Dear Beloved Human Being with a Heart of Gold who is feeling the stress of the holiday season:
Your expectations are too high.
You expect too much of yourself all the time – but at this time of year, your expectations about what ‘the holidays should be like’ are massaged to a frenzy by merchants and the media.
Which plays into your sense of lack and emptiness.
It triggers you.
It makes you blind to what is really here.
Come and sit with me. Yes, just for a moment – set that tinsel garland down. Here’s some tea. I have some truth to tell you.
1) You cannot do it all.
You just can’t. And the idea that you’re supposed to – well, that’s a lie. Even though it seems like the whole culture is telling it. It’s still a lie.
No one can do it all. That is why the people who seem to have it all also have a staff. Elves, assistants, a ‘team’. Do what you can. Do what you care about. For that, see item 2.
2) You will never be able to make every person you love happy
– not on Christmas morning (or any other morning.) The good news is: you’re not supposed to. Your job is to make YOU happy. Even if you’re a parent – in which case your job is to teach your kids to make themselves happy. Everyone on your list is responsible for their own happiness.
So, drop every thread that isn’t yours and focus only on what brings you joy. When you do, you’re giving everyone around you the same gift: self happi-fication.
3) You will never have a Christmas living room (or tree) like the one in that magazine. Just like every other magazine model, that magical fantasy spread took 20 people two weeks to dress and trim and light and Photoshop.
You haven’t got that kind of time. And you don’t need to. Your home – and your tree- is perfect.
Now, if you ignore me and you go ahead and attempt to:
1) do it all
2) make everyone happy
3) make everything perfect
you will work yourself into a Christmas Eve crisis which can only result in:
a) a scene – fueled by your complete meltdown into tears and overwhelm as you attempt to live up to a standard that no human being could ever hope to achieve.
b) the flu – as your squashed needs come out as symptoms
c) disappointment – yours (and theirs)
Let yourself off the hook of perfection.
Challenge (gently but firmly) the voice that tells you what you’ve got (or who you are) isn’t good enough…
… Look again.
Look as if you were looking through the eyes of LOVE itself. Or as if LOVE were looking through yours.
What would LOVE make of this – of you, doing your best?
What would LOVE make of your partner, your child, your living room?
Can you let go of the story that your life is not as good as the lives you see on TV – the lives that other imaginary people in living rooms that don’t exist are having without you?
Can you turn to look – through the eyes of love – at the life you already have.
That is my holiday wish for you.
I wish you light.