Tag Archives: appreciation

461. Transforming Christmas Within Me

Or, how to practically change from being the Grinch to a person that actually embodies the principles of living in equality and what’s best for all in practical manners.

Ok so, Christmas passed and based on the commitment shared at the beginning of the month, I must recognize I’ve done quite good in terms of stopping my ‘usual reactions to Christmas’ over the month and being diligent in making it a point to change who I am in the midst of all things that usually go along the lines within this holiday season.

There are two judgments I can pin-point related to how I had usually seen/identified this season to be and I will be sharing then how I have done my point in changing those judgments into a supportive set of doings within myself this time around.

First thing is how I had judged the whole getting together in a halo of peace and niceness as phony, as hypocritical, as ‘false’ because it didn’t make sense to me to only have this going on once a year or whenever major tragedies happened around the world. So, here it’s interesting because a friend of my mother’s (so my friend as well) sent me a message on Christmas and said something related to how Christmas brings the best of us as human beings, all that care, love, sharing, compassion, hope and kindness. I responded to her that I can agree with that and that we should not only live this during Christmas, but extend it to our everyday reality. The same I did when she sent some words relating Christmas to Jesus’ words, so I thanked her for the message again and related it back to making those words real as ourselves, to live the words that Jesus shared in our everyday living, which she agreed to as well. That right there, me responding in a more contributory manner to those messages is already one point of change within me where before I would have probably played ‘kind’ and just thank it and within me say ‘whatever!’ but, this time I took the actual time to read and make it a point to give back that moment of attention and appreciation with a supportive note at the same time, one that reflects what I want to change within myself and be that one person that changes what I had previously defined as ‘phoniness’ or ‘hypocrisy’ that I had labeled everything positive and ‘warm’ going on around these holidays to be. I had not realized I was being ‘hypocritical’ myself around these things in the way I used to ‘care’ about the holiday, but in the back of my head always be continually judging it and being ‘fed up’ with it.

Here then, I am no longer blaming others for ‘being hypocrites’ for only behaving this way once a year and reacting to it within my own spite and ‘filtered view’, because I know people like me tend to take a higher stance in believing that we are very keen on finding everyone else’s faults, but we rarely take a moment to truly see within ourselves and how we are contributing to create the same problem we are complaining about.

So how did I change that which I had judged as phony and hypocritical into genuineness, a real care and consideration and also, an expression of myself? An example is in simple interactions that had that usual tinge of ‘it’s Christmas/near Christmas time’ and some generosity point emerged, I thanked it in a decision to be genuinely appreciating others about it, not backchatting it within my mind or judging it as before as ‘ah this is so phony, so predictable, too hypocritical, ah it’s for convenience’ and the rest of it, but instead truly embraced those moments for the expressions they are, without ‘tainting them’ with only the ‘Christmas/seasonal halo’ around it, but more like embracing those expressions in others as a an expression of who they are and can be, yes, all year round!

And interestingly enough, I have been making this a point for myself in my every day interactions with unknown people as well, no matter how petty or insignificant, to talk to others, to address others in the way that I would like to as well, not as a point of likeness/preference or convenience, but simply a truly ‘giving of myself’ through my expression, through any point of simple generosity that can come in many forms, a ‘kinder self’ indeed is what I’m developing, no longer the ‘bitter’ version of myself that acted out of that hypocritical in fact and phony kindness as per morals or ‘traditions’ but, more of a genuine enjoyment of meeting with others, of seeing family members which is definitely something quite new to me to be honest.

I used to go to all of those reunions and Christmas more within a point of obligation, which led me to simply skip it for some years in the past recent years, until this time around where I make it a point to not ‘load’ within me all the past judgments or others’ judgments on this holiday, but make it simply that getting together with family that I can enjoy, express myself in, talk to those that I want to establish communication to, contribute with something to it – like baking a cake – and giving presents that I can see are practical and supportive like health books, food supplements, basic clothing, which is quite cool in fact, nothing too fancy or extravagant really, but I actually enjoyed the decorations I made for the presents and wrapping them up, actually going out of the usual ‘red and green’ and instead using lots of colors in them, that was fun and enjoyable too.

