Loving Yourself Through the HolidaysBy Dr. Margaret Paul
December 23, 2019
Are you ready to learn to love yourself through the challenges of the holidays?
What comes up for you regarding the holidays?
- I’m excited to share the holidays with loved ones
- I love buying presents and sharing them with the people I love
- I look forward to the yummy food and the sharing of our lives
- I so enjoy the children’s excitement at the holidays
- I look forward to the kindness that people express during the holidays
- I’m very sad that I’m alone again on the holidays
- I so dislike buying presents. I never know what to buy, and I don’t like the commercialism
- I always eat too much and then I gain weight and I don’t feel well
- The noise of the children is hard for me
- I find the conversations boring
- There is so much conflict in our family that it isn’t fun at all
- I hate family gatherings because I never feel accepted by my family
- It bothers me that people don’t act as kind throughout the year as they do during the holidays
Obviously, if the first list is what primarily comes up for you, loving yourself isn’t a big challenge. But many people relate to one or more items on the second list, which makes the holidays challenging.
An Opportunity To Notice How You May Be Abandoning Yourself
Since people and life tend to treat us the way we treat ourselves, the holidays offer you a wonderful opportunity to notice how you might be abandoning yourself.
Do you leave yourself alone on the inner level, staying in your mind rather than present in your body with your feelings, or judging yourself, or numbing out with addictions, or making others responsible for whether or not you feel you are worthy?
Do you put pressure on yourself to buy the exact right present, or are you in resistance to getting into the joy of giving?
Do you put your wounded self in charge of what you eat?
Do you give yourself up with family, not speaking your truth?
What are the various ways you reject yourself rather than accept yourself, especially around family or friends?
How kind are you to yourself and to others?
An Opportunity to Learn More About Loving Yourself
I encourage you to see each of these challenges in the second list as an opportunity to connect with yourself and your guidance about what would be loving to you.
- If you find yourself alone, what would be loving to you? Can you have a celebration for others who are also alone? Can you volunteer at a soup kitchen or at a domestic abuse shelter? Can you participate in giving gifts to underprivileged children? What would be fulfilling for you?
- Can you dig deep and find the place in yourself that loves the sharing of gifts and get into the fun of that?
- Can you put your loving adult in charge of what you eat?
- Can you let your inner child play with the children?
- Can you shift the conversation to something that interests you?
- Can you speak your truth for your inner child at your family gathering?
- Can you work on accepting yourself so that you don’t need your family to accept you?
- Can you practice kindness with yourself and others, rather than judge the lack of kindness?
The bottom line is that in each and every moment, we have the opportunity to focus either on loving ourselves, or on what we don’t like and don’t want.
This holiday, why not focus on love? Isn’t that what the holidays are all about? And since we can’t love others unless we love ourselves, it only makes sense to focus on what is loving to you this holiday season.
Join Dr. Margaret Paul for her 30-Day at-home Course: "Love Yourself: An Inner Bonding Experience to Heal Anxiety, Depression, Shame, Addictions and Relationships."
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The avoidance of loneliness, heartbreak and helplessness over others and outcomes is often at the root of controlling, compliant, resistant or addictive behavior. It is helpful to learn to name the feeling we are trying to avoid. When we name it, we can allow it, acknowledge it, embrace it, bring love and compassion to it, and then release it to Spirit. Denying it keeps us stuck. Naming it allows us to manage it, release it and take loving action in our own behalf.
By Dr. Margaret Paul