Saturday, December 22, 2012

Traditions-Blessing or Burden?

As Christmas is fast approaching, I realize that there are two ways to look at traditions. They can either be a rewarding and joyful blessing, or they also can become a burden that can feel like a sort of bondage. As I seek for more joy, I become acutely aware of the difference. Mostly the difference is because of my own attitude, but sometimes there are traditions that simply given the permission to let go of can be liberating and that make room for something else more joyful. I realize that giving up a certain tradition one year doesn't mean it has to be gone forever. It is just as I seek for that internal peace and joy then sustaining that feeling becomes my priority and not necessarily the traditions that I might feel compelled to carry out especially if it interferes with those feelings.

For example, this year I never got around to decorating my fireplace mantel, but instead of lamenting that I didn't carry out that tradition; I can joyful say that I have received joy in doing something else with my time instead. As I listen to people lament about all the things they feel like they HAVE to do for Christmas with a sort of attitude of stress; I realize that I want to take a hard look at all the so-called "have tos" on my list and give myself permission to let joy be my guide, and in the process, say good-bye to the tradition of Christmas stress.  

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