Although it’s supposed to be the season of goodwill and peace to all people, the reality of your family might fall a long way short. Even if you are all in touch, people bring their drama and chaos into your life and it’s easy to get caught up in it. You may feel low because people fall short of your expectations of them and you are left flat and disappointed, comparing the amount of free and loving you give, only to have a rather unenthusiastic scrap thrown your way in return. So how can we get around being drawn in and being disappointed in life, especially at Christmas?
The first thing is managing our own expectations. A wise Buddhist Monk once spoke words to me that I have never forgotten. “There is no anger without expectation” he told me. There is logic in this statement and I would extend it to other negative emotions such as disappointment, frustration and anxiety. These feelings all stem from expecting things to go a certain way and expecting people to behave in a certain way as well as the expectation that you are entitled to something specific. The human mind is obsessed with how things should and ought to be. Perhaps the take home message this Season is to notice when we are indulging in these kinds of thoughts, especially when it involves comparing ourselves to others in which we are shown in the most favourable light – you know the “I would never treat anyone the way that so and so has treated me” type of thing. As I said here,
“We love to play out dramas in which we are the hero and others are less than us. This is driven by the ego’s fear of lack.”
Instead we can focus on what we don’t lack in our lives – there is plenty to be grateful for if we encourage ourselves to focus away from our own and other people’s drama for a moment!