There was a disturbance in my heart, a voice that spoke there and said I want! I want! I want! It happened every afternoon, and when I tried to supress it, it got stronger. SAUL BELLOW
Stats continue to inform us that there are more incidents of child abuse, spousal abuse, suicide attempts and completion, ER visits, relationship dissolutions, financial setbacks occurring between late November through the first week of January than any other season.
My theory behind this pattern: Our desires to be JOLLY,set against a backdrop of idyllic scenarios of holiday utopia, intensifies expectations….and then, POW…..”Christmas” doesn’t measure up.
A group of researchers examined personality types and found that most people valued “being happy” as a primary purpose of life (this was part of my dissertation work). Think about it for a moment….if some one asked you want you want for yourself, and my field of pediatrics, what we want for “the children” …you would say “TO BE HEALTHY, AND HAPPY.”
It’s ingrained into the fabric of our identity. As children, our parents provide guidelines for the pursuit of happiness. Researchers discovered, however, that that mantra “Just be Happy,” actually increases anxiety. The more we think about life ideals, the less idealic life is.
WHY AM I NOT HAPPY?
I consider the state of “my life” a whole lot. The secure superego (think, parent) convening daily conferences while the frenzied ego (think, “authentic me”) attempts to drag in the bleating id (think, 1st grader) drooling with uncyleable thirsting. The superego has read some research about how people get happy. It wants to develop a new program to proffer such desirable results. The ego has to consult budgetary expenditures to fund such risky ventures. The id isn’t paying attention, it is inhaling a Panera Cinnamon Crunch Bagel underneath the table. Its feet too short to reach the floor.
The constant pursuit of HAPPINESS….the lights strung just so, the turkey braised just right, the gifts chosen with clarity and meaning…..can leak out the jolly out of anyone. And I think this pattern is particularly exhibited in WOMEN during the holidays.
But all people, tend not to appreciate who they are because we’re always on the prowl. We are too busy always looking to trade up, to get better, to improve, that we don’t have enough mental clarity left over to recognize what we are, what we have.
If I am always on the “come on, Get happy” wagon…I sort of miss the recognition that I already am.
Not to mention: being “happy” is really over-rated.
We sense the greatest sense of fulfillment following struggle. A delivery. A marathon. A task. Unexpected, unfunded, unearned pleasure. And then it visualizes: the id munches on world swooning waffles, gesticulating in sacred vestibules. And it is okay, to quote Bourdain
and i am hungry for more
Thus, I expected this holiday season to be VERY hard, and yes, at first I was fearful….and then, I attempted to quelch that I WANT I WANT. And, Yes, I pity-partied the sorry state of my life two days ago FAILING miserably after an incident with the vitamix, cake balls, blue food coloring and my “wanting to make a good impression” desert for the office holiday party.
But overall, and for the most part, I am experiencing that if I could honor the want, and yet not expect “idealic” fulfillment, or judge that my wanting signified failure, I could appreciate the land of
Particularly with the help of my friends….
…..and the vitamix, of course.
What makes you jolly?