One moment you’re happy, confident, creating your life and the next you are swept away by the holiday’s tidal wave of obligations and duty and are making plane reservations to visit people who don’t honor you or really care what matters to you. What happened? How does a capable, intelligent person lose themselves so easily in the holiday fantasy?
What I have come to be aware of is that most of the buying of the holiday season lies are actually born in the greatness of each of us.
Are you a person who never gives up and never quits even against all odds? Do you ever say to yourself: Maybe it won’t be so bad this year? Or even: Maybe Mom, Dad, Uncle Jed, my sister/brother will behave differently?
Not giving up is a wonderful trait that can lead to the creation of businesses, relationships and a life that’s amazing. The trick is to know when something is not only not working but is never going to work. Instead of judging yourself as a failure for “quitting” or “giving up” what if you looked at it as choosing to do something different. After all, if you are driving on a road and it ends in a brick wall, do you need to keep ramming the brick wall?
Another stumbling block that often shows up is a priority for you to please others or to keep the peace. Often this comes about for us in childhood because we are aware that we are the only ones who can accomplish this. We are actually the only sane ones in our families even if we are only five or six year old, so it falls on us to make the family work. As a child, you have to make the family work. As an adult, you don’t! What if you just sat back and watched as your family members did what they did according to their choices? Would the world fall apart? Might your life be easier? Remember, you can’t fix anyone else. They choose to create what they choose to create.
Many of us are also roped in by the projections of others that we are obligated or that it is our duty to come home for the holidays and do what our parents, siblings, In – laws etc. desire us to do. What gives them the right to do that? Only our buying into their insanity. You really don’t owe your family anything. I know that is a novel concept, but check it out and see if it rings true for you.
The addiction to pleasing others and not being ourselves during the holidays runs deep, both within most of us and in the culture. It’s probably not going to go away in an instant, but here are some questions you might ask to begin to change the tide: