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5 Things You Should Think About During The Holidays
The holiday seasons are pregnant with conflict, loneliness, and all sorts of human emotion. That's why there are so many holiday movies (my favorite one as a kid was Home Alone, now it's The Apartment).
The holidays are about relationships, reflections, and dreams. We ask questions about who we were, who we want to be, and how both of those questions affect the people we love.
Today, I wanted to give you 5 short thoughts, ideas, and quotes that you can meditate on as we enter the last month of 2020:
Love is about not about being loved. It's about loving. It's about giving, not receiving. Like Eric Fromm says, "[By giving]...one enriches [another] person, one enhances the other’s sense of aliveness by enhancing their own sense of aliveness. One does not give in order to receive; giving is in itself exquisite joy."
Every holiday rom-com is about a person finding the protagonist and making them complete. We are attracted to these movies because we all want to be seen for who we are. All we ever want to do is be seen. We want to feel like a lovable, unique individual that's different than the other billions of human beings. We ask others to see us, but do we ever give others the gift of our sight? And more importantly, do we ever give ourselves the gift of our sight?
This holiday season give yourself some time for solitude and introspection. Make a list of 20 things you are proud of yourself for (and do it in second person). For example number one on the list could be something like: "I am proud of you, you exercised every week even on days you felt like you were too tired to do it." Or "I am proud of you, you were more open with others this year, you convinced yourself to have some difficult conversations you've been putting off." We are bad at complimenting ourselves. It makes easier and more impactful when we compliment ourselves as if we were complimenting others.
Like I said earlier, the holiday seasons are full of all sorts of human emotion. We must remember that these feelings are not bad. I always try to keep this quote from Call Me By Your Name in my mind during the holidays: "How you live your life is your business, just remember, our hearts and our bodies are given to us only once...We rip out so much of ourselves to be cured of things faster than we should... to make yourself feel nothing so as not to feel anything - what a waste!"
As a movie guy, I always imagine what the movie of my life would look like. Where would it begin? Where would it end? Holidays are endings. They are the ending of the year. A time where past joys and tragedies mix into a bittersweet cocktail. They feel like a period at the end of sentence. They are.
But like the best endings, they are also beginnings. They're the period, but also the start of a new sentence.
As humans we crave certainty. But there is no certainty in life. Arguably we have something better... Hope. We have the will to make our hopes, a reality. And even better our hopes, dreams, and self improvement affects everybody else living with us on this human web. We can make it all better, if we make ourselves better.
So, as this sentence ends and a new one begins, think about what this year has taught you. Instead of trying to cure yourself faster than you should, feel. And through your feeling ask: Who was I? Who am I? And who do I want to become? And most importantly, How could I love a bit more and more freely? How can I cultivate and share my aliveness? How can I feel the most exquisite of human joys?
Happy holidays my friend. I'll send you some more thoughts next week.