A mixture of feelings, with tightness around the chest. It’s all very familiar and raw, and I want to put it to rest.

It’s easier when we are happy, content, appreciative and in love. All mixing together like a perfect cake, we thank our lucky stars above.

There is holiday cheer, to honour and cherish. A year of new life for some, while others will perish. 

Pain, sadness, grief and fear, are among those we push away. Yet they signal something deeper, so perhaps respect them today.

Our tough feelings can be fleeting, or stick around for too long. We try everything for them to pass, even write lyrics for a song. 

But if we allow enough space, for any feelings to land. Even when they are difficult, it’s the only way to expand.

So don’t turn your back, when hard feelings rear their head. Look into them with interest, and understand them instead.

Then come back to gratitude, even for the slightest little thing. Breathing into my chest tightness, the freedom of space it can bring.


  • Dr Deb Roberts has a PhD in public health. She is a writer, speaker, yoga teacher and mental health advocate. American born, she lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, three sons and golden retrievers Sparky and Indi. You can read more of her writing on her blog.