Twelve Tricks for Making It Through the Holidays
By Cathy Eck
Since holiday time is here, most people spend time with family and friends. If you don’t celebrate holidays then you’ll be going to see “Big Eyes” and “Unbroken” at the theater with all the Jews like me. But if you’re obligated to do family visits, it’s likely they’ll bring up lots of beliefs. Our family shows us what to let go; and if we want freedom, that’s a good thing. So here are a few tricks to make your holiday a freeing experience. If you are new to this blog, some of these concepts might be new. You’ll find more information if you follow the links.
But before we dive into the twelve tricks, let me remind you that your power is always in holding or finding the mental perspective regarding any person or situation. The mental perspective is the perspective of the True Self. It always sees the big picture. It also looks for the place of win-win. But we can’t fake our way to the True Self. Meditating, raising our vibration, or sayings some nice affirmations don’t get us to the True Self — although those actions might calm us down or comfort us. Letting go, however, resurrects us into the mentally-oriented True Self perspective where our mind becomes creative. It sees possibilities that others can’t see — solutions that are harmless to everyone.
The physically-oriented perspective, however, is the normal, illusory perspective. It sees everything as dual. The person identifies with half of their dual perspective (good-evil, win-lose, dominant-submission, master-slave, right-wrong, and positive-negative), usually the half they like; and they project the other half out into the world. They’re constantly looking for their other half, but then when they find the other half they fix them or fight them because the other half is the part of themselves they don’t want anywhere near them. That’s life in the illusion. And you must see that to escape it. So having clarified our perspective, let’s see if we can play the illusory game for the holidays like a pro!
1) Get Clear on What You Desire from Life:
Your mind might forget that you want freedom when you’re hanging out with family or friends — freedom (or unconditional love, joy, peace, etc.) is your North Star. If you are around people who believe the illusion, then they might see fitting in as their life goal, family harmony is what life is about for them, traditions are remembering the ancestors, or conditional love is the correct way to love. You might notice that you start to forget that you really, really do want freedom. You start to keep the peace or fit in. You forget to let go of things they say that you know are false. You get caught in the gossip and back stabbing, and pretend things are fine when they aren’t.
I remember early in this process, I could not bring myself to lie and say Santa Claus was real to my children, and everyone thought I’d lost my mind. In fact, I saw that Santa Claus was a harmful lie with repercussions. And this is what happens. What looks normal to the physically-oriented person looks harmful to the True Self. We can’t lie anymore. And we can’t do things that harm others. That’s a good thing.
If you’re around people who think this is a time to honor Jesus, you might feel guilty that you don’t anymore. You might feel extremely awkward during their prayers and traditions. Just pay attention to your own thoughts. Let go of any thought that isn’t taking you in the direction you want to go. You don’t need them to agree with you; you just need to keep your own mind straight.
They don’t want freedom. That’s why the things they say don’t create emotion in them. Their words are congruent with their desire to fit in, harmonize with others, or look good. They like their psychological reversals. If you don’t believe their beliefs, they won’t harm you.
The reason that so much emotion arises when we want to be free or be our True Self is that our emotions always tell us what to let go. To get to a greater desire, we have to let go of more beliefs. If a person’s desire is family harmony at the expense of their True Self, the belief that they have to do everything the same way year after year will feel pleasant and right to them. But when we desire freedom, that same belief will fill horrible to us. If you understand this, you won’t be trying to figure everyone out. You’ll stay in your own mind. You’ll let go that you have to do what others believe they need you to do.
2) Fear of Projection:
We tend to get emotionally activated around family because we FEAR that their beliefs can affect us — their cooties can jump into our mind. That’s not true. Most of us fear being the object of projection because we’ve been it before. That’s why people fight for the masculine role in the illusion. It’s not bad to have the masculine role, but you must get it honestly. Most people play games and fight to get that coveted role; and if you’re reading this blog, you are sick of doing that.
When we hold the masculine role, our vision becomes the vision for everyone even if it’s unspoken. People can’t project on us. You can see this if you watch a family or group interaction. When the status or authority shifts, the conversation will change as will the tone. The person in the authority or masculine role will generally not be challenged. Everyone will feel as if they have to follow the leader even if the leader is spinning them around the desert for forty years.
