Happy New Year! So far, January has been a productive writing time for me. Thank you, subzero temperatures? Despite my best efforts, I didn’t produce much during the latter part of 2015. There were many reasons, most of them mundane. In general, I introverted out. Too much stimulation and end-of-year tasks. I wanted nothing more than to put everything down and sit in front of the fire with a blank expression on my face.
(I compromised by zoning out during a drive across the Midwest to visit family. Don’t worry – I wasn’t behind the wheel.)
I may not have written much these past few months, but I did read a lot. Books, articles, blog posts. Several of them stuck with me so much that I kept opening new windows on my phone to keep track of them all. I’m sorting through them now and will share some them over the next few weeks, including the reasons why I found them so compelling.
Here we go.
I struggled with anxiety and stress during the holiday season. The world felt so dark, after the Paris attacks, after San Bernadino, after no justice for Tamir Rice….so much grief. So much evidence of the horrible things humans do to each other. These incidents are awful, no matter the time of year, but they seemed especially terrible juxtaposed with a season that celebrates light, joy, and peace.
I drew on my meditation practice, reminding myself that it was fine to feel whatever it was I was feeling in any given moment. I reminded myself that not everyone feels happy during the holidays. I remembered the importance of simply sitting with whatever comes up and not judging it. This helped. I wasn’t struggling to make myself feel or be a certain way. I was able to note my expectations for the holiday season and observe the tensions that arose when those expectations met reality.
And I stumbled upon Common Grief, a collection of blogs and articles from the Huffington Post. Reading other people’s reflections and experiences of grief reminded me that we are all interconnected. We’ve all grieved. And even though it feels like it sometimes, we are not alone in our grief.
So I’m sharing this, even though the holidays are over, because grief continues. But so does our interconnectedness and our shared expressions of peace, joy and light.