The New Year is continuously so stressful. Why is that? And what can be done to ease the great stresses generated by our Holiday festivities? I’m going to tell you.
The design of every New Year period is about the planned re-emergence of hope. The Holidays try to get you to reexamine hope and give it another chance. Some hopes are actually purposely built in to the Holiday season. The hope of being able to coronate love above hate, crown tolerance above xenophobia, and compassion above cynicism, giving above envy, altruism above greed.
My custom becomes a safe commencement to creating healing and a deeper understanding for your partner.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know.. Classic therapeutic language. But there are sensations. Every year the Holidays are designed to purposely remind us that miracles do indeed happen, not often, but sometimes. To remind us that we can have hope and we can believe again, and most outstandingly that we ourselves can personally start over. We can hope that we can be exonerated for our mistakes. We can hope that the world will open its big arms to us at last.
Most of all, we can prospect that at last we can hit the Big Change Button and start over as if we were made new again. What makes this season so stressful is that we need that last hope about hitting the Big Change Button so much.
We hope that the bad patterns in our own lives will smooth out, that our wrong turns will right themselves, and that past hurts will astoundingly vanish. We hope so much that nurturing our gratefulness at Thanksgiving can decenter us from brooding about our many disappointments of the year. We hope so much that our good food will fill more than our bellies, that it will fill us all with good cheer. We hope so much that just being together will create in us real good will toward all. But fear stops us from hoping.
We are afraid that the season will turn around and that the Big Change Button will itself turn out to be an illusion, that the miracle of hope was just a big story someone made up. Our fears shut down hope. And that Big Change Button disappears in the fog. I encourage you to look at yourself, challenge yourself to meet yourself with compassion, meet your friends with compassion and meet your partner with compassion.
We fear that we will be unloved and, worse, that we will be unable to love. We fear that our lives actually have no real meaning, that there is no Big Change Button, that our only resort, after cleaning up the detritus of false celebration, is to retreat to a cynical place, girded against disappointment, hardening our hearts to the suffering of others. We fear becoming lonely misunderstood and yet all that needs to happen is be vulnerable and speak your mind.
What can be done? I once heard the Dalai Lama say that our only moral obligation is to increase compassion around us. If you look narrowly, all major religious traditions carry the same message of love, compassion, and forgiveness. So here’s my advice. Take some time alone this Holiday season. Do two things: