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Monday, December 24

Music Is The Manna: A Guide To Grieving At Christmas

   


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I'm gonna level with you guys,

This year has been a tough one. Not just for me but  I think a lot of people have felt it. I've also noticed the mainstream media being hit with some really tough stuff this year and then add to this the uncertainty of the future here in the UK and you get a very, unstable, painful year.

There has also been a lot of high profile deaths. The one that hit the hardest for me personally though was Stan Lee. I couldn't do justice to a tribute. He will be sorely missed by fans world wide.

In my personal life, I've gotta say I don't think I've had such a tough year in my entire adult life so far.  This is saying something as in previous years since legally being classed as an adult. I've had years where I faced unemployment, deaths of loved ones, an extremely painful healing journey ( I will get into that a little later) and do I even need to mention, all the health issues I have well documented on this blog.

Yet all of this pales in compassion to this year. It's time to employ that thing I like to do to tell you what's up with out boring you so here's my year summed up in a few short statements.

Wow, I'm glad 2017 is over, finally we get to move on, oh actually no, the heat got hotter. Homeless again? More deaths? Debt? But that's not like me! Let's move to Wales, Nope  London, Back to Wales, London again,Wales to cat sit and then , Accident. Agony!  stuck in Wales. Then finally back to London, only to face the worst storm I've known as an adult, desert sand and what! More debt? But this REALLY isn't like me!! Oh and the pain's back. Now people leave me. Isolation in the desert, so not fun! Gotta battle on! Keep. Building.The.Blog.And.Sharing.Truth, I'm finally getting somewhere ......

Then the word of the king is hijacked by a narcissist and they convince me to...

Pass The Torch.

But? How am I suppose to earn now??

 Okay faith it is..is that wise ? 

I haven't gone hungry and even with all the instability of living arrangements, I have had a roof on my head somehow all year....but seriously though something isn't sitting.

I know that the time to bless others is when you are in need yourself. Trust me. There is an unseen law at work which is basically the real deal that the fake rules of the law of attraction, tries to counterfeit....but the real thing is far more tasty.

Anyways, point made. Tough year as you can see.

Recently I was reminded that, this isn't the first time I've reached the holidays with a whole lot of stuff I could grieve about.  It's one thing for all this year long stuff to be the background thing going on, but I've also had Christmas days which have been spent in tears. I am gonna highlight just 3

How about the Christmas that a family member and I were not talking, and I genuinely thought they would never speak to me again, because we had a disagreement about something they decided to do, and the rest of my well meaning family were completely confused as to why we just couldn't tell them what the crack was or better still just get over it.

Or how about the Christmas that the guy I thought I was going to marry, broke up with me on Christmas day. It was one of those intense teenage 16 year old no one knows how I feel kinda deals. When your that age, your so much more passionate about everything at the time I thought my world was ending, but years later I am SO glad this happened, as I ended up with someone much better and far more well suited.

Finally, here's the one that really broke me. The Christmas day that all of a sudden, completely out of the blue, my brain decided now was the perfect time to throw flash backs of the day I got raped 3 years previous. I was so broken, all I could do was cry in my room all day, (I'm fortunate to have a family that was always very understanding if I or my brother didn't want to be involved with the festivities) I'm proud to say that I strongly believe in sexual purity and up until I got attacked, I had been waiting, quite happily for marriage one day. This made realizing that I had been attacked all the harder to deal with, and I was only 17 at the time of this Christmas, I didn't want my family to know so I tried very hard to wear a brave face. That Christmas sucked.

Now I know this is not the cheery type of post you expect at Christmas time but the fact is that if you clicked on this post because of the tittle then chances are maybe you can relate to some of this.


If so then I'd love to spend some time today sharing with you how I survive the worst of the grieving thing, as I know that the holidays can intensify emotions, both good and bad.

This is my Christmas present for you today guys, I hope it helps.

Okay, after a un-characteristicly  long introduction, let's get into it shall we?




So how I survived all of this is  by leaning into my love language.


My best advice for surviving grief especially in the holidays, is to figure out what your love language is and lean into it. 


Love Will See You Through.




But what if you are alone this Christmas? Well, then you are perfectly positioned to experience the best love of all...stay with me I've got something for you too here. 

Most people in the self help community are aware of the New York Times Best Selling book The 5 Love Languages but did you know that Garry Chapman has written many other books including God Knows your love language?

In that book I discovered that the way I mostly receive love is through words (ha no surprises there then) but the dialect of words that works best for me is music. You see joy is most useful when you are hurting and music brings me a whole lot of joy!

Maybe it does for you too.

God cares about every little bit of your life and since He made you, He also knows how best to help you when you are in a state of grief. I know that we are all different, but I believe that a majority of people reading this, will likely have some sort of connection to music, because I don't believe your reading this is an accident. I believe that heaven is calling out to you, to let you know that God sees your pain and He has the answer. Love is the answer. Joy can be your lifestyle. 




Music Is My Manna, Here's 3 Ways I Use It.


The first is to find a song that allows me to dance the grief out of my body, even if only in the short term. This can especially work if you need to be strong for a loved one for a few hours. What I do is take my mp3 player to the bathroom, lock the door and dance like cray cray for the duration of the song. The more upbeat the better.

For This method, I recommend you check out my previous post. I cover it better there. (In fact that whole post is about using music to mend a broken heart, it's useful as a companion to this post)

The second method is to connect with the God that created me through music. This is not about being religious, it's about spirituality. The connection is electric. I know it may sound odd straight off the bat, but if you try it you won't be sorry.

Here's my top choice as of right now for this method.




Finally, there's the obvious choice of crying it out. This can be good for you too. Grief is not one size fits all, we all do it differently, and it doesn't occur in one step after the other, your emotions do go on a bit of a roller-coaster when you are grieving. Hopefully, these songs will help you get to the point of tears if you need to, but please be gentle with yourself.

1.Blink:Revive - Blink is the track that gets me every time.
2.The Storyteller Collection : Amy Grant- Oh How The Year's Go By should not be missed.
3.Identity: Colton Dixon - Other Side is beautiful.


Bonus! Here's 2  Great Resources To Help With The Grief Process.




https://tedxinnovations.ted.com/2016/06/15/5-tedx-talks-on-coping-with-grief/



I hope this has served you well.

Whatever you are doing this Christmas, I hope you have a warm,joy-filled holiday season. Remember joy is not a feeling, it goes much deeper than that. If you need a refresher then please feel free to go back through some of our older posts.

 If you want to reach out to us, the best place to do so is Facebook, here's my personal link.

Although it is the holidays, I will be checking this inbox frequently. I am currently working on sorting out our email box so in the mean time I will treat Facebook messenger with the same level of care I would our email account. If this doesn't work for you though, I will also be checking all our other social media platforms regularly.

Please share this post with anyone you think it could help. That would be the best present ever. 

If you are in the position to/led to support us then please feel free to donate to this site via this page.  We are currently working on a curriculum and eBook around the theme of exhibiting and experiencing joy when you are hurting. Any donations will go towards helping others via this website.

That's about it.

Merry Christmas guys! Have a good one!

We will be back with the final part in this series next week!


























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