Today is the beginning of the holiday season for my family. We have a wonderful breakfast, decorate the tree while watching the Macy’s parade. Maybe a drive down the coast or a walk on the beach in the afternoon. Then, after a fun day together we have a nice traditional dinner together. This is the joyous beginning of our holidays but there will probably be some stressful times in the next several weeks.
Trying to get the best gifts within your budget, seeing family, friends, and colleagues when you might not want to see all of them, having a busy Christmas Day with family or chosen family, or being alone can trigger thoughts and actions that do not come from love.
I want to take this time to remind myself and others how to bring more love and compassion to these weeks and less judgement, fear, and frustration.
There are four STOP behaviors that when stopped can bring joy and peace to your holidays and, hopefully, the days beyond. If we stop these behaviors our lives will be more joyful and loving: WANTING, HOLDING, ASSUMING, and MONITORING (WHAM).
Today, I want to talk about WANTING. When we don’t get what we want whether it’s a thing or a person’s actions etc. and we feel pain, anger, sadness etc. then it is a WANTING that need to stop. During the holidays we may want all our family to be together and some of them are going somewhere else. That may create pain in the form of judgement, jealousy, or anger, for example. If that happens STOP WANTING all of the family to be together and enjoy who is present.
You may want to get something that is out of your budget for your partner and you feel pain (anger, frustration, jealousy, etc.). That is another WANT to STOP and get a gift within your budget that you know will be enjoyed.
Another want that often occurs is wanting someone to be happy during the holidays and he or she isn’t. We are sad because that person isn’t happy. We feel pain and suffering becaue we want someone who is unhappy to be happy. That is a WANT to STOP. We can be with that person and try to share our happiness but we cannot be attached to him or her being happy. Wanting is fine if it doesn’t trigger pain and suffering.
When you STOP WANTING your life will be filled with love, happiness, and peace. Those behaviors that used to be triggered by your wanting not being fulfilled just slowly disappear as you practice stopping them. There will be much more peace in each day.
Check back in a week and I will talk about the behavior of HOLDING and how it can cause pain and suffering. Stopping that behavior can open doors to love and compassion.