"...and what have you done?"
John Lennon asked that question in a song a few decades ago. Care to take a look?
A cop once told me that the highest incidence of sudden deaths from heart attacks occurs on Christmas eve. I've often reflected on that anecdotal stat. Why would that be?
Beginning with the lead up to Thanksgiving, and crashing to a throbbing halt and hangover on New Years Day, we are bombarded with messages about abundance, joy, giving and receiving, peace and good will, family unity, etc., etc. A good 6 weeks of intense feelings battering us - seeking expression through wishes, intentions, hopes, desires and disappointments - pushing energy up through our emotional bodies until it arrives... to a closed, guarded heart, and crack! Literally, our hearts break. Thus the heart attacks.
"And what have you done?"
And what can you do?
Well, have you worked at opening and unguarding your heart? Or are you still concerned about being vulnerable, afraid of being rejected, worried about being humiliated? These are the ingredients for the heart-attack recipe, folks. And I'm here to tell you on this holiday season that these fears are irrational. Completely. And here's why...
Being open is not the same thing as being vulnerable.
When we were little children, we were naturally open, born that way, but also, we were completely dependent on our caretakers for our well-being in every way - physically, psychologically and emotionally. The latter is what true vulnerability is. It just so happens that in childhood we are simultaneously open and vulnerable - because we are little - but unfortunately, we erroneously equate open with vulnerable.
In fact, the beauty of the way life works is that Nature takes care of the vulnerability problem - i.e. - We grow up!
In adulthood, we are not dependent on a caregiver to provide for our well-being. We are independent, self-sufficient, in charge of our own destinies in a way that a child is not. We delude ourselves into thinking otherwise, but this is just a remnant from those early "being little years" that we keep identifying with. But it doesn't make it true.
And rejection, humiliation? Same thing applies...
An adult can't be rejected, because an adult is always choosing when and where to be and who to be with. A child cannot make such choices. If a parent chooses to neglect or abandon their child, said dependent child is indeed rejected because it has no choice. It could even die in such a state.
Likewise, humiliation - the idea that somehow you have been made to appear unworthy, useless, foolish - is a state of being that can only occur in childhood, when you have no choice as to how to see your circumstances. A child is dependent for its self-image on what it sees reflected back from its parents. Not so for an adult. An adult can interpret any situation in a positive or negative light. In fact, one of the greatest pleasures of adulthood is enjoying being foolish! It is one of the greatest gifts of a solid, grounded, non-codependent self-image to laugh at oneself, is it not? I have often thought of entitling my first book: "The Joy of Being Wrong!"
Hey, everyone - this holiday season, give yourself the gift of receiving what has already been freely given to you by Nature - your adulthood. Congratulate yourself - you made it!