For my December blog I thought I’d write some helpful tips to stay sane through the holidays. However, two days ago, I was at the grocery store. I was third in line in the express checkout lane. While waiting, I notice three different magazines with articles on managing stress during the holidays. I pick up one and skim over it. If I’m honest, I can’t add a whole lot to it. Still third in line in the express lane. I pick up another, and again, it steals my thunder even though I believe I could make it funnier 😊
Now, second in line in the express lane, I pick up the third one. I don’t know what it said really because the cashier is having a social conversation with the person in front of me (deep sigh) and I am suddenly fixated on why the heck the express lane is taking so bloody long. I start to feel annoyed and impatient. My heart beats faster and the thoughts in my head aren’t exactly “Merry Christmas and Good Will to all”. I just skimmed three articles on surviving the holidays yet here I am growing tense and annoyed because I am not getting through the express lane fast enough? Hmm…that starts to sink in.
(deep breath) I have come to believe that we really do have a choice in how we feel. It starts with how we think. I know from experience that I have about a ½ second window between thinking and feeling to decide if I’m going to spiral down in negativity or consciously turn in a positive direction. For simplicity, let’s say that all feelings can be grouped as68
either positive or negative; pretty easy to grasp, right? Good. Now, what if all I said that all positive feelings are rooted in LOVE and all negative feelings are rooted in FEAR and in the end, those are the only two feelings there are. LOVE and FEAR. Every feeling we have roots in one of those two. I read once that love only exists in the light (I prefer to say God) and fear lives in the dark; darkness cannot exist where there is light, and fear cannot exist when there is love. A slice of darkness cannot destroy light, but shine a light and darkness disappears. Love easily destroys fear.
So ‘tis the season when everything is supposed to be all happy and joyous and from a place of LOVE. What happens if it just isn’t? There are so many scenarios that a person may not be feeling all love all the time. Sometimes, fear just creeps in and negative feelings come up; it’s part of the human condition. While we can’t always stop it (fear) from creeping on us, we can empower ourselves to change our thinking and therefore change how we feel (which will change the way we act and that shapes our realities).
Back to being third in line in the express lane and it’s taking much longer than expected. Maybe you’ve skimmed three articles and now the cashier is chatting it up with someone. If you’re like me, there’s a ½ second window to choose between:
“this is the longest express line in the history of the world and I can’t believe she’s just chatting it up…can’t she see me waiting…groan, sigh.”. Heartbeat races, nerves feel prickly, head gets busy. And then there’s the domino effect…leave the store and feel annoyed at the bells the Salvation Army volunteer rings, exasperation at all the people and traffic in parking lot, get home and the damn dog is spazzing out just because someone’s home….you get it.
“It’s kind of sweet to see the connection between these two people and the quaintness of this area. I not really in a hurry to get home to……to fold laundry.” Heart stops racing, nerves calm down, head stays in the here and now. And then there’s the domino effect…leave the store and the bells from the Salvation Army volunteer sound festive and bring a wave of gratitude, there’s a sense of excitement seeing the people scurrying in the parking lot, I get home and feel blessed to have 80 pounds of puppy love jumping for joy that her humans are home…you get it.
It really is that simple. We choose how we feel, and the only two feelings to choose from are LOVE or FEAR which live in either light or darkness.
I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a 2019 full of love!