Scrooge has always been one of my favourite Christmas films. If you have never watched it – look away – I am just about to spoil it for you.
So – Scrooge – being a mean old bastard, is visited on Christmas eve by the ghost of Jacob Marley his ex partner, who is doomed to walk the earth in chains because of the life he led, and has come to offer Scrooge a way out of his fate. Marley tells Scrooge “You will be visited by 3 more ghosts – The ghosts represent Christmas Past, Present and Future”
In film terms, each one gets scarier. However, in reality the first ghost – Christmas past may well be the scariest ghost for Scrooge, because he has to confront head on the joys and pains of his past.
It is here that we begin to understand the man that he has become, and the reason for his bitterness and pessimistic view of life and other people, in general. It is here we also start to understand that he is punishing himself for the mistakes of his youth. So even though he is rich and ‘successful’ he lives the life of a pauper. OK so he’s not on the street, he actually lives in a nice house, but he barely allows himself to heat even one room properly. His furnishings are old and not suitable for purpose, he eats like a sparrow, he has no friends, and doesn’t like himself very much. He has pushed away anyone who might have been a friend, and also pushed away any family he has left.
Because of all of the above that makes him a sad, vulnerable and damaged character and as we go on the journey with him we begin to feel sorry for him, as opposed to the bitter, angry, mean man we see in scene one.
Ok so you can open your eyes now if you didn’t want to know the plot!
And it made me think about how allegorical Scrooge is (allegorical I hear you say – WTF??? Click on the word to find out more) How he represents many people who are held back by their past without even realising it. Scrooge had forgotten what it was to be happy, he had forgotten what had made him unhappy, and he was just about coping with life – blocking out all painful emotions and memories. Once he faced those memories head on and forgave himself, he was able to make a brand new start and ask for his family’s forgiveness.
As we approach the end of the year, it is an appropriate time to start thinking about what you would like to achieve next year, and therefore what needs to change. But you can only do that once you have freed yourself of the shackles of the past, by becoming aware of what has held you back. ( Click here for more about what holds you back in your past)
Maybe you are dreading Christmas because you hate being the one who has to organise everything, and buy all the presents, and wrap them all, and cook all the food. And maybe you run around on Christmas Day making sure everybody else is having a good time, whilst secretly seething under your breath, or longing for them all to go home so you can chill out for a bit.
I have a number of friends in that situation. One of them had a light bulb moment this year and has decided that after having a Christmas Breakfast with her grown up son, she is locking the door (when he goes to his Dad’s) opening the Champagne and watching Christmas films all day. Her sister is horrified as my friend normally hosts Christmas, and has told her ‘she can’t do that’. But she most certainly can and is – and is looking forward to it. Some may see it as extreme, but my friend had had enough of being taken for granted, and realised that some stuff that happened in childhood had kept her stuck in that pattern of making everyone else happy. Click here to watch a short video on awareness.
Maybe you are dreading Christmas because it will remind you of someone you have lost – this year or in the past.
Perhaps your in-laws hate you but you feel you have to spend time with them – ‘because it’s Christmas’.
Possibly you are dreading spending too much money – but you feel you need to buy for all your friends ‘because’ they buy for you, or you have to spend a lot on the kids ‘because’ you don’t want them to feel disappointed on Christmas Day.
There are lots of reasons why the ‘festive season’ becomes a dreaded time of year for many, and the divorce lawyers have their busiest time of year come January, with enquiries up by a third (leading to the first working Monday in January becoming known as ‘divorce Monday’).
I know this has been true for me with a couple of my previous relationships that ended at this time of the year. Looking back, I can see it was because of me (OMG if any of the ex’s are reading this they will be saying “yeah I know”). You see, now I can look back and say “I WAS A VICTIM” and I played the victim card all the time. Nothing was to do with me, it was everyone else! Then of course, you’d find me with a drink or two that helped me to be even more paranoid that everyone was out to get me.
Luckily for me, the personal journey that I have been on for the last 4 years has helped me to see that it doesn’t have to be like that. Life is full of choices, for example, I now choose not to drink at all.
Christmas can be a joyful happy time of year, you can choose to spend it with loved ones, remembering happy times gone past and looking forward to the future. The important thing is that you don’t ignore the ghost of Christmas past, when he comes knocking. You need to be brave, face the past with all its joys and sorrows, and decide what it is that has been holding you back from having the Christmas, and the life, that you want and deserve. Once you can do that, it can be – as it was for Scrooge – a truly life changing moment. And you can recreate your past present and future.
If you feel you need some help with that, then drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will introduce you to our WHY’s Women and Men in the Live, Love, laugh Lounge and the Man Cave, where we create our own futures, and Live Love and Laugh every day!