I want to wish everyone a happy and safe holiday season. I hope it will be filled with joy and shared with those you hold dear.
Christmas is often associated with gift giving but this year I would like to suggest that you give yourself and those around you the gift of love and acceptance.
The Gift of Self Love and Acceptance
Too often we believe we are not good enough, not complete or not loved for who we are. Many times we feel unloved, unseen or unheard by those whose love and attention we desire most.
Sometimes we judge ourselves and find ourselves lacking or feel judged by others and believe there is no way we can live up to their standards.
This results in our seeing ourselves as failures in our own eyes as well as in the eyes of others. Loving ourselves empowers us and stops our feeling like failures.
Many people feel unsafe, are full of fear and lack confidence. They are never sure if they should do anything, do the right thing or enough of the right thing at the right time.
The only thing that really matters is holding a loving intention whenever we interact with others. This is more important than how much we did or when we did it.
Loving ourselves makes us feel confident enabling us to stop worrying about pleasing others.
When we fail to love ourselves, we are dependent on others for love, approval, acceptance and attention as we all crave these things.
Loving ourselves liberates us from dependent relationships because we can give ourselves love, attention, approval and acceptance anytime we want. When we love ourselves, we always feel okay even if no one else loves or approves of us.
Getting through the holiday season can be challenging because of the expectations we have about how the holidays are supposed to be – a joyous time shared with family and friends.
Many people feel stressed trying to live up to family expectations about cooking traditional foods, shopping for gifts for everyone, trying to create the ideal Christmas or keeping up family traditions. Often sharing time with family can bring up unresolved feelings.
For weeks prior to Christmas, the media continually bombards us with images of happy families sharing the holidays together when the reality may be that our families do not live close, we are not on good terms with them, we do not have close friends to spend the holidays with or we will have to come to terms with the reality that we will be alone for Christmas.
Some people believe if we have no one to share the holidays with, it is a sign we are unloved. While loving ourselves will not magically change these facts, it will help you feel good about yourself no matter your circumstances.
In these economically challenging and uncertain times, love is a gift that costs nothing and yet is a gift that brings joy and peace into our lives. Giving love and acceptance is much easier on the budget and saves you time spending hours shopping.
I can assure you that your love will be much more appreciated and enduring than receiving any material gifts. In addition, the gift of self-love and acceptance is the gift that keeps on giving long after the holiday season is over.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to give ourselves and others the gift of self- love and acceptance? Love and acceptance is what we all desire no matter our age, so what better gift could we give?
Even if you are out of touch with friends and family or they live far away, you can still send them love and acceptance through your thoughts at any time of year.
So instead of buying gifts that others may not appreciate or want, why not donate the money you planned to spend to your favorite charity in their name and let them have a tax deduction which they will appreciate.
Instead of doing gift exchanges as many co-workers do, why not spend that money on food that can be donated to families in need or food banks. If you are alone or have some time free during the holidays, why not help out in a soup kitchen or a shelter?
I am sure that the people there will very grateful. Another alternative is to spend the day doing something special for yourself that you never have time for.
“The Gift of Self Love and Acceptance,” by Sharon Cheney, December 18, 2014 at http://sharoncheney.com/