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  • Writer's pictureJulia Ruff

What Christmas Taught Me About Leading Myself - Part 1

Updated: Apr 10, 2022

Christmas is only a snapshot of our lives. But I found these holidays very revealing about how I navigate through this highly complex world in order to cultivate well-being for myself. Prepare your favourite cup of tea, get cosy, have a read & let me know if you can relate.

Christmas is only a snapshot of our lives.

But when I started to reflect on my feelings throughout these holidays … when we are supposed to feel so happy & full of love, I came to a very important realisation about my perspectives & approach to life: We are fully responsible for our well-being, and the warmth & love we feel in our hearts. Most Christmas, I didn’t feel completely whole. There was always one or more areas of my life where I didn’t feel content. I was missing (financial) freedom. A sense of safety & rootedness. A life partner. Depth in my other relationships. My dream health. Inner peace. This Christmas my heart felt very warm. I even developed a deep sense of trust that things will work out for me professionally and financially. I feel supported. By my loved ones & by a higher force. Yet, I am not happy with my health. But I also know that I am fully responsible.

We all know (with our conscious mind)…if we cultivate health, gratitude, love & happiness in ourselves, we are able to give love & feel happiness without waiting for someone or something else to give it to us first. May it be in the form of a romantic relationship, our family members & friends, material possessions, the position or dream job we always wanted, the acknowledgement of our bosses & colleagues, or the quality of the gifts beneath the christmas tree we received. We would feel whole already and don’t seek for anything external to fill up our cup.

But in this world, it can be so hard to love. To love ourselves. Others. All creation. Past trauma, media & society might make us feel unlovable or not fully accepted. We might feel unworthy, left out or far behind. We might fall into resentment and ask: Why does life feel so heavy? When will things start to flow for me? When will I attract all the happiness & well-being into my life?

These resentments can make us closed off. To the world. To others. To love. Eventually we fall into a state of self-protection, cynicism, self-centeredness, or self-pity. And somehow it feels comfortable there. We are used to it. It’s that bitter sweet spot. Where we can continue to believe that our perspectives are right. And eventually, the underlying self-sabotaging belief is… that we don’t deserve to be happy. So we continue to believe that life must be hard. That we must struggle. We continue criticising everybody & everything, starting with ourselves. We continue wanting everything to be perfect. We continue to believe that everybody is against us or that nobody really loves us. We continue to prove ourselves to other people and run a race without a finish line.

And without noticing, we continue to act accordingly and attract people & events who confirm our belief systems. We stay with the ungrateful boss & continue to struggle. We are attracted to emotionally unavailable partners because only if we must fight, it feels like love. We feel disrespected & hurt, but in fact it was us who didn’t respect our boundaries in the first place. We continue feeling offended by everybody & everything, and our insecurities make us act like children or assholes ourselves.

So we continue feeling frustrated and see ourselves as victims of external forces, even though it is us who are resistant to change. Instead of asking, “When will I be released from this pain?”, we should ask: What can I change to free myself? And I elaborated, it starts with our belief systems, habits & life choices. We are fully responsible for our perspectives, actions & reactions. Only if we master ourselves, we can act from love & inner power in a healthy sustainable way, and attract well-being into our lives on all levels.

The challenge: We cultivated our belief systems over so many years that they are deeply ingrained in our sense of self & the way we approach life. So awareness alone might not be the remedy for a brighter future. Plus, it is easy to fall into the trap of endless self-optimization that makes us feed the belief that we are never enough in the here and now. So the willingness to change and to reach a better state of self can become our self-constructed prison.

Part 2 - So how do we reach emotional freedom & well-being without giving us the feeling that we are not enough already?

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