Hey, everybody, this is Andy Brown. Just wanted to take a second and talk about the holidays, you know, this time of year, one of the things I find probably more than anything else is that people have different emotions than you might expect. I think the you know, the kind of the common wisdom around this time of year is that it’s the most wonderful time of the year. It’s the happiest time of year. And what I find a lot is that for a number of people, it’s an incredibly painful time of year.

You know, if you’ve lost anyone, this is the time of year when you remember that, right? If there are brokenness or hurt in relationships, this is the time of year when that comes up. Right, because you’re thinking about family get togethers, you’re thinking about how things used to be. So I think, paradoxically, this time of year can be really painful for people. And so one of the things when I when I’m talking to people about the holidays, especially one of the things that I say is I think it’s really important to be aware of that, especially within ourselves.

Sometimes it’s obvious, sometimes it’s not. But one of the things we say about grief is that whether it be grief over, you know, the loss of a relationship, the death of a loved one, whatever that may be, it’s not the grief that hurts us ultimately that causes the long term damage. It’s what we do that to try to avoid the pain of the grief. So, you know, this time of year, especially, you know, maybe a mundane example would be all the sweets that we eat at the family party to avoid having to deal with that awkward relationship.

And, you know, I’m just as guilty of that as you are, right? I mean, I have been known to to go for seconds at the dessert table rather than to have that that awkward conversation. But, you know, it can get more serious, too. And I think I think being aware of that during the holidays is really important, even if you don’t do anything else. Being aware of it is is a is a first step.

So being aware of it in yourself. And then the second step would be hopefully being able to take some time to yourself, take a walk, do some journaling, go see a good therapist. So shameless plug there. But doing what you need to do this time of year so that you are processing that grief. Because what happens is when we process grief, right emotionally, when things are working the way they’re supposed to work, we heal. Right.

If they aren’t working the way they’re supposed to work, then they get stuck. And then that’s when those behaviors that can be harmful continue. Right. And they cause long term damage. Right. So it can be anything from something as mundane as an extra chocolate chip cookie to things more serious, like, you know, alcohol, drug abuse, you know, further problems in relationships. I mean, all that stuff develops when we don’t when those griefs and that hurt doesn’t heal properly.

So just an encouragement this time of year, even if you’re not feeling all of a sadness, beware of those who are and be willing to just, you know, maybe even ask them about that or be willing to listen at times as that can be a huge part of this time of the holiday and an important part of the celebration that we all have realizing that it’s not always celebration, but it can always be time for good connecting and building of relationships and healing.

So hope you have a great Christmas and a great holiday. And as always, let me know if I can do anything to help.