LAKE OCONEE —
The Christmas season is in full bloom. Decorations are up, colorful lights sparkle in neighborhoods and Christmas songs fill the airways. Jesus and Santa vie for attention.
Christmas holidays past and present are impactful. Holiday memories are some of the most basic and powerful of your existence. Holidays are about FAMILY- the starting point and most important influencers of who you are as a person.
Family experiences, and their consequent memories, are extremely impactful on your emotional life. They dramatically affect how you experience the holidays year after year. Also, holiday emotions are the "tip of the iceberg" for related emotions affecting your life even when you do not know it. Emotions are the primary energy of interpersonal relationships.
Ask yourself, what is your gut feeling about the holidays? Are they feelings of joy and excitement or of melancholy and depression. Do you want to celebrate or isolate? Perhaps they are a period of blocked feelings. If you are a person who looks forward to and welcomes the holidays, you probably had a happy childhood within your family. There probably was a lot of love, caring, fun, and thoughtful gifts present in your household. You probably are continuing valued family traditions.
You may, however, be one of those persons who did not have a positive experience growing up, but have decided to make deliberate conscious choices to do things very differently in your family. You want to erase those painful memories with new and positive experiences and have them become encoded in your brain. If you are a person who dislikes the holidays, feels blue and wants them to quickly be over, then search for your negative childhood experiences. Now may be the time to feel, grieve and heal such pain. The holidays can be the occasion to break through your unconscious defense mechanisms and change the way you experience the holidays.
The holidays are an opportunity. They can be the occasion for enhanced love and sharing within yourself and with loved ones. They can be the stimulus for getting in touch with buried emotional pain that needs to emerge into wholeness and happiness. Self-awareness and sharing these feelings can add a whole new dimension to this year's holiday for you and those with whom you most intimately share your life.
May you create some new and special memories this year - Merry Christmas!
Dr. Stathas can be reached at (706) 473-1780. E-mail: Stathas@plantationcable.net.