We made it through Thanksgiving and now the December holidays are upon us. Perhaps no other time of the year brings with it the almost infinite swing in the pendulum of emotions. As children we loved the holidays and they could not get here fast enough. The anticipation surrounding the gifts we would receive was both delicious and addicting. We wanted it to be December all year long.
But as we got older and experienced the realities of life things became a bit more complicated. We began to be aware of old family rifts and the sadness of facing the first holidays without a close relative or a dear friend. And as much as we could not wait for the holidays as children many of us as adults face this time of year with a certain dread. Ironically, the pain we managed to hide all year decides to come out now at the very time we are not supposed to feel any pain at all. In fact, we are supposed to be happy. Not just happy, but childlike happy. But that is hard to do if you have children with wish lists far larger than your bank account can cover. In my own life many years I lost my dream job in October. I had no severance and no job prospects. I did have a wife who worked very hard and two children who loved Christmas. I remember taking everything that I could think of and putting a price tag on it. I held a garage sale and made enough money to add to what some friends provided to us to give those two wonderful children a great Christmas.
The prospects of seeing relatives we don’t get along with, dealing with the loss of a loved one or seeing a loved one we are about to lose can leave us feeling ungrounded or stuck in emotional quicksand. The truth is that we have no control over what happens in our lives or in the lives of those we care about. But we do get to make choices. We can choose to love ourselves and let that expand to everyone around us. We can choose not to open old wounds in ourselves or in others. We can choose to honor the memory of those we loved and lost by loving the people they loved. And we can choose to love those who are in the process of leaving us by not being afraid to talk with them or touch them. When we love without needing to be loved in return we then reclaim the children who have always been inside of us who are filled with love and joy and we can then share a truly Happy Holiday with them. If we will allow ourselves to sit quietly with that thought we will realize that is who we really are and it is all that we have ever wanted. And in spite of what anyone says it is truly a gift we can give ourselves. And here is the magic, when we truly love ourselves we help other people feel like it is okay to love themselves. And then our world changes for the better just a little bit more. So why not love yourself a little more this year? It may be the biggest and best gift you can ever give to the world.
Please note: The author is not a licensed medical or psychological professional and the contents of this blog and its posts are not to prescribe cures or solutions. The reader assumes all responsibility for using the contents for his or her own edification.