We’ve been talking this month about letting go of how we think the holidays “should” be and learning to enjoy the daily activities and surprises they bring. Now let’s talk about why setting our hearts on a certain outcome is not a path to joy.
When we become obsessed with making things perfect, setting our hearts on the way things “should” be, or commit ourselves to one particular outcome, we are setting ourselves up for failure.
Susan wrote, “The reason why setting our heart on anything can be such a painful choice is that the need to control all the people and events of our life is a need of the Lower Self. In the world of the Lower Self, the future is always a scary place because of the terrifying feeling that we do not have the power to handle whatever happens to us. Therefore, the Lower Self needs a guarantee. But there are no guarantees in the outside world.”
Susan was so right when she wrote, “there are no guarantees in the outside world,” and this goes double during the holidays. It is a time of year we most want to be able to connect to our Higher Selves, but are more likely to sink down into the closed mind of our Lower Selves. Yet when we let go of how we want things to be and instead look for all the wonderful surprises popping up in our lives, we are reaching out to our Higher Self.
For example, a friend cancels plans at the last minute and your left in the lurch. Instead of getting upset, you realize that you can now attend a choral concert that sounded interesting. Another example would be a present you ordered for a loved one months ago still hasn’t made an appearance. Instead of getting flustered and upset, you head out to the mall where you find an even better present.
If you leave yourself open and are able to go with the flow, the holidays become more like the idealized version of peace and contentment that you want them to be. That’s when the best memories are made.