The Christmas season always encourages more loving thoughts – at least for a few weeks. I’d like to share an idea that might make your “Christmas attitude change” last a little longer.
I encourage you to take a closer look at the story of Christ’s birth this year. Even if you are not religious, there was an important message delivered that night in Bethlehem, which you may have missed.
The moment Christ was born the angels appeared to shepherds watching their flocks by night. The angels delivered this often overlooked message of Christmas in the first two words they said.
They said, “Fear not… For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.”
What you may have missed are these words: “Fear not.”
I used to think the angels said “Fear not” because the appearance of Heavenly personages may have startled the poor shepherds and they were worried about frightening them — but now I think the words have deeper meaning.
Our journey through mortality is a scary endeavor. Before the Savior's birth and subsequent sacrifice on the cross, it was also a journey without hope. We had no hope of returning to live with God. Life was a testing center and even one mistake meant failing the test.
We had much to fear.
The angels, because they understood this concept, knew that Christ’s birth marked the end of that fear. Mankind was now safe. Christ and his sacrifice would change life from a testing center into a classroom. Now we could approach life without the fear of failing.
Think about what that means.
How would your life be different if you had no fear?
Because of Christ, your journey is now a safe one. When you make a mistake (which happens daily), you can repent and try again. You can keep repenting, trying, learning and growing throughout your life with no fear about not making the grade. Your life is a classroom.
Now, you can focus on the lessons each experience is here to teach you and know your value is not on the line. You have nothing to fear about not being good enough. You are good enough right now, through Christ.
Even if you don't believe in Jesus Christ, this can completely change your attitude toward every part of your life because, as it is, you spend way too much time worrying about not being good enough.
All of your immature or selfish behavior is tied to this fear. This fear is the reason you lose your temper, say unkind things or decide to protect yourself instead of serving someone else. Fear is involved in all of your problems.
When you are afraid you’re not good enough, your focus is on you. You are worried about getting love and validation. This insecurity is a selfish place to live from. In this state you cannot build healthy relationships because you can’t really focus on other people.
If your marriage is struggling, fear is most likely the problem. Both parties may be focused on getting love instead of giving it. If your marriage is drowning in fear, there can be no love.
You cannot have love and fear at the same time. They are opposites. You can either feel scared and focus on you, or you can feel safe and focus on others. It’s an either/or situation.
Who do you want to be? A scared person or a loving one?
It is only when you have no fear that the best you can show up. In a state of no fear, you can genuinely love and serve other people. Love happens when you stop worrying about proving your value and focus on edifying others instead.
My wish for you this Christmas is that you will accept Christ and do as the angels said and “fear not.”
Go forward into this New Year with confidence and peace. You have nothing to fear.
Your value is infinite and absolute. You don’t need attention or validation from others. You know who you are. Focus on giving love and validation to others and edify people wherever you go instead.
Stop trying to earn your value through your appearance, your work or the things you own. These are not who you are. Focus on being the love in every room instead. Your love for other people is who you are.
Everywhere you go, look for opportunities for random acts of kindness. Make this year the year you lead with love. Let this Christmas message change your attitude all year long.
This one change could change your life.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of www.ldslifecoaching.com and www.claritypointcoaching.com. She is a sought after life coach and speaker. Watch her LIFEadvice segments on KSL TV Monday mornings at 6:15am
During the holiday season people are already prone to depression, but watching other people spend money on things you can’t afford can push some over the egde.
This time of year, many people leave the mall feeling depressed. Many experience feelings of inadequacy while shopping. Let’s face it: The mall can make you feel out of style and inferior.
One shopper told me she feels good about how she looks everywhere else, but when she sees herself in the mirror at the mall, she is always discouraged. She usually leaves feelings bad about the things she doesn't have.
We, as human beings, have a tendency to focus on what we lack. The problem is, this lack and the feelings of unhappiness it brings are not satisfied when you buy things.
Any satisfaction you feel when you buy something new is quickly replaced by the need for other things you still don’t have.
You can't win at this game.
Is shopping mall depression a problem for you?
Tips for better self esteem while shopping
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of www.ldslifecoaching.com and www.claritypointcoaching.com. She is a sought after life coach and entertaining speaker.
Beating the holiday blues
Holiday depression can be caused by a number of factors, including fears about the economy, fears about being good enough, or fears of loneliness caused by divorce, separation or death of a loved one. Other people have stress because of unrealistic expectations about how their holiday celebrations should look. Most of these problems are rooted in fear.
There are many solutions to these kinds of feelings but, in the end, happiness and fear are a matter of choice: You get to choose what you will focus on.
You can focus on the negative situations in your life, you can focus on what you’re afraid might happen — or you can focus on love.
In order to experience happiness this Christmas, you must escape fear and choose love instead. Love is the answer.
It may sound idealistic, but love is actually a practical solution because it is the opposite of fear. Fear is all about you, while love is about giving to other people. When you focus on love, fear disappears. You cannot experience love and fear at the same time.
Choose to focus on love for yourself, life, God and other people this Christmas. When you make this choice, your perspective on everything will change. It has to.
“Are you willing to believe that love is the strongest thing in the world — stronger than hate, stronger than evil, stronger than death — and that the blessed life which began in Bethlehem 1,900 years ago is the image and brightness of Love? Then you can keep Christmas,” wrote author and clergyman Henry van Dyke in his famous sermon "Keeping Christmas."
I believe the true message of Christmas — of Christ’s birth — was delivered to the shepherds watching their flocks by night, the moment baby Jesus was born. Angels appeared to them and said, “Fear not ... For unto you is born this day, in the city of David, a savior who is Christ the Lord.”
The angel told you to “fear not.” Remember, your value is not on the line. You are safe in this journey in life. God wants you back no matter what. You are good enough right now. You have nothing to fear. You are right on track in your process of learning.
Once you know you are safe, you can set aside the worries and focus on love.
Here are some ways you can choose love and create happiness this holiday season:
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of www.ldslifecoaching.com and www.claritypointcoaching.com. She is a sought after life coach and popular speaker.
We seriously dread the holidays. For us it means family parties, drama, arguments and hurt feelings. It's a tradition we can't escape. My family can't get together without fighting and my spouse's family is even worse. Yet they both manipulate us with guilt into spending time with them. Do you have any advice for surviving the holiday parties with our relatives?
I have a feeling you are not alone on this. According to a MailOnline article, 30 percent of people celebrating Christmas with their relatives admitted they’d rather be elsewhere. For many people, family gatherings are a huge source of tension.
George Burns once said, “Happiness is having a large, loving, caring, close-knit family … in another city.”
Family parties become even more stressful when relatives have experienced problems like divorce or a lost job during the year. These situations can make people even more sensitive and easy to offend. (This has been a rough year for many people, so watch out.)
The study mentioned above also showed that for 60 percent of us, the most stressful thing about the holidays is not credit card debt or buying presents, it’s deciding which side of the family to spend the day with.
Here are some ideas to rule your yule:
If you think you have the goofiest, craziest, most messed up family in the world, remember that almost everyone feels the same way — and messed up as they are, these people are in your life for a reason: They are probably in your life to help you become a better person.
Ask yourself what dealing with your family members could teach you. How could you step it up and show more love and compassion? How could you be a better person?
Make each family gathering a contest to see how loving, mature and calm you can be. You will at least feel good about yourself on the way home.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of www.ldslifecoaching.com and www.claritypointcoaching.com.
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Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.