Social Stance Saturday: When The Holidays Aren't Happy (by Ruth Acuff)
Ruth Acuff is a singer-songwriter and professional harpist from Columbia, Missouri. Her songwriting is existential and evokes a sense of wonder about oneself and the world. Her new holiday single, "Peace" explores these themes on a deep level as it pertains to the holiday melancholy and how one can find it within themselves to create a peaceful environment. She brings these thoughts to life with her Social Stance blog, and you can listen to "Peace" here on Spotify.
With Thanksgiving just behind us here in the USA, and with the many other winter holidays just a few weeks away, decorations, social gatherings, and displays of holiday cheer are in the forefront of the public eye. From the outside it can seem to be such a happy and joyous time, and maybe it is, but that doesn’t mean the problems in our own private lives, or the problems of the world disappear.
Being heavy-hearted during the holidays is something that I believe many of us go through.
I remember the first Christmas after my best friend had tragically passed away, her parents gave me an ornament in her memory. I hung it on my tree, and cried and cried as my Christmas playlist rolled out one classic tune after another. I knew I wasn’t the only one suffering her loss; something about the holidays brings back memories of loved ones lost. A few years later, wallowing in my own sadness, I took a long mental journey thinking of all the different kinds of sadness the holidays can bring. Whatever your sadness, it can feel stronger when everything around seems to be happy.
Being a musician, I wanted to directly address this issue in the form of song. That’s why I wrote "Peace" - a holiday song that speaks directly to the sadness of the times, yet also evokes a feeling of inner peace and calmness that can carry you on. I believe that one of the most impactful things we can do is to give ourselves the gift of inner peace. It is not easy to give ourselves this, and it can also be hard to keep, but inner peace gives us the strength and grounding to step forward into the unknown, and it helps us to make positive change in our lives and our communities There are undeniable atrocities in our world, but with the inner strength of peace, we can create change, and give ourselves a chance at having peace on earth.