In this, I am also able to stand ‘outside of myself’ to consider how this holiday for others is something that becomes very special, a special gathering and get together so in that, I didn’t judge it, I enjoyed the intimate reunion it was, impromptu due to particular settings we arranged it with and had a good time without any ‘excesses’ or anything like that, fine enough to come home and simply be grateful for the company, the nice foods, the talking, the sharing of some gifts and receiving of them and for all of us still being together this time around. This has been quite a change considering I had deliberately antagonized this celebration with my ‘inner war’ and conflictive reactions towards the whole setting, being uncomfortable most of the times, which yeah in way means I stood as the ‘war point’ toward it all, whereas now I could simply ‘flow’ with it yet in a directive manner because I didn’t get carried away by any sort of positivity either, but simply seeing ‘no difference’ to any other family gathering for example which means that I am already starting to expand this point of genuine expression in other times/situations as well.

The other point of judgment toward Christmas had always been consumerism. This still came up a few times in relation to the vastness of stuff that can be bought in these days, the crowded malls and supermarkets, but It was just that, an acknowledgement of ‘how things are’ and I assisted myself when facing these crowds in sharing with my partner how yes, it is crowded, yes, lots of people, yes, it’s not a weekend, it’s a regular weekday before Christmas time and I’ve decided to not react to it, which worked just fine, embracing it.

So, here in the sense of judging consumerism, I realize I can’t change others, I cannot decide what others spend their money on or change ‘their behaviors’ around this time of the year, I can only do that myself and that’s what I can rather focus on. Here has to do more with the relationship to money and realizing that sure I’d like to give a present to everyone as a means of appreciation, but sometimes that’s not possible, and it’s not something I see entirely needed either. I instead don’t focus on giving something ‘on Christmas’ only, but rather whenever I can and there’s an opportunity, giving little things here and there that I actually gift with a meaning of appreciation, of giving to others that which I know they enjoy or need – and yes here it’s definitely not focusing on ‘giving something pricey’ at all, but more like seeing how practical it is, how useful it is, how supportive it can be or how I can make it myself – and that’s how I then sort of ‘measure’ what I’d like to give because they are usually things I’d give to myself too, sometimes also considering their likes and preferences of course, but still make it a point to ‘make a statement’ with the kind of gift I give, which is overall in the means of being supportive and practically useful.

And so, in conclusion, I spent a very different Christmas season this year, and all that I required to do is make a clear and self-aware decision to change my attitude, to stop my behavior that wanted to ‘show with all of my being my refusal to be part of it’ which, in looking back, actually could have caused discomfort and reactions in others that I didn’t actually want to create, yet I became oblivious to and blind to it all because of my self-interest in ‘making a statement’, one of refusal, denial, antagonism – ah that word here again! – antagonizing everything ‘Christmas’ related.

This time, I’m focusing on integrating these new ways not only ‘this month’ but the whole year to come and this is definitely something that has been unfolding from the past last months of the year and from the very blogs I’ve been sharing on deconstructing this ‘bitter self’ or ‘pessimist self’ or ‘gloomy self’ into one that actually embodies the ways, living words that I’d like us all to live by as human beings, all year long, every day.

So! Let’s make it happen

 

Recommended audio:

Christmas – The Crucifixion of Jesus – Part 73

 

Living Words

 

If you’d like some support in preventing and being 1+ person that stands up for life in a practical day to day living manner, check out:

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436. Lack of Money in Dream

Last night I had a dream where I would be aware of having only a 200 pesos bill in my pocket, that being the last money left with me at the time. I was with my family in a restaurant and I would still be quite sure about being able to pay for the bill, or at least help with some money. I would notice how I was very aware of what everyone was asking and in one moment I would see my partner taking the offer drinking ‘some’ of my father’s beverage, and all I could consider in that moment is how one drink cost a quarter of the 200 pesos, and because he would drink the whole thing in 3 seconds I would get so angry at him for being inconsiderate, for not realizing that then my father would have to get another drink and then it would take all the money away.

The shocking point however is how I reacted towards my partner in such situation which involved a lot of cursing and flipping fingers and generally wanting him to feel bad or notice that ‘he had done an inconsiderate thing’ by drinking that. Yet, right after I would be in my own possession towards him in that moment I would realize how I had not said or done any of that to him before, and realized that the damage was done: I could not revert back to a moment before all of that where I could have stopped myself from justifying my anger at him and the situation.  In my dream I realized how things could spiral out from there on, on how I had been essentially so disrespectful toward him in that moment, breaking into ‘uncharted territory’ from there on due to allowing myself to express myself to him that way. I felt regretful as well.

