I love Christmas. I love the idea of Christmas because it is about family and love and generosity and forgiveness and celebration.
The real me is immeasurably excited about Christmas and always has been.
But the voice of the real me and my true self have sometimes been drowned out by voices that are not welcome in my head. Voices that try to sabotage my spirit, my passion for connection and my life force.
Every single one of us is born with an excitement for life and a need to love, trust and connect.
Sometimes things happen to us that mean we can’t connect with that excitement. Sometimes people act in ways that shatter our trust and make us question our ability to love and connect.
Sometimes this can leave us in the paralysing position where we can’t make decisions based on our own needs and values but instead find our thoughts, emotions and actions driven by the voices of others.
Decisions bring panic. There seems to be no right answer.
And so we adopt coping strategies that help us to survive. We allow the “shoulds” and “oughts” of society to drive our decisions, even though they may not align with our true values and beliefs.
Or we find that the voice of Mr Anxiety, though a bully and not really our friend, gives us motivation that stems from fear and our most primal and instinctive survival system: “if you don’t do that, the world will end”; if you don’t try harder, it will be a disaster”; “if you even think of doing that, you’re dead.”
And if not Mr Anxiety, then his close friend and ally Ms Depression will bring equally harmful but at the time helpful ways of making decisions and getting through the day: “Don’t bother getting up because you are such a useless piece of rubbish that it isn’t worth it”; “Don’t even try to say that because nothing you say is think is valuable”; “Don’t go today because those people don’t even like you. What’s actually to like?”
If we are really unlucky then these voices draw on the help of the third evil superpower, Lord Addiction, who will help them ensure that we develop some sort of physical dependence that drives us and our behaviour and creates another barrier to us connecting back with our true needs and wants. He has a long list to chose from when he casts his addiction spell: alcohol, drugs, gambling, eating, dieting, work…. and on and on.
Some years back I decided to write a book to help me make sense of my battles with decision making over the years and to try and find a way of better achieving what the World Health Organisation defines as a state of mental health:
“Mental health is defined as a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to her or his community.”
I also wrote the book to try and help others who may be experiencing similar things. Quite a few people have read it now and the feedback has been very positive. There are some review on Amazon, if you are interested.
If you are dreading Christmas, maybe you could take some time to read it.
But if not, please know, from someone who has been there, that Christmas does not have to be a time of dread.
It is a time of love.
You are worthy of love and you deserve a Happy Christmas.
Those negative voices in your head are not welcome at your table and you can tell them to leave.
Not every voice or every person is worthy of your love.
There are words, songs and people out there who can help you know and feel this. Don’t be alone.
Take back the excitement and joy of Christmas…and of life…for you.
As I say to the children I work with: You are the only person guaranteed to be there for you til the end of your days…make sure that you get the relationship with your true self right and you will have everything you need.