In a research study by the American Psychological Association, 1/3 of the people they surveyed said they felt sad during the holidays. We often try hard to avoid these feelings, especially when we think we are “supposed to” feel happy.
Just like the movie Inside Out reminds us, it’s so important to access and express our emotions, particularly sadness, despite our discomfort.
The reality is that our sadness and joy have an intimate connection. Kahlil Gibran writes in the book The Prophet:
“When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight.”
The Holiday Season is filled with joy: the wonder on a child’s face, the spirit of giving, special moments with friends and family. It can also be filled with sadness: a sense of grieving loved ones, past relationships, dreams of what could have been.
Acknowledging these feelings and allowing ourselves to experience them can free us up to also experience more fully all that is meaningful and magical at this time of the year.
We wish you all a meaningful holiday season, embracing all of the emotions you may have.
Paige Oszmanski, LCSW