2003-11-21 / Columnists

The Inner Voice

by Marilyn Gelfand
The Inner Voice by Marilyn Gelfand

As the holidays begin to make their seasonal cyclical appearances, combined with the change in the weather, we each get bombarded with messages from the society about what each day means to us, and what we should eat and be doing. Combined with that, we have our own personal memories of what holidays were like in the past, meeting the pasts of everyone we associate with who also has his or her own memories. We also bring in our own values of what a day "should" be like.

So much of our time is spent criticizing others who surround us and do things differently. We may get invited to a family member’s home, and feel that this is not how it should be. Circumstances may happen that change the nature of the day, and it becomes not what you expected before the day began. We have to be patient with others and with ourselves. We must take responsibility for the creation of our own notions, and realize that they are just our own thoughts. When things go awry, I can laugh rather than get upset about it. I don’t have to blame others because they are having fun differently.

Stepping back from our own script is so important. It allows us to enjoy what each day brings regardless of the outcome. We can be more open, and then each holiday is an adventure rather than a rock hard tradition of my own mind. I realize that when I remember things, I do it on an emotional level rather than on a reality one. When my emotional state changes is when I record the event. The more separated I am from an emotional investment in a set way, the more I can enjoy myself and disregard the opinions of others who may be telling me what they want or expect. Each day is important for me, and I don’t want to allow it to slip away from me.

When we free ourselves from the tight control of our scripts, we can truly enjoy the moment, and celebrate a holiday in a meaningful way to me. The holiday is for me as well as others. With balance in mind, and an open spirit, we can truly enjoy the company of others and make each day special with a lightheartedness and joyfulness of the moment. We can cry over those we no longer have, and then remember that I am now here. Even if life is bittersweet, this moment is mine to enjoy.

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