As a true masculine leader, we hold an expansive vision that allows everyone to be themselves or not. It’s always win-win if the person with the least beliefs has the masculine role; that way the least possible damage is done. Usually the conversations are creative and alive when the person with the least beliefs holds the masculine role. When the false masculine has the leadership role, the conversations are whiney, dramatic, and filled with beliefs.
Often we fear moving into the masculine role because we don’t want to impose our crap on others the way others imposed on us. When the true masculine runs the show it isn’t even obvious. It’s natural that it would be that way. The lightest mind takes the top role. If we get the True Masculine role honestly, we won’t hide our True Self or take responsibility for other people’s emotions.
We gain the True Masculine by watching our OWN mind and letting go. But beware, we lose it again if we judge the others and don’t let go of our judgment. Holding the true masculine role is tricky until we get good at it. It’s a game worth winning because everybody wins.
3) The Fucking Food and Other Common Beliefs:
You’ve done your best to not fear eating yummy food, but then everyone starts talking about gluten-free bread, food allergies, and their New Year’s resolutions to lose weight. They go into long stories of how they fixed the effects of all their problems this year with their incredible willpower. You feel like you will drown in their cesspool of beliefs. Just keep letting go.
When we listen to others, we often pick up the speaker’s psychological reversal if we aren’t on our game; and we forget that their words feel bad because they aren’t true. We forget to discriminate, and we take their belief into our mind/body. We go into our old habit of thinking their emotional words are true — we might even sympathize with their problem. Staying ourself requires compassion. We understand how they feel, but we know their problem is false. We let go of what they say in our own mind. We don’t believe them. When you let their words go from your mind, you will come to see that their beliefs affect them if they hold on. Not you. When people can’t project their beliefs out and have to live the natural consequences of holding on to them, they desire change. They want to let go. That’s the ultimate win-win.
If you feel like their beliefs can harm you, then you have made them your authority, your false God. Everybody loses in the end.
4) Judgment Doesn’t Help Anyone:
Recently I had a long conversation with some friends. I could see that they decided that they would quit judging their daughter once she did what they wanted her to do. People often treat discipline and punishment the same way. After all, didn’t God punish us eternally for Adam and Eve eating that apple?
I explained to my friends that their thinking was backwards. You quit judging someone, and then they can do the right thing. You stop punishing them, then trust them to think for themselves. The child is a feminine role; if you don’t like what she’s doing, it’s your projection. No one can do the right thing when we’re projecting on them and judging them. My friends completely trusted me, but they really could not see that their judgment and discipline wasn’t working; in fact, they were sure that it was working.
Some of you might find yourself doing this. “I’ll quit hating my mother when she loves me.” It seems she deserves the hatred; she did something horrible. The truth is that the part of her that did that horrible thing was her false self. If you stop judging that part of her, she won’t be able to use it on you again. You actually win. I had to do this many times to escape my marriage. It feels like you are letting them off the hook, but you are really letting yourself off the hook.
Or you might have someone who thinks that if they keep asking you about your job prospects, you’ll get that job. Let go when their judgment comes your way. Don’t take it in. Realize that they are under a very common spell, and they believe they know what is best for you (false masculine). If you don’t accept their judgment, you’ll find the right words to respond.
5) The Nasty Ass Advice Trap:
Often people relate to each other by giving advice. It’s a trap. The advice that people in the illusion want is about how to fix their effects, not remove the cause. And so is the advice that they will give you. Or they want you to tell them that it will all be okay or to motivate or inspire them, i.e., “You can do it.” Likewise, they’ll pump you up with positive when you state your reality.
Our false self only wants advice that it believes. It wants comfort within the illusion. It doesn’t want to be exposed as false. It doesn’t want to let go and discover that it’s problem isn’t even real. Shit, it’s milking it’s victimhood for all it’s worth.
