In previous articles, I’ve written about how to understand and cope with your emotions,but at this time of year I want to share some important thoughts about those particularly vexing and sad feelings that many people have during the holiday season. Here, we are going to look at the cause from a Soulcology perspective, from the wider view of the physical, mental and spiritual totality—the realm of the human soul—that is the core essence of every human being. We are going to drill down to the core of sadness, and as we go we will be unwinding false social and personal assumptions from which the source of holiday misery arises.
If you had clairvoyant vision like I do and could see through walls, you’d know that during the time between Thanksgiving and Christmas, there is a sharp spike of grief and a pall of bitter emotional cold in the greater collective consciousness. Of course, there are those who are the “haves” —those who, through circumstances of the moment can experience the ideal celebration—but there are many more “have nots”. To rephrase in the “spirit of the season” we can say that there are far more Tiny Tim’s than wide-eyed, cherub-like children with roses in their cheeks and stars in their eyes.
Over the decades, much of my work at this time of year is to lift people out of their holiday blues by calling to their attention that the things they grieve about are heightened by their adherence to some version of the holiday fairy tale. Suddenly, single people feel ten times as single. Widows feel more widowed. The financially disadvantaged are painfully overwhelmed. Parents of adult children go into a distorted state of seeming to forget that their children have their own lives and for those few days out of the year have a compelling need to have adult children return home for the holidays—at all costs or all is lost. We give guilt for Christmas and we receive it by the basket-load.
In each instance, whatever it may be, heightened holiday depression can be traced to the deeply rooted expectations caused by rehearsing the fairy tale we insist upon embracing. But life isn’t like that: life does not always agree with what we want to prioritize in our heads. Non-Christian religions don’t celebrate Christmas; the Universe does not have a calendar and does not recognize Christmas; the planet Earth and the vastness of life that arises from earth does not recognize Christmas; and guess what? The multidimensional spiritual beings that Judeo-Christian religions call angels don’t celebrate Christmas! Now just imagine that.
But that’s not all, Elflings, not by a long shot. Read on.
Seasonal Reality Distortion (Unreality) Creates Havoc with Emotional Processing
More suicides occur during the holidays; more addicts fall off the wagon; more traumas and sickness occur and more people pass away because a weakened life force is further diminished by the Collective suffering energy. Emotional health is destabilized and depression is epidemic because many of the emotions that we process during this time are rooted in the unreality of the holiday myth. All of this is completely unnecessary and we can choose not to participate. We can choose to stay grounded in the health of what is real, instead of becoming entranced with fantasy expectations and getting ourselves lost in what is not real, not possible right now, “just in time for Christmas”.
Notwithstanding the severe reality and stark imperfection of a suffering world with its countless Tiny Tim’s, most people (Americans in particular) are entranced by the collective dream of a gingerbread holiday: which is to say, perfect with all the gumdrops. Knowingly or not, we want that postcard picture of Christmas made in the image of by-gone years, when families were more interdependent and neighbors were, well…more neighborly. Particularly at Christmas, there is a conditioned expectation that we are to abruptly dislodge ourselves from everyday life and become sojourners in the magical lands of make-believe.
Hand-me-down holiday ambitions are generational and rooted, passed from parent to child without question, despite the stress and depressive states they so often cause. It’s a highly dysfunctional cycle that society refuses to recognize because like all co-dependent dysfunctions, it is socially woven. Further, it has an inbuilt protection to prevent the recognition of its illusion: if you talk like I am right now, you’ll be called a Scrooge, and you will be dismissed as a party-pooper. In other words, scorn and ridicule are the most effective deterrents to would-be nay-sayers. So to prevent fearful discomfort, people often choose to suffer rather than undergo a purifying purge of their conditioned beliefs. (Ask anyone who has tried to deprogram a cult member.)
Furthermore, the onslaught of advertising that depicts people as being “joyful” at this time of this year strongly reinforces fantasy expectations. In fact, even though artificial television scenes are anything but real, we naively interpret their commercial motive as a standard to judge ourselves by. We fail to see that it’s all just another big Madison Avenue lie. –A commercial blitz of social programming geared first, to part people from their money and second, to program humans being into a a numb conformist mode that, on a deeper level, serves to have people “believing” in a lot more than just Santa Claus. Television is the great Hypnotist of the Masses and every dictator or merchant from the beginning of time would have lusted to possess this magical instrument of mind control.
How to Give Yourself the Gift of Mental and Spiritual Well-Being
Regardless of what you might think about my Grinch-like assertions, commercial programming and dysfunctional, inter–generational expectations work together to communicate that we…our lives… are somehow defective if we can’t have the “Currier & Ives” postcard holiday. Those in the know about human psychology understand very well how we love to escape as a temporary remedy for the numerous psychological wounds within the human psyche. The powers-that-be reinforce childishness in the population because that makes us weak…and thus, gives social controllers power over us; as in power to influence spending, power to influence beliefs and perceptions, etc. We are easy targets for the skilled manipulators among us; we follow their lead, and we follow each other. Consequently, millions of people go to enormous lengths to make that special season Oh. So. VERY. Perfect.
Of course, it’s unrealistic.
Of course, life isn’t like that.
Really. What’s to argue?
So think upon this: Our persistent beliefs in unreality cause mental and spiritual suffering. When we argue with reality, we suffer. Every time! Every. Single. Time.
When things aren’t “perfect” this season, when you don’t have enough money, when you don’t have that special someone to be with, when you don’t have anyone to be with, when you don’t have a job, when your family can’t come to visit or you can’t go there, when you can’t get off from work, when you are haunted by memories from previous holidays, when you’re feeling sad and are not even sure why, when there are inter-family conflicts and worries about any of your relationships, when you are hassled and stressed and overwhelmed:
STOP! Back it up. It’s time to examine your feelings, to see what is really true, what might not be true, and get grounded in a reasoning state of mind. In Part Two of this post, to be published the following day, I will provide an excellent exercise that will help you.