It’s a common theme this time of year. We rush around shopping and going to parties, visiting family, etc. so we’re doing a lot, and there is a physical drain. And of course, it is supposed be a joyous and happy time! But it’s not just running the marathon of parties, etc. that is getting to you. The stress you are feeling is coming straight from your inner kid. She loves many of the things about Christmas or Hanukkah that you do – the love, the sharing, the gifts, the gathering with friends and family, but there is also a stressful side to all this.
Every party, every gathering, poses a threat. What if she embarrasses herself? What if she makes a faux pas in front of people that will judge her? What if she gets tipsy at the office Christmas party or says the wrong thing to aunt Beatrice?
You want to go to these affairs, but she has mixed feelings. Part of her would be much happier curled up on the couch with a cup of hot chocolate. But you are going to make her do this thing, and that’s where the trouble begins.
You want to go to an affair but she is afraid. You probably overpower her and go to the party or the family gathering, but there is a cost. She exacts a pretty heavy price for being forced. The internal struggle is a terrible drain on your personal energy. And you don’t have a lot of personal energy in the first place. Most of the energy you use comes from your connection to The Universal and when you choose to separate from that, you’re on battery power. That is why you end up feeling drained and exhausted.
Besides you won’t really enjoy yourself. She cannot let down that much. You’ll put in an appearance, but your heart won’t be in it, and you’ll constantly be on the defensive, worrying about how you look, how you act, what you say . . .
A personal story: I had been working with my inner child for a while, and we were developing a pretty good relationship. I felt obliged to go to this holiday cocktail reception and he was dreading it like you cannot believe. He was sharing his fears with me as I got dressed. So I stopped, sat down on the bed and had a conversation with him. I told him that if anything went wrong, I’d take care of him. That was new for him. I think he finally realized that I was really there for him and that I really meant it. The upshot is that we went to this affair and had a ball! I was there, but he was out front, being loving, being sociable, flirting – we had a grand time!
Since we are already into the holiday season, I don’t know how much you can do for this year, but anything will help. Begin to create a relationship with her. Let her know that you care, that you love her (really mean it!) and as in my story, that if anything goes south, you will be there to protect her. Remember, she has been solo all these years, so this is going to be a new thing. It may take her a while to adjust and learn to trust you, but she wants the connection between the two of you even more than you do.
And your job is to not bail out on her! Don’t abandon her to the wolves! Maybe you were nervous or scared. Perhaps you said the wrong thing. Like none of us have ever done that! Give her some space to be scared or nervous, but don’t let her down! Be there like a protective mother cat if the situation calls for it.
Something else to remember: present events are only a mirror for your past. And that’s were the real source of the problem lies. Somewhere in your early years a caretaker (intentionally or not) gave you the message that you had something to be ashamed of. Maybe you weren’t smart enough, or pretty enough, or something . . .whatever it was, you came away from those interactions marked with a scarlet letter. Something – whatever it was – was wrong with you. And that flaw has haunted you, your whole life. It is what she fears will be exposed at the gathering and that your scarlet letter will be the source of your downfall.
Of course this is all irrational, but you won’t be able to talk her out of it. What she needs is your love and support. Then perhaps you can talk about what happened, get her feelings out in the open and show her that what she came to believe was not based in the truth. God doesn’t make bad people. Sometimes we just get scared.
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