If you give advice, you’re accepting that the problems the others have are real. You’ll likely manifest those problems in your life. If they ask for advice, then tell them to let go of their problem. Help them to see that their problem was caused by their own beliefs. Sometimes this takes some balls. If you fear being this honest, ask yourself why. Then let that answer go. Often, we detect that the person loves their victim status; they have a fragile ego.
The other day a friend’s adult child called me. He isn’t someone I mentor, but he wanted advice. He was complaining to me because his sex life sucked. Now it’s important to know that his mother trained him to be positive and meditative; she used to make him read Deepak Chopra books, especially the one about the spiritual laws of success. I’ve told him a million times that I don’t follow that belief system, but I know he does. So I turned it back on him. “You believe that thinking about what you want gets you what you want. You believe that meditation gets you what you want. So why are you complaining to me? You don’t like your own belief system, or you don’t believe it anymore. If you still believe it, then get busy floating into the ethers and saying your affirmations. If you don’t believe that works anymore, then let that belief system go.” We can’t hold on to a belief system and then ignore it. That’s asking for problems. There wasn’t much he could say. He chose to let it go, and now I could help him.
Often we’re conditioned to feel good when we give advice; it’s a huge trap. It’s the same belief that experts use to make lots and lots of money, but it keeps us within the edges of the illusion.
6) Your Hurting Me:
This is a big one (the one that trapped my ass) until I saw through it. The false masculine will tell you that you are doing to them what they are actually doing to you. I can’t tell you how important it is to understand this if you want freedom. It produces craziness and confusion. This is because the person who does this is deeply stuck in the physical perspective; and the enemy of their physical perspective (or false self) is the mental perspective or the True Self. This is because the True Self has all the power. So the false self pretends to be the True Self so it can get what it wants without being exposed.
For example, the person has been telling you about their new spiritual practice for hours. Finally, you gently say, “That’s all interesting, but it doesn’t appeal to me. I let go of practices a long time ago.” They say, “You don’t have to impose your beliefs on me.” But you didn’t impose your beliefs on them. You stopped them from imposing their beliefs on you. And this is where crazy making happens. You have to be on your game to catch this.
My ex-husband would say to me, “You’re lying to me.” I wasn’t lying. He was. He had the beliefs; and he wanted me to believe his beliefs. He’d been told they were true by experts who lied to him. He was only doing to me what was done to him. The person who stops such a chain of madness will look bad to the person who has been perpetuating it. So he saw my words as lies because they conflicted with his rigid beliefs, which were the lies. Often, I’d doubt myself. His beliefs were quite normal, but I knew I could not accept them or live with them. However, that moment of doubt would plant me in his illusion.
It was ultimately the win-win perspective that saved me. I’d stop, think about what I said and notice that I was giving him a chance to eliminate his problem or get free. He was telling me that his problem was real or God-given. He was fighting for his limited point of view; that’s what our false self does. He wasn’t bad; he was trapped in the illusion.
7) The Power of Numbers is False Power:
Over time, I made the error of thinking that I couldn’t possibly change my ex-husband’s mind. The brainwashing was too strong. He had his entire culture and religion to support his point of view. Based on the power of numbers, I appeared to be powerless. But I would eventually learn that the power of numbers is only relevant in the physical perspective. In the mental perspective, the power of numbers is worthless currency.
The truth reigns in the mental perspective. It doesn’t need support from others. But until I saw this, I’d accept his beliefs because so many others thought they were true. I felt I had to honor them as valid. Oddly, I even realized that I stored his beliefs in my mind as “his” beliefs, tagged with his name — like a separate hard drive. I guess that I believed that I’d separated myself from them, but it didn’t work. They were still in my mind affecting my reality.
If we accept that someone in our life is rigid or never going to let go, then we’re seeing them as their false self — not their True Self. That means that we now have a belief that false masculine authorities are rigid or don’t let go. This keeps them powerful. It helps them stay rigid and unwilling to let go.
The rigidity or stickiness is not who they really are. When we recognize that and let that that they are as they appear, we get powerful again. Yes, as hard as it might be when they’ve been a fucking asshole to us, we have to let them off the hook to get ourselves off the hook. If we don’t, we might let that same asshole out of hiding when we’re in the masculine role. We’ll treat others the way our authority figures treated us.
