So the Christmas season is meant to reflect family, love and happiness right?! But for many of us, it can be a difficult time. As a kid, I loved Christmas. I loved the carols, the parties, the family stuff, the love. After my Mum died over 11 years ago things changed. She was the glue of the family and as I soon came to realize, a lot of the merry of Christmas.
My marriage was on the rocks and the kids were small. Christmas soon became the mirror for all that was not right in my life. For many years after, this holiday season became a sad time for me. I fed resentment of my circumstances; a single Mum, no partner, the family dynamic had changed and No Mum. I allowed blame to move in to some of those very close to me. I became depressed, for several years, for a few weeks before Christmas and pushed myself to return to the ‘happy season’ in the new year. It wasn’t an enjoyable cycle.
My thoughts and feelings dictated my moods and my sense of self. I fed them. You may remember my blog a few months ago on ‘Ruminating all over yourself’. I discussed how we can feed the ANTS – the automatic negative thoughts and how dangerous this can be. Well I became a holiday season expert at it. An expert at covering it up too and putting my ‘game face’ on. Again, not helpful.
There were a few circuit breakers for this unhelpful thinking to cease. It still tries to rear its ugly head, now and then, but I have new armor on nowadays so the battle is easier. Aside from my faith here’s a little story I read once and did some healthy rumination on.
Whenever I teach this lesson in programs you can see the penny dropping and the ‘aha’ moments descend. It goes like this;
“One evening a Cherokee elder told his grandson about the battle that goes on inside of people. He said, ‘My son, the battle is between the two ‘wolves’ that live inside all of us. One is the Bad Wolf. It is fear, worry, anger, jealousy, sorrow, self-pity, resentment and inferiority. The other is the Good Wolf. It is joy, love hope, serenity, kindness, generosity, truth and compassion’.
The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?”
The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one you feed”.
With the challenge of dysfunctional families, the annual reflection of what the year has been and the unfair challenge we place on ourselves on not being enough. Focus on feeding the good wolf. Well we are enough – because we were chosen to be here.
Happy holiday season my friends and colleagues.
We’re outta here from Monday the 21st of December until Monday the 11th of January.
We would like to thank you for all your support over the last twelve months. It has been a great year for us and hope we all have a fabulous new year!