December 14 - Patterns of Possibility

Today, imagine what you would like your holiday season to look like. Pretend that anything at all is possible. What would you do first? What is most important to you? Are you satisfied with the mood that you are anticipating, or would you prefer to trade it in for a new one? Do you want to spend more or less time with relatives? Do you want to go to someone else’s house, or would you rather stay home this year?

The first step to having what you want is defining, very precisely, exactly what that looks like. Otherwise, it is very easy to live in the perception that it is impossible to do so. How do I know that I have had “a happy holiday” if I don’t know what components are included in one? It would be like hiring a builder to construct a “big house” but never letting him know what your definition of “big” happens to be; for example, to a family with one child a big house might be one with three bedrooms, while to a family of six to appear “big” it might need to have considerably larger number of bedrooms...and especially baths!

A second step is to discover the sacred message in any of your unmet desires about the upcoming holiday. For example, if you are worried about being alone, you could look around and find others who really are alone…perhaps in the hospital or a nursing home…and make certain that they have company. If you are afraid that no one will send you a gift, you could give a gift to a needy child. If you find yourself complaining about the commercialism of Christmas, perhaps you could consider giving of yourself instead of buying someone an expensive present. There are many beautiful ways to take your own pain and transform it instead into compassion for another.

A third step is to rethink some of the declarations that you hold to be true about your relationship to the holiday. For example, if you think you have to “do it all,” perhaps you could make a list of what needs to be done and then invite someone to help. Does it really matter if the gift is wrapped exactly as you would have done it or that the cookies taste exactly the way you remember?

I recall one Christmas Eve when I was really behind…and it was in the days when I felt I had to do it all. My husband volunteered to help me wrap; and, of course, my first instinct was to refuse any assistance. After all, if I accepted his help I would no longer be able to believe my addictive mood of “I have to do it all by myself.” Besides, I just knew that he wouldn’t do it very carefully, or he certainly would not know to use the “right” bow (according to me!). But I was so behind that I actually, though reluctantly, agreed.

It turned out to be one of the best Christmas Eve’s of my life. We were up all night wrapping! We fixed eggnog at 3:00 AM (nonalcoholic, of course!), had Christmas music playing the entire time, and at 5:00 AM found ourselves slow dancing to “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas.” What I thought was going to be an exhausting evening spent alone in the “wrapping” room, turned out to be one of connection, sharing, and love. It also became an evening that I will never forget.

If there is something you have always wanted, see if you can’t figure out a way to give it to someone else or what steps you will need to take to have it yourself. If you are having trouble with this step, just lift your eyes to beyond that which at first you can see…for there is a whole world of possibilities waiting for you…just beyond the misperception of impossibility.

 How can you change your patterns this holiday season? What is truly important to you? What did you want as a child that you never received? Is that something that you would like today? Do you know how to create that which you never received? Are you willing to change your patterns of impossibility to ones that allow the possibility of all things…even the sweetest of dreams…coming true?

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