Page 31 - October2012BrowardGoodNews

Basic HTML Version

Dr. John Hawkins, Sr.
Good News
Bing Crosby sang he was
dreaming of a “White Christmas”.
Merchants see the holidays in hues
of green. A large number of people
see this season in red for the over-
extended debt they accumulate.
Then there are thosewhose holiday
color is blue as in “feeling blue.” For
many, this is a time of year full of
decorations, festive celebrations
However, for another large group
of people, it is a season of
depression, anxiety and the holiday
blues. Why do so many dread this
season every year? If you are in this
latter group, determine this year to
change the color of your holiday.
Beingwilling to take a look at some
of the possible causes and cures to
your dilemma can do this.
One of the main reasons for
sadness in this season is unfulfilled
expectations. Holidays revolve
around family traditions and
dynamics. It is simply not realistic
to expect one holiday get-together
to heal or fix years of family
relationships. Many get anxious
about the event because they know
exactly what is going to happen
based on years of family history.
Instead, go to the various events
with a more realistic expectation.
Bewilling to accept people forwho
they are including their flaws. Quit
expecting another person in the
family tomake youwhole; that is an
inside job. The core issues causing
problems in most families are
about attachment, affirmation,
acceptance and love. As an adult,
you will have to heal yourself and
no longer look to others to do this
for you.
Then there are those who
want to make every holiday event
one of perfection. They drive
themselves and others crazy in the
process, not to mention getting
worn out physically. The lateVince
Lombardi, famous coach of the
Green Bay Packers said, “Fatigue
makes cowards of us all.” Fatigue
will make a person more
susceptible to depression. Don’t try
to be Martha Stewart with every
party. Pace yourself bothbefore and
during the holiday. Plan time to
recover before heading back to
work after the holidays. Remember,
it is about enjoying the people, not
just the event.
Comparison and Regret
The scripture says it is notwise
to compare ourselves among
ourselves (2 Corinthians 10:12).
Men especially can get depressed
when they feel they cannot buy all
the things that others are buying for
their families. This can lead to
regretwhen a person goes intodebt
and spends money they don’t have
for the temporary high of a happy
holiday. Rather than do this, look
for creativeways tomake your own
gifts that can, over the long term, be
more meaningful and valued than
a toy that ends up lying around the
garage broken. Get involved in
teaching the family the true
meaning of the holiday and do a
family service project. These kinds
of memories can make a lasting
positive impact on your family.
Chemical Let Down
Looking forward to a greatly
anticipated or positive event
changes our brain chemistry.
Neurotransmitters like dopamine,
serotonin and adrenaline are
released. Besides giving us energy,
they release feelings of pleasure and
well-being. Once the event is over,
these chemicals can subside and
there is a feeling of coming down
from the emotional high that was
experienced. This is normal, and
produces the feelings of sadness
that can accompany the post-
holiday events. One way to deal
with this is to have something else
to look forward to. Hope is
something humans cannot live
without. For a Christian, there is
the certain hope of heaven and the
resurrection. Do notmake any one
event the last thing youhave to look
forward to in your life. As one event
is concluding, know what you will
look forward to next.
unexamined life is not worth
living.” People today are time
starved and overcommitted. The
big problem is a lack of considering
where their lives are heading. This
is also very true during the holidays.
Take the time to reflect upon the
true meaning of these holidays;
their spiritual significance. Don’t
get lost in the marketing and
consumerism. Thanksgiving is
about recognizing God as the
source of all things in your life and
expressing gratitude to Him and
others. Christmas celebrates the
birth of a Savior and the gift of
eternal life given to those who
never deserved it. New Years is a
wonderful time to reflect upon
where your life has been andwhere
it is going, as well as what God’s
design and purpose for is for it.
If this season of the year
normallymakes you “blue,” take the
time this year to reframe your
holidays. Consider if, perhaps, you
have fallen into some of the above-
mentioned traps. Recolor the
season so it leaves you with peace,
good will towards others and
gratefulness to God.
Dr. John Hawkins Sr., along with
his son John Jr., are co-directors of
Gateway Counseling Center. He is
also founder and pastor of Center
Pointe Church both in Boynton
Beach, FL. To contact Dr. John,
email him at:
November 2012
What Color Is Your Holiday?