Let’s step up to the wall and have a lean and a chat, shall we?
Indeed, it is the holiday season again. It happens every year, and right about this time of it. For me, the term ‘holiday season’ is a broad one. Nicely broad. It includes Halloween, Samhain, Thanksgiving, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Christmas, Yule, and New Year. Probably a couple others I have neglected here. So I think to wish someone “Happy Holidays!” is a wonderful way to wish people well within their own religion or belief system.Even if it is just a time to eat, drink, shop, and be merry and have time off. (Nod to agnostics/atheists.) Ah….let’s add Veteran’s Day as well…indeed, a recognized holiday. Great! I think we have them all.
It seems that more and more each year for many many years now, right around Halloween, one thing that I hear at least as clearly as the anticipation of scaring each other – or honoring the harvest and our ancestors – are loud expressions that invariably involve the word ‘already’. It’s not even Halloween yet and the Thanksgiving stuff is already in the stores. It’s not even Thanksgiving yet and the Christmas stuff is on the shelves already. They’re already playing Christmas music on the radio?! Why?! Awful!! Sucks!! What the fuck?! The meaning of the season is lost! The meaning of the holiday is lost! Bitch, bitch, BITCH…..!!!
Now….there are SO many points to chat about here. I hope I remember all the ones I want to share. I think I’ll wax a little 34th Street and start with the commercialism. Of COURSE it’s there!! Perfectly good, simple, and beautiful intentions of these special annual events, over generations, have been converted to this. The Christian idea of remembering Christmas with our children by remembering the gifts brought to the Christ child that morning…by honoring our children with tokens of love. It seems it was once a lovely way to remember the revered story and delight our children. It has become a meeting of the demand….and not only the requests of the children, either. Everyone and their mother seems to want something from someone for the gift-giving holidays and feels slighted if they don’t receive such. And in the process of this trend developing over many generations, of COURSE the market has honed in on this and fully supported it’s massive development. And we perpetuate it by supporting the more recent developments of ‘Black Friday’ and such. Now, of course, we criticize that as well. My question is….who allowed it? Who allowS it? Who can change it?
Moving on…..Speaking for myself – when I still followed the Christian way, I actually appreciated decorations and such showing up early for the simple reason that I then had more time to pick things up gradually as opposed to feeling pressed to get the stuff quickly because Christmas is almost here. (Who actually allowed and perpetuated that pressure? Me….) But even 20 years ago, when I was still an active Lutheran, and people shared their annoyance at the ‘stuff’ showing up in the stores so early, my thinking was, I think, fairly simply….don’t pay attention. If you notice an aisle with Christmas stuff in it around Halloween, and you don’t want to experience that yet, then don’t. Focus on what you want and ignore the other.
Not to be forgotten here must be the folks who are having challenging times during a time of year when, as self-described above, ought to be about love, I am fully aware of folks who are missing a loved one no longer physically present. Who are struggling financially. Who have family estrangement (been there….to a degree, still there). I do understand that to many of these, the early reminders of what is coming does not feel good. Recently, a loved one reminded me about the possibility of compassion for these. And I do have….so much so that it pains me to want to share how to change one’s focus for what feels better. I wish I could just *poof* them and they’d see things more upwardly. I am not so unrealistic to think I can. Or that my suggestions are over-night sensations. And so I try to remember to just send them Love and Light.
I thought this was going to be very well organized and written point to point…but it seems to be all coming together now. So here goes…
I can create my own experience. I am also subjected to the sharing by other people of their experiences. That sharing can and does impact mine – sometimes unhappily, I used to be that guy doing that sharing and impacting. I am now on the 180 degree end of it. Wow!
I am trying to figure out why I am so heavily impacted this season by all this. And, of course, so much of it comes to me in Facebook. Let’s face it – again – much of my life currently is on FB. Anyway, just recently, a few loved ones have shared their disdain for the things mentioned above…the items, the music, etc. And it has powerfully affected me….surprisingly. I like to think that I have gotten better over the years at receiving other peoples’ experiences and keeping them separate from my own. This year, for some reason, it’s catching me somewhat off-guard. It might be that I am in a part of my journey wherein I am learning not only how sensitive I am to the energies around me, but that I need to learn how to not allow that impact.
I wonder if much of the reason for my sensitivity to it is because I feel like it’s not a hard thing to handle. If you don’t like it, don’t give it your attention. Remember, I also used to be that guy who looked for stuff to be angry at. And then I would post it and rant about it and share all that with everyone on my FB list….not to mention live, in person people. I have achieved a really lovely turn around in that what does not feel good, I do my best to not go there. In many ways, it just seems that simple to me. To me….
Another possible reason might be that this time of year, whichever tradition one follows, is usually based in love somehow. The gifts. The companionship. The sharing. The music and stories and movies. The smiles. The hugs. It’s all based in love. I start to look forward to as much of that as I can hopefully experience! And then I am met with “What the fuck is this?!”….about the very time I am moving into. I guess I might feel like that hopeful happy anticipation is somewhat trashed.
(By the way….that ‘trashing’…..who’s is doing that? Who is allowing that?…..*wink*)
So…were I want to share suggestion….and I am….it is this. If you don’t want to “already”…don’t. If you don’t want to hear it yet…don’t. If you don’t want to see it yet…do not. Simple! Of course, some aspects we can’t ignore, like the TV commercials….OY! But we can manage what radio we listen to, what aisle we go down in the store (for the most part)…what store we go to at all….it is this…
**We can give our attention to what FEELS GOOD. And not give it to what DOES NOT. **
Holiday stuff, to me, feels good whenever it starts. I have been watching some Hallmark Christmas movies here and there already! Why? Because they FEEL GOOD to me! It’s always about LOVE! At some times, or with some aspects of the season (given my current spiritual focus), I don’t want to do that. Maybe just today, maybe for a few days. Then I DON’T. Because for a time, it doesn’t feel as good. I can make that choice. That decision. And it is mine, and hopefully it feels better. To me, the resistant complaining about it does not feel good at all! But focusing on what does feel good….well, there it is.
So I will do all that I can to spread what feels good to me for the enjoyment of all…..but also for the specific hope that it elevated the energies of a few other folks.
*spoiler – holiday greeting imminent*
I hope this has been helpful, for that has been the intent. Helpful for you, and for me. Please let me know what you think of these ideas expressed, and as always, Love and Light to all of you…..and Happy Holidays!