Sunday, December 21, 2008

Should-less Holidays !

It’s that time of the year again. The weather is cold, the days are short, and the advertising industry is directly and subliminally using every “should” in their billion dollar budget to make you feel as guilty and ashamed as possible. What are these “shoulds”? They may include:

I should give my loved ones everything they want for Christmas.
I should be able to spend the money I used to have.

You should give me the perfect gift that I want.

Love and affection should be proven through the exchange of gifts.

Families should be together.

I should be happier.
I shouldn’t eat too much food and gain weight.

I shouldn’t have lost my job this year.

My parents shouldn’t judge me when I go home.

I should be good at this stuff like other people.

So what’s the alternative?

First, understand that you had to learn every "should" causing you stress or sadness at this moment. Not one of us popped out of our mother’s womb saying, “I shouldn’t have that extra cookie” or “I should be making more money.” If you learned your should, it means you can unlearn it. Try asking:

How did I learn this should? Your parents, your children, your friends, the billion dollar advertising industry?

Is this should true for everyone everywhere 24/7? Are there some who can be happy and fulfilled by not giving or receiving store bought gifts? If it’s possible for them, isn’t it possible for you?

Who is profiting off your should? Anytime, and I mean ANYTIME you feel guilty or sad there is a cash register somewhere singing. The media can make billions of dollars from making everyone feel insecure and fearful. You don’t have to give in to it.

How do you feel when you think this should? Does it bring you happiness? Peace? Hope? Or does it make you feel afraid, angry, frustrated, or depressed? You can change the way you feel by changing the way you see the holidays. If nothing else remember this: It is not the holiday that is making you feel upset, it is your “should” about the holiday that is making you feel upset.

Change It: You can try saying, “I prefer to be with my loved ones this year,” or “I can choose to make the holidays better by simply changing my mind” or “I wish I could gifts but I am a good person no matter what.”

By changing your thinking and talking about it with others you can have the very best “should-less” holiday ever. It’s up to you !!

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