By Ben Valdez-This year has been challenging for all of us. As we approach the upcoming holiday, many appear to be cautiously optimistic about the possibility of having a wonderful experience given the restrictions in place. I’m sure many of you are struggling with finding the joy and happiness during this holiday season given the unfortunate circumstances of the current environment. My question to you is simple: What would happen if you allowed yourself to be happy this season?
I do not want to diminish or trivialize the pain many of you are experiencing regarding the loss of loved ones, relationships, employment, or security because these devastations are horrific and life changing. Even though the hardships we face continue to impact our functioning, we do not have to choose to continue functioning within the devastation. We have the internal power to change our perception of the external environment. It would be wonderful if we could wave a magic wand and get rid of devastation so we can hold the ones we love. Unfortunately, the reality of our world indicates that this expectation is unrealistic. That being said, we need to embrace our current reality and make the best with what we have. What would happen if you allowed yourself to be happy this season?
The spirit of the holidays is unchanging. It does not need to wear a mask, use hand sanitizer, socially distance, quarantine, or adhere to policies given by political parties. The spirit of the holiday’s lives inside each of you and whether you decide to use this gift is your choice. How can we show affection without hugging those we love? How can we experience happiness with the stress of unemployment? What can we do to keep the spirit of the holidays alive? The answers to these questions are many and simply difficult. There is no one solution to one problem. In fact, there are multiple solutions for the same problem if we choose to step outside our comfort zones and try alternatives.
I am very aware and side with all of you regarding the difficulty of not being around those we love. The reality of our world at this point in time informs us that alternative solutions are needed. I am immensely impressed with those of you who work in the technology field and how you all have expanded resources in attempts to meet the needs of others. My challenge to all of you is to utilize these resources. Zoom with your family! As this is the safest and most accepted option, what can you do to make it great? Have every member of your family make the same dinner with the same recipe so you can ALL enjoy the meal together! Set up a zoom game night and try a game that no one has played before! Open your gifts together on Christmas morning while drinking your traditional morning beverage! Start a Christmas movie at EXACTLY the same time as your loved ones so you can all watch it together from the comfort and safety of your home! My point with these suggestions is to find alternative solutions to the needs we all have. Instead of taking our reality as a hindrance, see it as an opportunity to be creative and enjoy the holidays through a different perspective.
The stress and loss we all experience this holiday is difficult. With so much chaos and trauma in the world, it is hard to find the happiness. What is the light in your own darkness? What are the alternative solutions to your problems? What new traditions can you start that can be passed to future generations? How can positivity be found in so much negativity? What would happen if you allowed yourself to be happy this holiday season?
Written by Ben Valdez - Ben has been a frequent guest on the Choose Your Attitude Podcast. Currently on episodes:
002: Feeling comfortable in the uncomfortable
010: A talk about racism with friends
Listen now at Podcast.ChooseYourAttitude.com