A young boy surrounded by Christmas presents and a beautifully decorated tree.

Are you enough for you?

Did you miss out on Black Friday deals? Every click of the buy button is an endorphin pump–but STOP scrolling and looking. You probably don’t really need whatever you’re looking for, and if you’re shopping for gifts, remember that anyone who deserves a great gift from you would value and desire your attention and time more than anything else.  We want to see the look of surprise and joy on our loved ones.  Yet most of us have things we or our kids haven’t used since they were gifted or bought. Take a moment, and look at how much you already have and how much of them you don’t use.

Nine Lives - Official Trailer [HD]

Don’t let the THINGS in your life chain you down and rob you of the real joy of being with the people you love. Although, even perfectly competent adults go into family gatherings with thoughts like “I should be married.” “They have a backyard pool, and we don’t.”  In the weeks leading up to the holidays, we are inundated with expectations of income, lifestyle, and achievements imposed by the media, other people, and ourselves.  It’s natural to seek your family’s approval.  It’s also in your power to pause and check in to see whether those expectations and fears are serving you well before you buy into those value judgments. If they don’t get you closer to the life you want, you can just have those thoughts and then immediately drop them.  Be kind to yourself! There’s enough chaos and hurdles in life–the more baggage you can unload, the better.

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The term “retail therapy” was coined because outside of absolute necessities for survival, most of us shop to feel better about ourselves. Just knowing and remembering this fact is empowering. What would make you feel good enough? Honestly assess whether you’ve invested enough in self-love, in self-acceptance, and in people before you go out and buy another THING. I often tell my kids, “You’re always the best in my eyes. Just try your best. I love you no matter what–You are enough for me.”  But as they grow older, and I convince them that they don’t need to don the “in-the-moment” sneakers or cell phones, I start to wonder whether my love is enough for them to love and accept themselves. Social media and society use value judgments like the kind of car you drive, and your neighborhood to generalize and quickly determine people’s worth without spending precious time to get to know them. People don’t come with price tags.  

Are you enough for you? If not, it’s a pretty worthwhile gift.

So this holiday, invest in yourself and the people who love you.  My favorite gifts are experiences–projects to build together and new things to learn together.  Try it, and you’ll be surprised by how persistent the joy from experiences last. Memories get fonder–long after the novelty wears off of shiny new toys.

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