There’s a gift I don’t think anyone should accept this holiday season or for that matter any season! Do you want to know what that gift is? I’m going to tell you and first I need to give you a little background information.
You see, it’s that time of year when some of us spend time with our families, whether we want to or not. For some of us, it’s a tough time of year because there’s a lot of drama in our relationships and let’s face it, we don’t need any more drama, do we?
Some of us are still healing from old wounds. You know the time that your brother locked you in the closet for hours and then threatened to do it again if you told your parents. Maybe that’s why you don’t have doors on your closets now.
Or how about the time when your sister hid under your bed and as you turned out your light and walked towards your bed to go to sleep, she grabbed your ankles just as you were about to tuck yourself in to a good night’s sleep. She scared the crap out of you. Thirty years later, you still check under the bed, just in case.
For some of us it’s less about the wounds of the past and more about the comparisons. “Why aren’t you as smart as…” “Why aren’t you more like…” or the more subtle version, “You’re so different!” We’ve received the message over and over that we aren’t good enough.
And lastly for some of us that difference is like the gap of the Grand Canyon. We feel out of place with our family, like we don’t belong. It’s like we are out of touch with who our family has become or perhaps, who we’ve become.
No wonder the suicide rate this time of year is higher than any other time. For some of us, it just sucks.
And this is the gift that I don’t think anyone should be accepting this year. This is the gift that has taken away so much from you already. It’s the gift you need to stop accepting from others. What is this gift? It’s other people’s stuff. It’s their belief systems.
Here’s the thing – I want to show you how other people’s stuff has guided your life up to now and how to take back control.
You see, our current reality as we know it is based on our current beliefs. Our current beliefs are based on a whole bunch of other people’s beliefs they “gifted” us all our lives. These “gifts” came from our parents, our teachers, other adults, siblings, our church and a whole host of other stuff like the media. We didn’t ask for these gifts, but we got them anyway.
It begins when we are born up until the age of six when we are in this trance-like state. There are still parts of our brain that are developing and we haven’t yet figured out how to filter information. We just take it all in. We take in everything we see, everything we feel, and everything we hear without question. We just accept it. As we get older, we start to filter stuff but the filtering that occurs is based on the beliefs that have already formed.
If a child grows up learning to be prejudiced, the filter has been set. It takes a conscious effort to change this belief system. If a child learns that moms and dads hit each other, then the belief system begins. This is the reason why any parent who says that are staying in a bad marriage for the “sake of the children” are dead wrong. Every psychologist will agree. The belief systems and the patterns of behaviour the child learns (and are continuously reinforced) will effect them later in life in their own relationships. I digress.
The point is that some of us learn great belief system such as exercising everyday is normal. Others learn not so great belief systems like buy as much as your credit card will hold and then try and pay off the debt a little at a time for decades. Our parents don’t tell us these things. They don’t physically sit down with us and give us these gifts. The gifts are just lying around and we pick them up. We see them in their actions, we hear them in their words, we feel them in our emotional responses to events.
It’s your choice whether you keep these gifts or not.
This holiday season, when someone tries to give you the gift of resentfulness, negativity, jealousy, hurt, anger, or greed, let the gift remain where it came from. Don’t take it in and make it your stuff. Let them keep their gift. Let them keep the bad feelings. After all it’s not about you. It’s their stuff.