I woke up with this experience of ‘being angry at him’ lol, but of course I brought myself back to earth and realized it was MY dream, my creation and so what exists in my mind and what could possibly be a reality if I allowed it to become just that. It frightened me, because I saw how in one moment so many consequences would ensue and even if right after I wished I ‘hadn’t done that/said that’ it was done, truly felt regret yet of course in the dream I didn’t go into analyzing the situation. So here I go.

First of all it seems odd how if I knew I had little money left, still try and go to restaurants or even attempt to invite others and pay the bill for it. This is a point of defined ‘empowerment’ as well where I have enjoyed doing this with my family and having the ability to ‘invite them’ as well, which to me it just makes sense considering the many times they have invited me as well. However obviously, if I was in such precarious situation as in having little to no money left, I would not go out to restaurants, not pretend I can manage. I can see there’s the point of ego as ‘pride’ in maybe wanting to hide the fact that ‘I’m broke’ at their eyes yet be tense throughout the whole situation, because I would not have wanted to be in the position to have to spend more just because of adding one last drink to the bill.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to define an experience of going out to restaurants and invite others as in paying the bill myself as ‘empowering’ and something I gladly do, wherein I would then prevent myself from being open and clear to others about my financial situation and explain why I cannot attend to a restaurant or pay for the bill due to having little to no money left, which is what I see makes sense to do in such situations and not have the ‘restaurant’ or reunion be centered around ‘going out’ but family reunions and ‘going outs’ don’t always have to relate to eating out/ paying somewhere to eat/drink something while it could be done at home as well, this is in consideration to  be considerate of  money spending when there are no sources of income, and not perceive it as a ‘missing out’ or a ‘lesser’ experience if I cannot afford something any longer.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to slightly charge the experience within me of being able to afford paying a meal in a restaurant for others and myself, which is a point of perceived ‘empowerment’ which certainly can be done when there is sufficient money and income, however if one’s situation changes, adjustments have to be made and such kind of unnecessary expenses have to be cut, instead of me trying to ‘keep the show going’ at the eyes of others, while knowing well in the situation in the dream that I was compromising my ‘last moneys’ in order to give a pleasure/moment to others to enjoy, or what I perceive to be ‘enjoyment’ or expressing some kind of ‘gratefulness’, when in fact enjoyment and gratefulness can be expressed in so many other ways that don’t involve having to ‘go out to restaurants’ only as what I’ve lived throughout my life within the family scenario.

In this it is to realize that it is not limiting myself when no longer being able to afford such things if having no income, but rather be considerate about the situation instead of wanting to ‘pull it through’ and compromising my basic livelihood.

Another aspect here is how I allowed myself to get to that point of only having 200 pesos on my pocket. It is interesting because in the morning today I saw this picture on social media about how if you have 10 dollars in your bank account, you have more than the 75% of the world, which is ridiculous that we’ve allowed ourselves to get to this point of most of the world living in poverty while being in a world that sufficiently caters for everyone.  So there are various factors that lead to having no money, but within my personal situation and environment/context, it IS possible to make money therefore here within the dream context and as a possible scenario that exists in all of our lives

10 dollars

 

 

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to get to a position of poverty, which is a form of disregard, lack of self responsibility, apathy, not putting myself out there in terms of knocking doors and looking at the many possibilities that still exist in this world to make money, having no judgment to particular activities or job situations, but realizing that I cannot allow myself to get to such point of seeing ‘the last drops’ of my money go and do nothing about it, therefore

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to neglect my financial situation of my dream and take that into consideration within my current experience where I am living of savings and definitely require to make sure I don’t spend money unnecessarily or waste it in ‘going outs’ that are not really necessary for me to ‘live.’ In this

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to slowly but surely allow the ‘fear of ending with no money’ to be in the back of my head and creeping in as a constant ‘variable’ in my day to day situations, wherein I can see that it can affect the way that I live and interact with others, which should NOT be so, because in this it is about me first establishing clear accounting with myself, looking at what is it that is essentially needed, the basic points of livelihood that I require to cover in joint expenses and take responsibility for that part that corresponds to me. In this I realize that I do have to ‘give up’ more unnecessary expenses not because of ‘fearing’ not having money, but simply being realistic about current financial situation and ensuring I am not placing myself in a dire situation just because of ‘squandering’ the current possibilities.

And ultimately in this, what matters is that I would not have to ‘restrain’ myself in all aspects if I start creating other possibilities for income as well, which is where I have to move myself to and start planning where and how I can continue making money to live without worrying about ‘eventually depleting my source of money’ and this is my point of self responsibility.

