If Christmas time is the time of good cheer and embracing our loved ones then why do so many romantic relationships end?, Why are there more familial fights at this time of the year than any other time? In essence, why are so many tears shed in the cheery season?
For many, Christmas is about much internal conflict associated with a sense of obligation to attend Christmas day events and the pressure from family coercing each other to conform and play happy families. The irony of Christmas is that for the rest of the year, we choose to avoid certain family members and then for this one annual day, we are expected to come together and play happy families ignoring all the reasons why we avoid each other the rest of the time.
In my pursuit to live an authentic life, I say that it is ok to boycott Christmas. I say that it is ok to live my life on my own terms.
Obligation happens when I put what others want me to do before what I want to do. It is a sense of duty. The language of obligation is “I have to attend”, “I must”, “I have no choice”. I say it is ok to sometimes put my Christmas cheer before others’ happiness at Christmas time. When I feel obliged I am also following unspoken rules or expectations that I have in my mind about Christmas such as expectations about my attitude, mood and behaviour on Christmas Day. I wonder if I ever consciously decided on those rules…I doubt it. I probably just inherited them somewhere along the highway of my life.
Checks and balances – my Ego versus my Spirit
How do I live my life on my own terms so that I can stand peacefully in my truth in the presence of potential backlash? It means that I internally work through a series of checks and balances. I consider all the reasons as to why I don’t want to attend. My check here is whether my reasons are driven by my ego. To do this I re-experience my memories of the events in my mind and notice what I am saying to myself, and what I feel. If they are ego driven, I might feel jealousy, envy, competitiveness, judgement and plenty of emotions such as anger, grief, hurt or sadness.
My balance is: If I feel a neutral-ness about the person and events and I can recognise my personal learning’s and the grander purpose within the event, and still choose to not engage with them, then I believe that I am seeing the event through the eyes of Spirit.
Sometimes, there comes a moment when stepping into Ego versus Spirit no longer applies. Whilst taking this approach might provide clarification and empowerment, sometimes the situation is so complex that my own unique personal values are called upon to illuminate the way and trump the difficulties at hand.
Values are the principles that help each of us determine right from wrong that then drive our behaviour. Values can help us understand conflict because conflict is usually just a violation of people’s values. Our values answer the question: what is important to me about Christmas Day? Understanding your values helps you live an authentic and happy life because they are an expression of what you stand for and this is your birth right.
In my pursuit to live an authentic life, I say that it is ok to live my life on my own terms and if that means boycotting Christmas then so be it. After all, that is each and every one of us’ birth right.
What is important to you about living an authentic Christmas Day?
Will you dare to live your authentic life and boycott Christmas this year?
I would love to hear.
Sarah is a Senior Coach at Equilibrio and works with professionals, business owners and senior managers who are keen on experiencing the gratifying rewards of dove tailing their professional and personal lives. Sarah also works with stress related chronic ill health.