Tis The Season For Emotion
Are you looking forward to this year’s Christmas? What are you feeling? Are you feeling happy that you will get to be with your family? Or perhaps sad that there will be no family gatherings at all this year? Or are you just trying to shut down all emotion? Is this really the season for emotion?
Will you struggle with trying to feel happy while your marriage is anything but happy?
Will you feel grateful that you are healthy and blessed, while others suffer?
Tis the season for emotion and pulling on heart strings
Like no other holiday, the Christmas season has a way of pulling on heart strings. And most everyone hopes to have a joyful peaceful experience.
The songs of the season tell us that the holiday itself has the power to pull us out of the dark emotion that we are in. But do they?
Tis the season for sadness and despair?
So here’s the million-dollar question. How do we find hopeful, peaceful and loving emotions when what we are really feeling is sadness, loneliness and despair?
And if we are feeling peace and love, how do we connect with friends and families who are feeling the darker emotions?
Psychologists think of emotion as energy in motion. This energy must be felt and expressed not repressed. I wonder if the gift-giving tradition of Christmas has something to do with our wanting to give the people we love a joyful emotional experience.
As I am writing this, my nine-foot beautifully lit Christmas tree stands tall next to the chair I’m sitting in. And I’m listening to my favorite classical Christmas station delivered by Google. I have to admit that I have felt a little teary eyed several times as I have listened to these incredibly hopeful songs. The songs that I only listen to during the holiday season.
Our lives are not perfect. We will be alone this Christmas. Our kids are sheltering in. I will be going into the hospital for a little electrical work on my heart three days before Christmas. Like you, we are tired of this pandemic and the restrictions its placed on connecting with friends and family. One of my sibs has COVID. And of course we are very concerned about the health and safety of our parents.
Tis the season for magic
All that said though, there is magic in this season that can have a powerful effect on our emotions. If we can let it have its way with us.
Every soul on earth deserves to feel the love and hope that the season wants to give each one of us. I encourage you to say yes to the magic of the message.
There are gifts for each one of us. And there are new beginnings. We are loved and cared about even if we struggle with loving and caring about ourselves.
Regardless of your circumstances. Or the memories of painful Christmas family experiences growing up. Regardless of your current marriage or family struggles. And regardless of your health issues. Let the magic of the Christmas message have its way with your emotions. It’s a time to believe that peace on earth and goodwill toward men is possible as each one of us embody this message.
In a time when the division in our country is as great as most of us have ever experienced, feelings of peace and goodwill may be the greatest gifts we can give to ourselves and to others.
Emotions of love and compassion bond infants and mothers and husbands and wives together. These emotions heal the hurt of betrayal. And the trauma of abuse and loss.
The gift of Christmas is in the emotions that it has always wanted to give us. And for us to give this gift of peace, joy, love and compassion to others.
Hi, I’m Michael W. Regier, Ph.D. I’m a Certified Emotionally Focused Couples Therapist and EFT Supervisor with offices in San Luis Obispo, California serving clients within California via the internet. I work with individuals and couples to find and maintain healthy relationships, and to restore the magic. My wife Paula and I co-authored the book Emotional Connection: The Story & Science of Preventing Conflict & Creating Lifetime Love, and developed an online learning course based on the science of attachment and healthy relationship.