 

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to become angry, tense, anxious, absolutely possessed with the miser experience at the same time when judging what my partner did in the dream about the drink and blame him as ‘inconsiderate’ when in fact that was me only venting and exerting my own neglect, lack of consideration and responsibility to my own life, my own financial situation and in this realizing that there are moments where bit by bit I start getting ‘stingy’ about money due to not having a continuous source of income.

In this I see that the financial aspect when sharing expenses with another and at the same time when placing oneself in this ‘comfortable’ position with money and then having that ‘comfort’ point change to a position of precariousness can change the way we behave toward others and essentially ‘the worst of us’ can come out when in that survival mode.

I forgive myself that I accepted and allowed myself to be so ashamed of myself in that moment when realizing what I had done as in doing all the cursing, yelling, flipping fingers and venting out my own anger towards another, because in the ‘shame’ of course we don’t see the actual starting point of it all, which is how in that dream situation I allowed myself to get to that position of ‘having the last drop’ of money and doing nothing at all about it, which is unacceptable and it is unacceptable that I would dare to see another as ‘the problem’ in that moment, which is such a common way to miss out MY responsibility in it all.

I forgive myself that I have accepted and allowed myself to define me as someone that is ‘unconditional’ when it comes to ‘sharing’ which means sharing of my money when paying something for others and link this to a ‘sign of appreciation’ when it is part of the programming at home where any given money was to be considered a sign of love, appreciation, gratitude, care and even recognition as a ‘prize’ for doing something ‘good’,  when in fact these words mean so much more than just ‘money’ and can be lived in so many more ways than just ‘giving money’ or ‘paying’ things for others.

I realize that if I do enjoy being able to live in a comfortable manner and even at times be able to ‘share it with others’, then there’s two options: either I get a sufficient source of income to continue doing this in a moderate manner, or rather explain my situation, stop compromising myself and rather live these words as care, love, appreciation, gratitude towards others not by ‘paying’ for things or ‘inviting out’ but rather by assisting them in their lives in what I consider I can, such as sharing or providing some personal support, be with them in times when we can chat/ be up to date with each other, do something together that doesn’t require any consumption of sorts or ‘going outs’ as in eating out etc. and so also challenge that programming that has been so ingrained throughout my life in terms of ‘going to restaurants’ and seeing that as a point of luxury, comfort and ways to interact with others better, because in reality, I first have to assess the financial situation in order to fulfill such ‘ideals’ and if it is not possible, then rather redefine the ‘gatherings’ to something else, where I have also come to realize that it is part of those ‘illusions’ I’ve hold on to as if they were part of ‘my lifestyle’ throughout my life, but I do know of people that would rarely ever do this in their lives and could live without it, which enabled me to see how I have conditioned myself to believe this is part of the ‘rites’ of socializing, when it doesn’t have to be the ‘only’ way to go out and socialize in any case.

Last Sunday for example instead of going out to a restaurant, we rather went to eat at my parents’ house and spend much less money by doing so than keeping the ‘outings’ program in place, and it was as enjoyable as well because the interaction and ‘getting together’ shouldn’t be defined by ‘what one eats’ or ‘where’ and ‘how much it costs’ at all, when the same can be done/prepared/cooked with much less money anyways.

In this I recognize that it is not like I will say NO to all outings in restaurants, but certainly be much more moderate about it and be considerate of not squandering money within such habit.  Which leads me to the point of how I was also justifying these expenses in saying that ‘I am in turn also supporting the economy in my locality’ and assisting others to ‘get a better wage’ with going to places and leaving tips and whatnot, however this is ‘ok’ if one has the money to do it, but it is silly to compromise one’s own livelihood just to keep ‘benefiting others’ and be left with nothing oneself.

And then comes the anger point which I mean, I have talked about it many, many times. And it was cool to face this rather uncomfortable and – to say the least – regrettable situation in my dream where my own lack of responsibility to my financial situation led me to essentially ruin or if not create a faux pas with my partner in doing something that I immediately regretted to have been said and done toward him. It really sucked the moment that in the dream I realized: what have you done? You can’t go back and undo that, he will forever remember this that you just did and said to him. And this has to do with previous situations where I also allowed myself to be possessed in certain situations also due to familiar contexts and traditions or ‘politics’ that my partner would not be used to, and that I essentially blew things out of proportion against him at the very beginning of our relationship and only later on did I admit to see that it was My ‘religion’ of how things should be that was the problem, and how I did not communicate about it beforehand and how I made it such a big deal in my mind and exerted that anger toward him as well. That was talked about and it took me to recognize my own ‘religion’ of what I believed he should have done that caused the problem, while him also admitting to aspects of his participation to work with, which has actually worked fine.

