As we come into Christmas, off the back of this clusterf*ck of a year, I would like everyone to take a moment to think about those who are struggling. Whilst 2020 has been the catalyst for many people to go within themselves, perhaps heal and grow- for some it’s been an incredibly hard year.
Christmas is often a difficult time for many people under normal circumstances, but this year we add the isolation of many due to the pandemic. The loss of loved ones both COVID and non COVID related. There have been job losses resulting in terrible financial strain. Domestic violence has risen. Relationship breakdowns have increased and some poor kids had to spend more time in a toxic home environment. For some it must seem like they have lost so much.
On the flip side we have seen the increase of the self-help brigade. Everywhere you turn there is someone telling you how to think positively and change your life. Don’t get me wrong I’m a huge believer in positive thinking but toxic positivity is a thing and ultimately in the longterm it is not helpful. We have to be aware and conscious not to dismiss someone’s trauma and realise that positivity alone is nowhere near enough to heal them.
I am more inclined to take a holistic approach incorporating positivity, shadow work, inner healing, meditation practises, exercise and holding space for someone. Listening, supporting and providing tools they can use. I also know you need to let those emotions out- cry, scream, burn sh*t, write, perhaps punch something-hopefully not a person! Never make someone feel they cannot speak their truth and be completely honest as burying things is the worst thing we can do.
So many people can go days, weeks, even months without seeing another human! Sometimes not even talking to another. Isolation is a terrible thing whether it’s by choice or by circumstance. If you know anyone that you feel could be isolated, please reach out to them. If you can visit them that is great, if not a phone call is just as good. I called someone just like this last week, I ended up on the phone for almost 2 hours, on what was a busy day, however, the sound of her voice and her keenness to just chat was something I could not cut off. I let her talk and I provided updates on things and I know that phone call meant a lot to her! I also know I was the only personal contact she had had in weeks!
My challenge to everyone is to reach out to someone. So many people spending Christmas alone, possibly grieving or in pain or maybe just sad and lonely. Be the change. Be the person who not only talks the talk but actually walks the walk. We can all preach our positive vibes and say we want to help people but saying and doing are two different things. Doing something kind for someone for no reason, with no expectations is the true gift. Touch someone else’s heart just because.
It’s so easy to just immerse ourselves in our own bubbles, our families, our friends. As we run around like headless chickens shopping for gifts for our nearest and dearest and thinking about the ridiculous amount of food we will prepare and eat on Christmas Day, let’s for just one moment think of those who are less fortunate. I remember forgoing my NY’s eve a few years ago to be on call for an animal welfare agency to rescue frightened pets who had escaped due to the fear of fireworks. One night! I gave up on night to help a greater cause and there are a million things we can volunteer to do to help this time of year. Or at the very least reach out to someone. Smile and greet a stranger on the street. Be kind to the frazzled shop assistants. Simple yes but it truly only takes a moment to change someone’s day maybe even their life.
True compassion, empathy, understanding, authenticity and acknowledgement are the traits of a healer. Show up for someone that doesn’t expect you to. Show up for someone in need. Show up for the vulnerable, the lonely, the grieving, the broken, the ones who can’t quite see the light at the end of the tunnel. Just show up…
“The nature of humanity, its essence, is to feel another’s pain as one’s own and to help take that pain away. There is nobility in compassion, a beauty in empathy and grace in forgiveness”.