The Empty Seat at the Table: Dealing with Loss over the Holidays

Everyone has had a loved one that has passed away, and the feelings of rawness can be extreme during the holidays. I lost my mother 11 years ago, I know very well that pain, and though the years make the sorrow more manageable, the loss stays forever. There are also other reasons for an empty seat, one based on choice. There are the loved ones that are not capable of being around family for mental health reasons, drug or alcohol addictions and imprisonment. In short, the 'choice'* based empty seat at the table.

In my experience, I recall having a dear loved one who was very sick, call me because he was homeless. The overwhelm of desiring to preserve peace in my life, conflicted with my desire to protect him, love him, and shelter him. The deep spiritual conundrum it posed in my life. How can love be so painful and conflictive? I learned through that experience, which I want to share with you, that there is a deep connection that goes beyond any personal one.

When you are able to connect to divine love, the degree of accepting that which you cannot know springs through. We cannot know the why's, as it is beyond our capacity and scope of living.. all we can know is that when living on the journey of inner peace, we choose to make that the priority. No needless conflicts, no demands for the why, and no resistance to the reality as it is. Inner peace means acceptance. It means not resisting what is. It means not asserting your experience or demands on another person. It also means confronting inside of you that which has prevented you to have peace. The fear, the pain and the deep feeling of lack. It is only through connection to divine that such lack can ever be filled. Going beyond the mind into the space of infinite love, acceptance and guidance.

It leaves this truism, the ironic part of peace is that you often have to fight for it. You have to fight the inclinations for dramas inside of yourself, fight against the external manifestations of your internal dysfunctions, and you have to fight against being ignorant of these truths. The fight to inner peace is a spiritual one, nothing short of that. Until the fight is over, and you are the victor of your peace.

Needless to say, during this holidays season, when the reminder of loss overcomes you, remind yourself that there is a bigger, deeper reservoir of love that knows no name, and yet comprises all. The pieces of the puzzle cannot always be revealed to you, and that is ok. Go to the infinite resolve of stillness. Be still when you are reminded of the loss, and celebrate the beauty of your peace in that moment.

This is the journey of a spiritual warrior. A journey if embarked on is rewarding beyond measure, for what is more valuable than your peace?


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* I do not suggest that mental health issues are a choice for a person afflicted, it is the lack of seeking and implementing treatment that is the choice in some cases.


Caitlin Hayes is a lawyer, a global negotiator and a peace thinker, and believes in accountability of self as the key to elevating your consciousness. Please visit and for more blog posts, products and peaceful thinking. If you like spiritual poetry, enjoy her's here.

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Some suggested programs/readings:

Manifestation Miracle

Ho'oponopono: Joe Vitale

Paradigm Shift: Bob Proctors




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