Archive for December 21st, 2007

The holidays drive me crazy!

Friday, December 21st, 2007

Q. Masters, this time of the year is absolutely crazy for me. I hustle around to get what the spouse and kids want while working full time and I still find time to decorate the house to proclaim my acceptance of the season. All the while I feel like a hypocrite! Why do I feel this total rebellion against everything connected with the holidays?

A. First, take a deep breath and give yourself the time to think and feel. A time like this puts you on auto-pilot and you are programmed by those around you. You have been told what is expected of you and so you believe that you have no choice but to meet the expectations. We ask, why do you give your power away?

We agree that you have no choice of action when it comes to your time at work—at least if you want to keep your job. But outside of your obligations to the wage providers, you do have a choice concerning your actions. If you do what your spouse and children require of you without asking if it is what you want to do, or what you feel is really needed, you allow yourself to become their puppet.

No one can force you to do what you don’t want to do. That’s what freedom of choice is all about. But understand you will not truly feel you have a choice unless first you accept that you do have choices. When it comes to your spouse, your vow “to love and honor” points in many directions, not only to each other but also each to oneself. Before you can honor another person you must know how to honor yourself and practice it.

As you are taking that deep breath, ask yourself, “What do I want to do this season?” If you truly feel that your family doesn’t need all the material things they want you to provide out of the pay check you work for, talk to them; tell them that there are such things as greed and selfishness. Let them see they gain nothing by keeping up with the Joneses. Encourage them to examine their motives and their true needs.

Your sense of hypocrisy comes from an inner knowing that you are being forced by your situation to be untrue to yourself, your wants, desires, and beliefs. So now you have two choices. Proclaim how you really wish to be able to deal with the situation, or remain on those puppet strings and continue to be hypocritical. Regardless, because neither choice is right or wrong, understand your feelings about the situation so that you can stop hating yourself, which will allow you to accept whatever you choose to do, and feel better about it.

When it comes to decorating for the holidays there is no law which says “Thou shalt decorate.” Decorating is used to get into the mood of the season and to provide a little cheer for those around you. It should not be a top priority, but if you have the time, let it be a piece of the gift of you that you give to your family. Exit the fight mode, go with the flow, and have a happy, wonderful holiday.