. Giving to them....is the easy part. The hard part....when friends and family want to buy me things...and ask what I want for the holidays...I have no idea...and it makes me uncomfortable. We have been invited to tons of places....but something in me....wants to say no...that we can't go.  I feel overwhelmed.... even somewhat lost.  That's the struggle. 

For my kid's sake I'm saying yes...I'm telling friends and family....we'll be there...we'll come. Then I panic....and the fight inside begins...how do I show up and 'celebrate' what comes so easily to others....to let go...kick back...relax and just be. 

Holidays are tough.....they're a struggle.  I am grateful for everything He's done...everything He's given me....so I'll fight to be present....and push past the uncomfortableness. It's not fair for my girls if I don't. It's not fair to my family...my friends....and maybe it's not fair to me too. 

22 comments:

Wanda's Wings said...

I have always struggle with holidays, but so much enjoyed see my kids eye light up on Christmas. I have always wanted them to have the good memories and know they were loved by Jesus and me. I wish you peace this holiday season and hope you will make new memories.

Crown of Beauty said...

OH you are so honest in what you wrote, it makes me misty eyed.

But, you are right, it is not fair to you, too.

I pray that you will become unfamiliar with that part of your life that gave you so much pain, that shaped much of who you are today... and re-learn, re-discover what it is to receive love and kindness, and enable you to truly celebrate.

It cannot be forced of course my dear Nikki. God is peeling away the layers little by little, and ever so gently...

Keeping you close,
Lidj

NOS said...

I think I can understand why holidays can be a struggle for you. But it sounds like you are challenging yourself, which is great. Also, remember that even if you love to give, you should always make taking care of yourself a top priority. But then again, giving to others is often giving to yourself...

I hope that paragraph made sense.

Wishing you well,
NOS

Finding Pam said...

"I feel overwhelmed.... even somewhat lost. That's the struggle."

I can relate to this post all too well. It is as if you were in my mind and told about me and how I feel about the holidays. Like you I find it easier to help others and it is often hard to express my love for those closest to me.

It is painful indeed and I hope you find the missing link in your life that makes you feel whole and complete and not lonely.

When my kids were young was the best part of my life. I sure miss those days. I cherish those moments.

For me, the inner struggle is the most difficult part to deal with.

Lily said...

Wow... took the words right out of my mouth. I am not enjoying the holidays at all this year. Wishing I could skip them all together :(

middle child said...

Holidays are difficult for me too. Far different than what they used to be. There are many reasons this is so but,..
I feel alone. I feel unloved. I feel invisible.

Surprised By Joy! said...

Sarah,
I think you echo many people's pain in this post. I pray that God will heal your heart in this area.

Thanks for your encouragement this week. :)

Blessings,
Tammy

MTJ said...

Hi Sarah,

Thank you for the honesty to reveal even this struggle within. One of the things I'm learning (thank You Lord) is not to allow the things of my past to pull me back towards a life of fear and imprisonment. Letting go isn't always easy, but in some instances, I must simply forget about those things by letting go.

The bible says, "Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus." (Philippians 3:13-14, NIV)

In a way, it's as if those things try to remind me that I don't deserve to experience joy, friendship and family. This can't be true, so I'm learning to let go of those thoughts.

I know you appreciate the life you've been given, the family and friends that are part of your life. You have a gift, giving yourself to bless others around you. Just as you invest yourself in the lives of others, you become a living example to them. They follow your example by investing themselves in you.

Let them invest in you Sarah. The love, friendship and joy they want to impart in you, comes without cost. Appreciate those gifts and share the joy they give you.

Your thoughts have caused me to reflect and appreciate those in my life who are investing in me.

Blessings and peace my friend.

MTJ

Dulce said...

I guess this happens to us all somehow.. it's a great time but a hard, sad time too... This year decided not to go shopping except for my son...

Gabriella Moonlight said...

This is a beautiful and honest post...these times are hard for those of us without family..but part of that is to continue to show up and bring the love that is in our hearts to others...
Thank you for your love and honesty.

RCUBEs said...

I feel that way too sister. I would rather give and bless those around me. But it's hard for me to take things from others. I think sometimes, as we wash others' feet, we should learn also for our feet to be washed by those offering it to us. May you have a wonderful holiday this year!

Chatty Crone said...

You know by you sharing this - makes me feel more normal. I just don't care about celebrating holidays - not that I don't love the Lord - I just don't feel in the excited mood others do. I used to feel some thing was wrong with me - now I understand I am not a lone and other people feel the same. There is strength in numbers and understanding..

sandie

Sharon Kirby said...

Sarah - Thanks for once again sharing your very real feelings. They were comforting. The holidays are hard - mostly because they often feel "forced" to me. However, there is great joy in being with family - in letting go, kicking back, relaxing. I pray that you will "just be" - just rest in the life that Jesus has given. I'm going to do that, too - focus on the celebration of the baby who came to save the world...who came to save you and me.

GOD BLESS!

June_Butterfly said...

Hope that your struggles are rewarded.It takes a strong person to face his/her weaknesses.But you fight to overcome with the strength you have..your love for your family.Look at the love in their eyes and know you deserve to just have the time of your life in this festive season.

My Big Secret Blog :) said...

Sarah, sweetie, I understand that feeling, too. And I thought I was being mad and anti-social!

I think now, that just because of the fact that on these special occasions, there is an undoubted extra attention from everyone, I tend to feel immense discomfort. (It feels like the spotlight's on me and I want to flee into a corner- so wrong, that!)

We're improving. (I had sooooo many pictures of me snapped yesterday because I was beside the bride all the time. I wish I could feel drop-dead gorgeous!)

Paula said...

Hugs to you. Can so much relate. But exactly as I loved celebrating my birthday this year, I will love celebrating this American holiday time with Skip. Being pantheistic it isnt my celebration so I see at as celebration of our reunion, family fest.
For sure it isnt fair on you!!!!
Love xxx

Mya said...

Knowing that you have a problem with the festivities of celebrations is where you start - that and a smile (smiles are magical you know). As you said you have a responsibility to your family and to yourself to make memorable moments. It will get easier, but even if it is never completely comfortable that is still better because you can be happy that you are giving something to your family. Yes you can enjoy things for what it does for someone else.

But I do hope and pray that one day you will look forward to celebrations for the sheer pleasure it gives you.

Dianne said...

I'm always loving your honesty. But please remember that God ordains rejoicing and celebrating. He invented it--so it is okay and good--we just need to keep our priorites straight and that is sometimes hard in the society in which we live.

When we remember WHAT we are celebrating we can shout from the rooftops!

Loving you dear Sarah,
Dianne

Colleen said...

Holidays are hard for a lot of people for a lot of reasons. For me, the holidays seem to be a time where I have to pretend all over again. It is stressful and hard work. I love New Year's. I just lay back and recover. Hugs.

Kristen Torres-Toro said...

No, it's definitely not fair to you. You are loved, Sarah! There are so many who celebrate you! I hope you come to know that even more this Christmas!

Lady Rose said...

Sarah,

I struggle with the holidays as well (particularly Christmas), but for different reasons.

Also, try and give yourself a "little break." Moving into new territory is never easy, Some things just take time.

Blessings,

-Lady Rose

bj said...

Dear one, I haven't read your whole story but enough to know that a person can't be treated as you were..gone through as much as you have...been alone and unloved for too long..without having part of your heart missing. I pray God will restore this missing part and I pray for peace of mind and heart for you.