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If the Holidays Hurt Your Heart…


If the holidays hurt your heart…

…there’s a reason.

Eckhart Tolle says, “Stress is caused by being ‘here’ but wanting to be ‘there’.”

The holidays hurt our heart because we want them to be different. Or like they used to be. Or we harbor unspoken feelings, refusing to bring them into the presence of twinkly lights. We want to be ‘there’ but we’re ‘here’ instead.

What’s your ‘here’?


We all have issues but we keep silent.

A good friend told me over coffee, “Sometimes the holidays are hard, but we’re not supposed to talk about that, oh no, we’re not.” That’s the norm. It’s faux pas to mention what’s difficult as we sit ’round the Christmas tree. [Of course she and I talked about it, but you get the idea.]

Have you ever felt that way? That talking about sadness, the divorce, the miscarriage, guilt, the death of a loved one, the addiction — is not party material.

Because the holidays are supposed to be delightful. Right? Magical, whimsical, levity filled days that bring a glow to your cheeks and cheer to your soul.

I’m letting out one, big, fat sigh right about now.

Silence costs us…

The silence, about what effects our hearts, leads to loneliness and isolation even while we sit at packed holiday tables, elbow in the mashed potatoes.

Silence costs listening ears, comfort, camaraderie, and the plethora of hugs you need. No, gestures like that won’t cure the hurt but at least we’ll be surrounded by love and the voice of truth, “You’re not alone.”

This year I’m mourning the family members who’ve recently died and aren’t here to celebrate. For the way family was, for the way I’m still hoping it’ll be. I may have cried into the pie dough.

So, I pray for boldness. I pray that shame and sorrow won’t bind us when we muster courage to speak up. That your family and friends offer you a safe place to land when you share what’s happening in your world.

My heart holds definite gratitude for the friends who’ve been transparent in their, “No, I’m not okay…” truth telling moments this month. I love hearing from them, and I want to hear from you. What’s hurting your heart this holiday? Share in the comments below. This is a safe space for all KF readers to commune with each other and offer support.

And as a final thought — let’s dually hold sadness and peace in our hearts, not because everything is alright, but because Jesus is a bringer of gifts. And those gifts often arrive in the arms of friends and family.

4 comments… add one

  • Shaina December 2, 2015, 11:32 am

    This is full of truth and grace and I am eating it up! Thank you for your heart and for being a voice that allows people to be who they are and meets them there. P.s sending you an email now!

    • Alysa December 2, 2015, 4:54 pm

      Thanks for your kind words and for connecting here, Shaina. Just got your email, I’ll reply back! Really appreciate who you are and the grace that you’re bringing to this world.

  • Merritt December 2, 2015, 1:49 pm

    Oh Alysa, this is so beautiful! I read a FB post (on a private group) last night from a woman who has longed for children and is counting One.More.Christmas. without a pregnancy. I’ve certainly known that grief and sadness.
    I love how you create a safe space for people to share. Many people don’t believe that safe space can be through the pixels of websites or the internet, but even if I didn’t know you personally, I would long to after reading this post because you are real and honest and shine Jesus to the world. Love you dear friend. And hope your pie crust wasn’t noticeably extra salty this year. Hugs. So sorry for your loss(es).

    • Alysa December 2, 2015, 4:59 pm

      I put extra sugar in the pie dough, I think it worked.

      Yes, that’s just it, isn’t it? One.More.Christmas. Whether it’s one more Christmas without children, without the grandparents or parents long gone, struggling with the addiction, confused about the future. Whatever IT is — somehow this season marks a time we thought “we’d be past this by now.” Glad for your workshop today, for the reminder to focus on gratitude and loving others well.

      Thanks for your encouragement and thoughts, as always. You’re a dear friend.

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