Part 1 of 2: The arrival of the holiday season inspires tremendous emotion. Heart-filled sentimental feelings often arrive with more complicated experiences of grief, loneliness or inadequacy. There’s no other time of year that invites more longing for family, love and connection, but for many people these relationships don’t look like what we are told they should.
We are inundated with images and sentiment about what “family” and holiday celebrations ought to be, and whether you have suffered loss, are disconnected from your family, live too many miles apart to travel, or any other number of factors, your dinner table may look little like the images you’ve been instructed to simulate.
Know that this is the majority experience. Most people’s holidays won’t look like those of the families on television or in magazines. There is a reason for this, and it has nothing to do with your worthiness or the quality of your life. Commercial marketing intends to create feelings of lack, discomfort and distress to motivate you to go out and buy their products and services to temporarily relieve the heartache they just generated within you.
Challenge the messages you receive always, but in particular if this is a tender time of year for you. Know that you are in charge of deciding what matters to you and what design for your life makes sense for where you are right now. Don’t give away the power for your contentment, fulfillment or pride about your life to anyone, least of all to those trying to profit from your experience.
Despite what creative and compelling marketing would lead us to believe, we don’t need to long for or buy what we all desire most, because that’s love, which we always have available in infinite abundance.