I didn’t always enjoy the holiday season and like many of my clients, I used to loathe the time of year. It was another reminder of how great everyone else had it, and how dysfunctional my family was. However, as I progressed through my own journey with counseling, my perspective around the season began to change. I identified three lies I would tell myself when the leaves began to fall. If we let these lies go unchecked they can ruin what is supposed to be a wonderful time of year.
I started believing lie #1 the Christmas after my parents divorced. I told myself,
“Everyone else is having a wonderful Thanksgiving/Christmas except for me.”
This simply isn’t true. In fact, it’s short-sighted and selfish. This lie would run like a broken record through my head as I pouted away my Christmas morning. Of course, there were plenty of people whose holiday was far worse than mine. Not only that, I was choosing to let my circumstances dictate my joy. The answer to my lie is something Viktor Frankl once said, “When we are no longer able to change a situation – we are challenged to change ourselves.”
Lie #2 started creeping in around my teen years. This lie said,
“No one cares about me.”
This lie was very damaging because it convinced me that I wasn’t worth being loved, and that I was doing something wrong that was preventing me from having the perfect holidays. Because I wasn’t perfect I felt ashamed, and because everyone else wasn’t perfect I felt angry. To correct this, I had to change the perfectionistic expectations I held my friends and family to, but more importantly I had to change the unrealistic expectations I had of myself.
Lie #3 developed while I was in college. It said,
“The rest of my family is pretending everything is okay – but it’s not.”
I was sitting around passing judgment on everyone for what I perceived as “hypocrisy.” I thought my family had accepted that they couldn’t control circumstances around the holiday and had become comfortable with the dysfunction. Many people have a pretty good grasp of their situations, but may not have the skills necessary to get out of them. However, learning a tactful and loving way to address family issues took some time and practice. Whatever your struggle, you can find the courage to confront and the patience to do it in truth and love.
What are the lies you tell yourself? Are you courageous enough to confront those lies? Do yourself a favor: write them down. As the holiday season continues, make a column next to the lie and write down the truth you’re going to put in its place. When you’re practicing confronting those ugly lies this November, remember, the truth is that we can do our part in restoring broken relationships in a healthy way. If restoration is not possible, we can build new relationships. I hope and pray that each of you has a wonderful Thanksgiving and a Merry Christmas!
What’s more exciting in Kansas City than the Royals winning the World Series? If you ask us, it’s everything that’s happening at Peace Partnership! We’re excited to update you on our month and show our gratitude to some of our new partners. So here are our “Thank You Notes”:
- Thank you, Bolero Salon & Spa. Your gifts are so appreciated and your partnership will help us bring hope to those we help in so many ways.
- Thank you, Hy-Vee, for partnering with us through the MooseMan! We love that you value the kids and families in our community.
- Thank you, Hill Pro-Motion Physical Therapy, for your partnership. We appreciate your investment in people’s lives.
We so appreciate the support of all of our partners. Your generosity and gifts are invaluable. Thank you for believing in what we do. If you would like to find out how to become a partner, please click on the link below or contact our Director of Development, Jeff Cox at: firstname.lastname@example.org.