The Solstice and Acknowledging the Harder Parts of the Holidays

The Winter Solstice is the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere, and thus the darkest time of the year. In the United States, that day is either December 21st or 22nd of each year.

What I love about this Winter Solstice is this idea that it’s a time to reflect on our lives before we move into a new year. It’s a time of rebirth.

Many cultures/religions/spiritualities throughout history have celebrated the Winter Solstice. In Christianity, there’s actually services on December 21st called “Blue Christmas” or “Longest Night” services. They are services for those who aren’t feeling all the “joy” of the holidays – people who have experienced loss and trauma in the past year. Those who have dealt with a death, divorce, injury, or any kind of grief/loss may find relief in these services.

I love this idea – because so often, we’re force fed this concept of everything being immensely joyful during the holidays. But there’s great healing when you can also acknowledge the darker/sadder parts of life before you move on.

This reminds me of a quote my yoga teacher said years ago during class:  “What you resist, persists.” So, just because it’s the holidays, doesn’t mean you can’t let in a little sadness or melancholy. By allowing yourself to feel those feelings, you open yourself up to a fresh start in the New Year.

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