Category Archives: I Know What Rob Would Say – Podcast

Beloofs about the Holidays 2017


Well, it’s time for my annual Holiday blog and podcast. As we approach the season of Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, the New Year, even Festivus for the rest of us first celebrated on the
Seinfeld show, I reflect again on all the beloofs created by the major religions regarding the potential meaning of the holidays. As a
therapist, I see the results of such beloofs in the emotional reactions of my clients to the holidays. The truth is not so pretty.

The most troubling to me are the beloofs that we must be “happy” and “joyous” during the holidays. I’ve learned it isn’t so for many people. We are exposed to the stereotypic scenes about the holidays: pretty families around a bountiful table of food, laughing and talking, celebrating and sharing gifts. Fires in fireplaces, trees decorated with colorful artifacts, candles glistening in the windows.

We send cards to each other and greet each other with words of happiness and hope: “Happy Holidays”, “Season’s Greetings”, “Happy Hanukkah”, “Best Wishes”, “Peace on Earth”, “Have a Happy and Prosperous New Year”, etc., etc.

Whew…

If we really said what is in our authentic hearts and heads, would the words be these standard greetings and trite sayings we smile to each other as we pass on the street, in the mall, or in the workplace? Or perhaps might we share the truth about how we are feeling about what’s going on in our lives.

That’s not to say that for many of us the holiday season conjures memories of “Tis the season to be jolly, Fa la la la la la la la la”. But for others, the season may trigger memories of drunken brawls, sexual molestation, abandonment, neglect, loneliness, poverty, or even death. Is one of our beloofs, “If I feel and express my real feelings during the holidays will I be seen as a Grinch?” Or, “If I don’t buy everyone the right gift they will think I don’t really care about them.” Or perhaps, “I don’t want ‘ruin’ the holidays for those around me?” Or maybe, “Let’s forget about it, just get drunk and watch football.”

Do I spend the holidays surrounded by others, or perhaps isolated and alone? Am I estranged from my family, or perhaps going through an ugly or heartbreaking ending of a relationship? Am I out of work or just short on money? Do I create stress and tension in my life secretly creating debt to try to keep up with my more affluent friends and family? Do I turn to my addictions to food, alcohol, drugs, gambling, or sex, in my secret need to find ways to sooth the overwhelming tension throughout my body, and to hide the shame and self-loathing that resides deep in my psyche?

How did these beloofs develop in the first place? Where did they come from – why are they so firmly entrenched in me as if they are a part of my very make-up? Well, I’ll tell you: These beloofs are bequeathed to us from our family system. They are passed on from generation to generation of millennia of ancestry. They are based in an antiquity of dogma and training from our various religious indoctrinations. These beloofs are in our deep-seated fear of being an outlier; of being different; of not fitting in; of being judged and ridiculed if we take the risk of expressing our authentic selves.

Are these beloofs working for you? If the answer is yes, then by all means hold on to them and be grateful for them. No one will judge you for having a joyous and fruitful holiday season. All I ask is that you recognize that not everyone shares your experience of the holidays, and honor their experience even if it does not reflect yours.

Are these beloofs about the holidays not working for you anymore. Do you really want to hang on to beloofs that don’t work for you anymore? Then try not to judge yourself for how you might be feeling this holiday season. You can release from the beloofs that no longer serve you and breath them out of your cells.

Here are some new beliefs in the form of mantras to consider repeating to yourself throughout the holiday season. Let yourself relax and breathe deeply, and repeat them to yourself many times per day as the holidays approach. I know they will change the way you feel at a very deep level if you practice them often. You may say them along with me if you wish:

“I free myself from any and all shame and self-loathing I hold about myself and my situation”
“I free myself from any and all shame and self-loathing I hold about myself and my situation”
“I free myself from any and all shame and self-loathing I hold about myself and my situation”

“My life is evolving precisely as it should”
“My life is evolving precisely as it should”
“My life is evolving precisely as it should”

“I seek out and find people and communities that love me unconditionally”
“I seek out and find people and communities that love me unconditionally”
“I seek out and find people and communities that love me unconditionally”

“I take the risk of expressing my authentic self”
“I take the risk of expressing my authentic self”
“I take the risk of expressing my authentic self”

May we all teach peace and well-being throughout the entire New Year!

Be Well, and take care.