However in the dream due to the financial ‘strain’ and situation I was in and not communicating about it with others, but keep it to myself and just ‘venting out’ the consequence of my problem, I would create another rift in my relationship with others because of this precarious situation I created for myself.

When waking up and realizing I was carrying the experience of the dream, I cleared myself up by forgiving myself for having allowed myself to get so angry at my partner in the dream, for judging him for generally ‘drinking things too fast’ because I equate this to ‘money’ only, and in general create this scenario in the dream to test myself ‘who would I be’ in such situation of poverty.

So, what I could see is that surely being in that ultimate state of having almost no money left at all, does make one go into ‘overdrive’ in survival, which can be by all means first of all prevented. However the point of ‘instant possession’ upon living the consequences is also preventable, wherein in the dream I could have taken a moment to stabilize myself, not keep feeding the ‘fears of not having money’ or the judgments on how anything eaten/drank equated to more money on the bill and so becoming angry at consuming in itself, and so preventing me from getting so possessed in this rage, anger about money that one can say or do things that one will regret a moment afterward. I have to remind myself that no matter how ‘difficult’ a situation might be, I cannot blame others for it, I cannot use another as a ‘punching bag’ for it and seeing others as ‘the problem’ when in fact it is all self-created.

In an ultimate situation if I had to walk the ‘aftermath’ of that situation in the dream, I would explain my own anger about my situation, how I didn’t take responsibility for my experience and allowed myself to exert it out and ask for forgiveness to the other person, after having forgiven myself for being so neglectful towards myself and my personal responsibility in relation to money. It is also interesting that even if it was ‘just a dream’ I could not just see it as ‘just that’ because it felt such a real possibility for me in all aspects that I considered the importance of aligning this point so that I can prevent most of the situation by changing definitions of ‘outings’ with others from now on, in relation to family gatherings, going out for the sake of ‘paying for others and supporting them through my consumption’ and rather be realistic about my financial situation.

In this I realize that it is not a ‘missing out’ because one defines what one makes of any situation or experience, so I stop defining ‘comfort’ and ‘pleasure’ and ‘gratitude’ and ‘enjoyment’ and even ‘sharing’ with others just through what money can do. And many times to be honest the process of ‘going out’ becomes more of a ritual than an actual enjoyment, so I can decide to suggest other ways and even ‘change the ways’ that it usually goes wherein we can all save up money and realize that it is not always necessary to spend in order to show care or live enjoyment or any other aspect like that.

So what can I learn from the dream in retrospect is: how to prevent getting to a point of lacking money, how to prevent myself from affecting my relationships with others by remaining in a position of ‘pride’ and not seek out for ways to make money or support from others, how to stop defining experiences of ‘empowerment’ related to money only, how to live appreciation, care, joy, gratefulness and sharing in ways that don’t involve ‘paying’ for something to someone else as an ‘expression of care’ because I can decide to change that, how I can prevent myself from blaming others and getting in an exertion of my own anger towards myself and use others as my ‘valve of escape’ for that emotional experience.

Ultimately of course we should prevent ALL of humanity from ever having to be in a precarious situation, of having no money/no food/ no shelter and having no possible way to get an income and step out of survival mode. We need to guarantee everyone’s wellbeing if we want to prevent people getting possessed in such a dysfunctional mind state of accumulated problems and experiences related to money that lead to the worst of the worst in our society: from mental illness, to domestic violence, addictions, blaming governments and neglecting our personal and collective responsibility in this system.

In relation to the comment, We can make a difference if we all place ourselves in the shoes of situations like the one that ¾ of the population in this world are living in and decide to stop creating obstacles for us to live in a dignified manner, it really starts with us and empowering each other not only with money, but with skills and abilities to be able to contribute back into society and so be genuinely proud of creating a world we can live in without worries of ever going poor again, it’s up to us to remove for every person that possibility of only having 10 dollars in their pockets or even only ‘a bit more’ of that, no one wants to live in such poverty, so why should we allow the majority of this world do go through that?

 

Please check out this great series that supports with this process:

Making Do With Less – The Soul of Money

https://eqafe.com/p/making-do-with-less-the-soul-of-money

 

 

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