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Feeling Connected Through the Holidays

brown and white short coated dog wearing red and black rabbit costume

Holidays can bring up mixed emotions – with the bustle of the season, shorter daylight hours and cooler temperatures there are many factors at play that can impact our mood. Adding to the mix family gatherings, or the lack thereof, can bring about a longing for something different or grieving for what no longer is.

As much as this time of year can foster connection and joy, it can also conjure feelings of loneliness, despair, and disappointment. A sense of yearning to belong and feel loved is an intrinsic social instinct, yet this season can highlight feelings of unlovability and disconnection. While these feelings may have developed through experiences over a lifetime, taking these feelings to be an accurate reflection of one’s value or self-worth is misleading and can lead to suffering. The tendency to judge and blame ourselves is largely a construct of the mind and can cause real harm.

Finding moments of connection in nature, with friends, family, or chosen family can be healing. And there are some simple practices that may also foster greater connection and a sense of compassion. There is a particular contemplative practice that focuses on recognizing our common humanity – that is, the similarity of experience we share with others, even those we may not know or those we consider different from ourselves. Wise beings have pointed out that fundamentally every being wants to be happy, from insect to birds, furry friends, and people across the globe.

A nice example of a reflection on this topic was posted a number of years ago, it’s called Just
Like Me: (

May all beings know peace.

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