As I sit here, “it’s the most wonderful time of the year” is playing on repeat in my head. I woke up to it playing in my mind this morning. It’s on T.V. commercials, in Target, in the grocery store. It seems like an attempt to program me into believing it’s the most wonderful time of the year with images of happy families around the dinner table or blissfully doing their holiday shopping. I wonder how people feel watching this fake bliss being sprinkled everywhere. It feels like I’m somewhere between It’s a Wonderful Life and A Charlie Brown Christmas as far as my mood goes. I’m feeling optimistic about my family and my future, but at the same time wonder what the point is around all this material bullshit.
I’m tired of all the pretending. There’s a lot of stress around the holidays. Forced time spent with a completely dysfunctional family can be brutal. Have you ever noticed how no one ever talks about the dysfunction? Everyone acts like it’s perfectly normal for someone to be toxic or shit faced at the family gathering. The combination of alcohol, stress, and family dysfunction is like a ticking time bomb. You, the silent (or not so silent) observer, watch the clock to make a graceful exit and move on with your life, while the hostess manages to keep the fake smile on her face and the wine flowing to get through it all. I’ve stopped pretending. I’m officially out of the game. Let’s celebrate with people we really LOVE and who really LOVE us.
SIMPLIFY AND FOCUS ON WHAT REALLY MATTERS
I made the mistake of going to the mall and TJ Max and Marshalls the other day. What was I thinking? The energy was frantic and manic. I observed people looking like zombies staring at their phones or mindlessly shopping. I didn’t see anyone who looked blissed out like people in the commercials. The amount of STUFF was overwhelming, and I couldn’t help but think, is this what Christmas has come to? This year I chose to step back. I made some family gifts, sent some checks, and changed up how I’m going to be celebrating everything. I’m tossing tradition and going with what my family votes for as far as dinner, gifts and activities.
I will focus and create LOVE, CONNECTION, PRESENCE, and TIME with my family. This year I’m excited because we are flying to Philadelphia with my older son to spend a few days with my younger son. It has been almost 2 years since we have all been together and I can’t wait! My younger son asked if we could skip the fancy steakhouse dinner and go to Chinatown and eat ramen. I said of course we can! Maybe we can recreate the scene from “A Christmas Story” where they eat Peking duck because the neighbor’s dogs ate their turkey. This could make an awesome New Year’s card, stay tuned! My younger son’s best friend and girlfriend are joining us. I love giving gifts, so I’ve been having a great time coming up with stocking stuffers for all of them. Since everyone is trying to figure out their lives right now, everyone is getting the answers to life’s big questions in the form of a magic 8 ball.
BE KIND AND GENTLE WITH YOURSELF
How can I show up as the highest and best version of me this year? I’m showing up with unconditional love. I am present and holding space for my family. That means loving my boys for being their magnificent and beautiful selves. It means meeting a new girlfriend with an open heart. It’s releasing my agenda and doing whatever my family wants because all that matters is our precious time together. I’ll be playing cribbage and drinking hot tea while it’s snowing outside. We can show up as our complete authentic selves. I asked my older son what he wanted for Christmas this year, he said, “all I want for Christmas is to spend quality time with my family, that’s it”. I’m glad the four of us are on the same page. I’m so excited! I hope I can contain myself!
My message here is to honor yourself. Act on what feels aligned for you without guilt. Lose the mask and be who you are unapologetically. Be gentle with yourself. Take a hot sea salt bath. Treat yourself to something that will make you happy. Spend time with people who lift you up. Regardless of what is happening around you, know that you are worthy of love and you matter in this world. Do not let the opinion of anyone determine your worth. Allow your light to shine. Be kind. Imagine what the world would be like if we all showed up as our authentic selves! It takes courage. It requires us to love ourselves. If only we could all stare into the mirror and see who we ARE. We are beautiful. We are light beings. We are here to elevate ourselves and to live our most authentic life. We are not here to meet the expectations of others, or to sacrifice ourselves. We must release the shadows of doubt and fear.
We are here to play this game of life, to learn and grow on a soul level. Let’s love ourselves despite all the adversity that presents over the holidays. Let’s heal and process to become whole and complete and create impact on the world by living to our fullest potential. Let’s make the most of our time, love ourselves and love each other. Choose to show up and connect to each other in an authentic way. Mastery of the self holds the key to all of life’s questions. Release the need to compete or compare with others our own life journey. We are exactly who we need to be right now. When the inner work is complete, a new magical way of being becomes the springboard of possibility. Be gentle with yourself, it’s “A Wonderful Life after all”!