Coping With Divorce: How Hallowe'en Can Help

You may be feeling exhausted at the prospect of fall and winter holidays approaching, but there are so many ways that the holidays can help you now.  Especially Hallowe'en.  

It's a time of remembrance and finding strength in where you came from, in this holiday's original meaning:  celebrating the memory of departed loved ones.

And, it's a time of transformation and of trying on different realities -- and maybe of reawakening parts of you that have been lost along the way.

Let a costume help you remember who you are

Do you have the opportunity to dress in costume this Hallowe'en -- as you distribute candy to trick or treaters, or attend a party?

It's the perfect time to play a role that can put you in touch with hidden parts of yourself that you'd like to explore.

What parts of you did your ex-husband try to bury?  What parts of you did he disapprove of?  Were there things you always wanted to try that your family of origin forbade?

Try out that fantasy career for an evening.  Wonder what it would be like to be a movie star or a princess?  Do you have a hero?  This Hallowe'en you can walk in her shoes.

It may have been such a long time since you played pretend.  And, just as when we were children, even now, pretending can open the door to becoming that person you played at being.

Take this chance to have fun while doing some serious soul searching through role play.  It's not just for kids, you know.

But, Hallowe'en isn't just about the costumes.

Ancestors:  Where you came from and where you're going

Hallowe'en, or holy evening, has a long history in Europe, and similar days of ancestor veneration  take place in late summer to mid-autumn throughout the world.

Traditionally, this was not only an occasion to pray for the repose of the souls of departed ancestors, but to ask for their help, wisdom, and advice in the daily affairs of the living.

Hallowe'en is considered to be the time when the spirits of the dead are closest to Earth, when our prayers for them can be heard, and when we can also ask for their assistance as well.

Even if you don't believe that life, in some form, continues after death, it can strengthen you to remember favorite ancestors, meditate on them, and think how they would advise you when it comes to challenges that you're facing now.

WWGD?  (What would Grandma do?)

As you think about your female ancestors -- your mom, your aunts, your grandmothers, and your great-grandmothers -- what would they advise you today?

What were their victories in life?  What were their areas of suffering?  What would they like you to do differently so that you can live a happier more fulfilled life than some of them may have had?  How would they advise and encourage you based on the wisdom that they accrued in life?

Are there male ancestors whom you revere?  What would they advise you about your relationships with men?  Would they take your hand and tell you to stop being a pushover?  Or, would they suggest that you think about how to handle a conflict, take a breath, and choose your words carefully?

Do you have successful, street-smart, savvy ancestors who could give you spot-on career advice?  What would they say?

Consider taking a little time to sit quietly on Hallowe'en with a journal in your lap, and meditate on those ancestors who are particularly dear to you.  Ask for their guidance, and be ready to write down any insights that come.

What if you can't think of a single ancestor whom you admire?  Think of someone else in your life whom you had always looked up to.  Make that person an honorary ancestor -- adopt her or him into your spiritual family.

And, don't forget to play a little dress up this season -- it may help you to get in touch with some lost parts of yourself that you want back!