Somehow two unwelcome gifts often show up in people’s stockings this time of the year. Expectation: Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without expectation, every child who celebrates Christmas is taught from the youngest possible age to have expectations. Most are encouraged to write their lists and encouraged to expect returns.
It is healthy to have expectations, at least it is healthy to have expectations of ourselves. To expect something, anything from another is to set oneself up for disappointment; sooner or later those expectations will likely go unmet.
Hand in hand with the expectations of others is the guilt accepted for not meeting others expectations. Every adult is familiar with that sense of failure when unable to meet those expressed needs.
Sometimes I think guilt is the number one disease of our society. Stemming from a deep need for approval and a belief that it is not deserved, it often surfaces as a sense of melancholy. Something that can’t really be touched leaves the caring soul with a feeling of emptiness. There is only one way to move through guilt and that is to recognize it by our experiences then own it and finally let it go.
There are many methods used for this process and many professionals to help. The key is willingness. One cannot change ones life and experiences without first having a feeling of willingness for a greater experience. One must first having a willingness to do whatever is necessary in order to make that change occur.
This year don’t make guilt and expectations a part of your Christmas experience. Be willing to accept a new idea of Christmas, be willing to accept a bounty of love, be willing to accept the good intentions of others. And in all of this give yourself the time to enjoy the wonders of this day, give yourself the time to really feel how you feel and know it is good. May the riches of goodwill fill your stocking this Christmas.