Reclaim yourself!

For many people, Christmas is a holiday steeped in tradition, fond memories and nostalgia. Although Christmas 2020 is likely to be quite different, our ability to ignore ourselves in favour of the common good and our family will still be important. Ignoring ourselves and focusing on instant gratification – whether as a result of overindulging on food and drink, excessive consideration for others’ needs, unspoken conflicts or superficial personal interactions – always has a cost, which, unfortunately, lasts well beyond the holidays. For mum’s sake, for dad’s sake, for our brothers’ and sisters’ sake, for the sake of family, for the sake of preserving the holiday spirit, we push issues aside, disregard them and fail to nurture ourselves. Year after year, we re-enact the same activities and traditions, and year after year, we pay the price in the form of overweight and other personal defences that make it easier to endure the pain in our life. In other words, we lose ourselves, consciously or unconsciously building personal defences to bear the pain.

Why do we do it – year after year?
We do it because we never learned any better. We don’t act this way out of bad intentions or because we don’t care but simply because we don’t see any alternatives. Maybe we lack the tools and insight we need to break these patterns and truly thrive, both on our own and with others. The personal issues we carry with us do not go away because we turn our back on them. They stay with us until they run out of places to hide. In order to thrive, we need to shine a light into the dark corners of ourselves and help each other clarify our relationships, in a loving way, so that we can be with each other because we want to, not out of a sense of obligation. We have to methodically reclaim ourselves and help each other grow through love, insight and clear communication. Love for ourselves and for each other. Insight through self-awareness, dialogue and interpersonal competencies. Clear communication based on the ability to sense ourselves and the development of a language that enables change.

Christmas and, in particular New Year, are annually recurring events that invite us to take stock and set new goals, as most people probably do. However, many neglects to add new learning, and so, year after year, the outcome is the same. We tackle our challenges in the same old ways and we achieve the same old results. What we need is new knowledge, and it is up to each of us to find it, so that year by year we can have an ever better, happier and more magical Christmas.

I wish you a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!


Per Leth-Nissen


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