The morning of Christmas Eve I woke up with the warm feeling of nostalgia. As I sipped my coffee, I put on some light Christmas music and was excited to sink into the holiday spirit. Unfortunately for me, I was the only one operating at that pace. Within minutes of being awake, my boys started fighting, the baby started crying, and my husband was singing a song from his inner juke box in the kitchen. So much sound, and none of it in line with the peaceful, holiday spirit vibe I was hoping for from that morning. I was annoyed and frustrated. I went into my bathroom for a moment alone. I wanted to feel sorry for myself – this simple plea to get into the Christmas spirit was being drowned out by chaos. But I realized something in that moment; it wasn’t just the chaos that was drowning out the feeling I was reaching for – it was also my response to it. I had made a choice to abandon the feelings I was hoping for, and be pissed off. So I attempted to reverse the process. I decided to reach within myself to find the peace and joy of the Christmas spirit. I forced myself to smile and to laugh. I conjured up memories that helped me feel the giddy excitement of Christmas. I anticipated my own children’s joy of the next few days. I made the decision to spend a few minutes putting in the effort to create the feelings I wanted to feel instead of reacting to what was going on around me. It wasn’t easy, but it was worth it. After a few minutes of this, I emerged from my hiding place. I picked up the baby, the boys had settled down, and my husband’s joyful song made me smile. Either the chaos had settled, or it didn’t bother me as much. I was in the Christmas spirit, and everything else just seemed to fall into place. Whatever you want in life, you want because it makes you feel a certain way. You don’t just want money – you want how it feels to be wealthy. You don’t just want to lose weight - you want how it feels to be healthy. You don’t just want the perfect man or woman in your life - you want how it feels to be in love. The truth is, we don’t want things – we want the feeling of having them – and that, my friend, is always available to you. It may take a few moments of effort while hiding in the bathroom, but you can reach within yourself for whatever feelings you want to feel. Try it right now. No matter what is going on around you, in this moment, choose to feel joy and happiness. Take a deep breath, and smile – really, do it! Smile and hold it for a moment, maybe even laugh a little. Think of things that bring you joy; it can be a memory or the thought of puppies playing – whatever does it for you. You can create whatever feelings you want to feel, whenever you want to. The trick is not waiting for the external world, or the things within it, to provide us with the feelings we want – but to find those feelings within ourselves first. My family was never going to sit around the living room holding hands singing Christmas carols to bring me Christmas joy. I had to find the spirit of Christmas within myself first. As we go through this day and this week, let us remember that we can feel however we want to feel without anyone else’s participation or permission. You are the gatekeeper of your emotions, and you get to choose with every moment (and maybe after a few deep breaths), which one you feel. Make it a good one. 😊
Have a wonderful week.
With love and gratitude,