As we approach the holidays we look forward to a time of joy and happiness, to lightness and warmth. It's a season of fond memories, great anticipation … and much planning. And whereas this yearning and anticipation is quite understandable, it can also be a bit of a trap.

Expecting great joy and not finding it, we may become all the more disheartened. Seeing warmth around us yet not experiencing it ourselves, we may find ourselves feeling a bit separated.

Fortunately, by learning to be more fluid with our emotions during this time of the year – by moving "with" rather than against them – our emotions become our allies, helping us connect with others and with our own “personal” seasons.


Indeed, while we long to feel joyful at the holiday season – or at any other time of year, for that matter – at any given moment we must defer to the season of our heart. Our feelings are our very particular response to our lives and to our nature. They arise from any number of factors that we may or may not be conscious of. And in response to our busy lives – particularly busy during the holiday season – they will understandably cycle and change with some frequency.

To expect that this complex emotional “response” mechanism should take a “pause” during the holidays is unrealistic. In fact, it would be distinctly unhealthy. Given the intensity of the holiday season – the interaction with family, with old memories, the heightened expectation – we would be wiser to “plan” for a wider range of moods. And rather than “targeting” a particular feeling, we should be all the more flexible and patient with our emotional states (… and those of others).

Indeed, try as we might, we cannot actually choose what we feel. Our feelings come to us in their time, and there is great wisdom in this. To attempt to control this – to try to feel joy, for instance, when we feel sadness – will be a great burden on our energy.

Because our feelings are our connection with our heart, with our deeper nature, and with our experience of life, when we choose to resist them, we actually "disconnect" with ourselves. And this contributes to that all too common feeling during the holidays of feeling detached, isolated, or lonely … when we long most to feel connected with people.


The misunderstanding, of course, is that we must feel a certain emotion – usually joy or happiness – in order to feel connected. This is not true. All our feelings are valid. All our feelings are created equal. And we can no sooner “skip” a season of our heart, than we can skip winter and choose to have spring.

We do not have “good” feelings and “bad” feelings … though some feelings we may find more comfortable than others. Indeed, sorrow and anger – and the other feelings we rightly experience with loss, with unmet needs, even with old wounding – are sacred. We are meant to feel these emotions in response to these experiences. And feeling them, without judgment, is a natural and necessary step in the completion and healing of these experiences.

In other words, while certain emotions are challenging for us, they are not a punishment. They are not a sign of weakness or a signal that something has gone wrong. They are meant to be felt and honored. They must be felt and honored.

There have been ages and cultures that better understood this and established regular ceremonies during which sadness and loss, anger and disappointment, were properly acknowledged. The defining quality of such ceremonies was that vulnerability, openness, and honesty were considered strengths, and the emotions considered powerful and sacred.


Moreover, being accepted and expressed, these emotions moved through. They were honored, felt, and released. So, respecting and honoring our feelings does not translate into being dramatic and “emotional” … or wallowing in our feelings.

Quite the contrary. "We" are not our feelings. And we are not meant to “hold on” to them. Again, they are our “response” to life … akin to a particular “taste” we experience with a particular food.

As a response, our emotions are meant to pass. As with certain “tastes,” certain feelings we may savor more than others. But we are meant to experience them … and let them go. Sadness, for instance, should move through us just as easily as joy.


There have been many sacred teachings surrounding the “seasons” … revering their power, their inevitability. Each unique season comes upon us in the wisdom of time. Each passes in its time, giving rise to the next season. And it is because we cannot control or choose them, because we must simply “experience” our seasons, that we are truly changed by them.

Like the seasons, our feelings are also sacred and vital because we can’t control them. They can’t be filtered out by the mind (… though we sometimes try). We feel them in the body and in the heart. We feel them spiritually and primally. And they connect these varied aspects of us. As such – because they are experienced so fully and viscerally – they change us: our energy, our vibration. They effect a certain alchemy that transforms and integrates us in a way no other learning experience can.

But this alchemy does not require that we “dive” into our emotions: that we fuel them, grapple with them, “become” them. Quite the opposite. Holding on to our emotions is like keeping a season from ending. Only when we release the emotion, only by letting it move through and away, do we realize the transformation.


So during this holiday season (or any time of the year), when we want to find joy and cannot, when we feel disconnected, it’s a good time to pause. And instead of pressuring ourselves trying to figure out “what’s wrong,” we might just look for the feeling our heart has chosen. And give ourselves and our hearts some room just to experience it … not with heaviness, not with drama, but simply with openness.

The feeling there may not be joy, but it will be "our" feeling. And if we give the emotion room – if we can resist judging ourselves as a bad person because we feel angry or a weak person because we feel sorrow – the feeling will be felt and will pass.

All the seasons of your heart are founded in love. All your feelings are sacred because they come from who you are and who you were created to be. Honor them all … and you will find the gifts of every season!

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Author's Bio: 

Rob Brookler is the founder and creator of the Meditations2Go® audio meditation collections and the website. The Meditations2Go® audio meditation CDs and MP3 downloads, meditation FAQs, and original articles – available at – are drawn directly from the popular meditation classes Mr. Brookler has taught for the past 27 years in the Southern California area.