Lisheyna Hurvitz

Lisheyna HurvitzAs a licensed psychotherapist, Lisheyna has created a Lifestyle format that is extremely effective in helping people grow and change. As a Lifestyle Consultant, she utilizes a unique blend of emotional, psychological and spiritual approaches which enable her to produce practical results.

In her consultations and groups, she helps people address personal and societal pressures, including the pressure to be perfect. As a gifted empath, she is able to empathize with her client’s feelings, quickly getting to the heart of the matter, thereby producing rapid results.

Login Form



External and Internal Meaning of Holidays PDF Print E-mail

 

Alone with others during the Easter holiday. It was their Easter that they included me in. It used to be my Easter that I shared with my friends who had no local family. So now the tables were turned. Only I was no longer a college student thankful for the free meal and good company. I was 40, divorced with children and without all of the familiar tradition I had known as a married woman and mom. All of my holidays have been like this since my separation. Life used to be normal. Now the comforting family traditions bring only sadness and pain. They symbolize a loss of the nuclear family I had worked so hard to create. All of my 15-year accomplishments went up in smoke. Nothing lasts and nothing remains the same. Who would have known that I had grown accustomed to these holiday celebrations, a symbol of my achievement regarding family. I was the first-born daughter. I married a doctor and had two beautiful children, my own part-time career and a lovely home. According to my folks I had made it. Then I lost it and things have not looked the same since that time.

Making it also meant that my future was both known and secure. Life had a certain amount of predictability. I knew I would be taken care of and life would turn out okay, but my illusion was shattered.

My marriage was irreparably broken and so were my dreams, and the ripple of these broken dreams was to go on for a very long time. I would not expect the sudden burst of tears and the overflowing sadness that would erupt at family functions. I would not know to anticipate the upset while among my happily married friend, with children. All the surprising reminders of a life aborted midstream would cause the resurgence of pain. Would this ever stop? I thought maybe it would with the formation of a new nuclear family structure with new traditions.

New traditions

Little did I know the new nuclear family structure was a single parent family with me as Ôhead of householdÕ. Instead of new external traditions we would develop deep, internal flowing heart connections that nurtured and supported us. Our spiritual connectedness allowed us to weather all kinds of external shifts and transitions. Always reconnecting with the heart, we were able to process both easy and difficult times. Life became more of a joyous sharing and less of an external, tradition-bound rigid arrangement. Tending our family garden became a new way of life. People began to flow into and out of our lives more naturally. We made lots of interesting friends who brought new kinds of experiences. We learned about team. As their teacher, Mr. Phillips, taught them, ÒThere is no ÔIÕ in team.Ó We discovered if we all stuck together life could be a bold adventure well worth living.

Does this story sound like something that has happened to you or to your clients? It is an all too familiar saga of the sadness and rearrangement that happens to people post-divorce. Lives are abruptly changed and people are little prepared for the emotional fallout that comes with it. It is very important for counselors to support their clients in fully discussing and dealing with these feelings. Especially during holidays, there is tremendous implicit societal pressure to have fun and to be with your family while you are having this fun. People who are in the middle of a changing family structure do not fit into the old nuclear family traditions. There is no societal provision for these people as in some kind of alternative tradition for singles or people in transition. There is not a lot of room for people to express feelings outside of what is normally expected. It is common to hear sayings such as ÒdonÕt be a wet blanketÓ or ÒDonÕt be a party pooper.Ó in other words, keep your sadness or upset to yourself. This only helps drive the upset even deeper as the person feels badly about feeling bad to begin with.

It is useful for clinicians to discuss the potential of this happening with their clients, and also brainstorm alternatives such as being with close friends or being alone. Normalizing sadness and the roller coaster of life transition assists a person in experiencing their experience as well as in making life-appropriate plans. It is like providing a traveler with a map with lots of options and a general lay of the land. You can use it as a guide yet make your own wise individual choices.

Holidays are difficult for people when things are going well. They are especially hard for people going through disorienting times. Counselors can provide a safe haven and be a valuable guide to those in need.