Christmas is a festive season, filled with gifts and good wishes, but many lonely people are crying or dying on the inside during this season. This time of year can be really hard for some of us because there’s an expectation of feeling happy and generous. For those of us who have lost a cherished family member or friend, an empty chair at the table or one less present under the tree can be a painful reminder of the one who is missing. Many of us feel very lonely at Christmas, because it brings back memories of our lost loved ones, or happier times. I believe that christmas is a time of strong emotions, and sometimes it’s difficult to nurture feelings of gratitude and life satisfaction. Since I’ve lost my parents, I struggled to find joy during the holidays. For many years I dreaded this time of the year, too many memories. I may have looked the same but, when you feel lonely, something inside you change. For Christmas to be complete I really needed my mother and father, and I felt very alone. I would tell myself that I have a lovely husband and a wonderful daughter, but I would still miss my parents. For years and years the holidays ignited a depression that brought back painful experiences and made me ruminate on what’s missing in my life.
People can feel lonely at Christmas for different reasons, in my case, it was not only the death of my loved ones, but living far from relatives, in a foreign city and country, was also a factor that made me isolate myself. It’s not just housebound pensioners sitting in an armchair by the window, whose families are too busy to see them, or those who have no family at all, who suffer loneliness; even some of us with family and friends can be lonely. I believe that every Christmas casts up the memories of all our previous Christmases and that’s why sometimes is hard for many of us to bear. We may look back and we see that our life has changed so much. This Christmas some of us are feeling lonely because of a job loss, illness, or because we are depressed. Even that person who seems to have many friends, can feel alone as they feel unable to be open due to stigma or not wanting people to worry. Parents, in special single parents, can feel lonely and vulnerable even when they come from large families. Some of us will take antidepressants to combat our loneliness. The Christmas movies, the TV programmes, even the adverts seem to conspire to convince us that everyone else on the planet is happy and cheerful. I’ve learned to cope with Christmas by talking about my feelings, because I understood that keeping them bottled up can cause more anxiety, sadness, sour disposition, and even affect my health. In order to let go of my negative feelings, I focused on the real meaning of Christmas: Jesus coming for us, being with us, and giving us hope. I was able to understand that He is with me in whatever circumstance I’m in. The same way that He is with you at this moment. Sometimes, when we feel lonely we are able to experience God’s presence in a deeper way
Today, I want you to know that if you experience loneliness you really are not alone. Loneliness is a feeling that so many of us experience and relate to, but you can find wholeness if you become committed to a spiritual healing journey, and it begins with understanding the purpose of your life, and finding out what your real expectations are. Think about what do you really think Christmas will bring you and recognise the feelings that you are experiencing. It is important to recognise that loneliness leads to us feeling suspicious of people, and can result in social isolation. Try to focus on the truth of who you are rather than allowing your mind to shift your perspective on what is missing in your life. Trust the Higher Power to heal your soul. Spend time with people, especially positive ones who lift your spirits.
As Christmas approaches, it is undeniable that the holidays are, for some of us, a time of lonely resignation, but feeling lonely can also be the path the true inner connection. We need to understand that spiritual loneliness is really a void within ourselves,
a hollowness that cannot be filled with other people, but, we can transform the emptiness of loneliness and isolation in the festive period if we open ourselves to God, and accept God’s gift of eternal life through Jesus Christ. So this Holiday Season, celebrate the real meaning of Christmas and take full possession of the abundant life God wants you to have.