Often we can speak honestly to them after we let go of what they appear to be. We can say, “Look you are being so fucking rigid; and I know that isn’t who you are. If you do it my way, you win too. I’m not competing with you. I want us both to have what we want.” Now you are out of win-lose, out of competition and war, which is where the false self thrives. They realize they have no power with someone in the mental perspective; they’ll join you, they’ll change the subject, or they’ll stay out of your way. Either way, you are complete.
8) Letting go of Guilt for Wanting Freedom:
The only people that understand what I write are people who have had glimpses of freedom. Relating back to trick number 1, they want freedom more than anything. To those who are firmly planted in the illusion, I sound like an idiot. So do you, when you speak this way.
I just finished reading a book about a woman who posed as a Christian missionary in North Korea to understand their mentality. She was forced to fit within their box of rigid rules and lies. Everything they said was programmed by their leader. He had a story of North Korea being the best place in the world; and he was sticking to it. The people were brainwashed to believe his story. She could not break through their walls. If she said something that didn’t fit in their story, they corrected her or told her she must be wrong. They ignored anything that didn’t fit into their small little world. She was amazed by how easily they lied and manipulated; it was a skill that kept them alive. They didn’t see it as bad or wrong. They didn’t care that they confused the hell out of her.
But ironically, she had just as big of a problem with the Christian missionaries who noticed that she wasn’t a good missionary and constantly imposed their beliefs on her. They also lied to get their way; they also confused the hell out of her. They were sure it was their job to fix her. She didn’t know which was a bigger obstacle — the North Koreans or the Christian missionaries. She said something very interesting. She said that you try to speak your truth for a while, but then you realize it’s just too much work. It’s exhausting to even try anymore. You just give up; and you strangely accept what is and even think you like it at times. You start to believe that obedience is good. (Excellent book if you want to really observe how we get stuck in the illusion as an outsider: Without You, There is No Us: My Time with the Sons of North Korea’s Elite by Suki Kim, 2014)
We shouldn’t ever feel guilty for having a win-win perspective of life. We shouldn’t feel guilty for wanting freedom for ourselves and others. But sometimes we do because we feel responsible for the emotions of others. Their emotions are caused by their beliefs, not you.
People should feel guilty for imposing their beliefs on others, but most don’t. And that’s the other half of the bottom of the triangle. We often feel guilty for speaking the truth when we’re around people who don’t feel guilty for speaking false beliefs. If we let go of both sides of this lose-lose soulmate-like relationship, we can get to the mental perspective of win-win for ourselves. The best way to help others is to free ourselves.
9) Take some risks in sharing yourself:
If your parents or family have always judged being truthful (the truth hurts), don’t let their judgment stop you from expressing your True Self. If they judge your body, let go of your judgment of your body; and see what happens. Give yourself the best gift of all of being yourself even if others don’t like it. Remember that their judgment is their problem.
At the same time, watch for any tendency to stir things up, appear to be more free than you are, or make them into the evil one. Notice if you are judging them back, and let that go. And whatever you do, don’t make letting go into a new sort of whip. “I let go and you didn’t.”
10) Beware of Excitement:
So many people are running on excitement around the holidays. Often people speak of stress during this time of the year because they try to fit so much into so little time. The holidays blow the lid off the stupidity of the illusion. The entire holiday season is one big belief, so of course it causes emotion.
We use this opportunity to give ourselves the things that we won’t allow ourselves to do the rest of the year. We push aside our guilt when we spend money. We don’t beat ourselves up when we eat something that tastes good. We allow ourselves to take time off. The feeling of emotion and excitement comes from the knowing that after the holidays, we’ll have to pay the credit card bills, we’ll have to diet, and we’ll have to work extra hard. The illusion is about riding the waves of high and low; freedom is about enjoying every day of the year. When holidays disappear as special from our mind, all days are great.
So look under the excitement for the causal belief, and let it go. Then you won’t have that huge drop when the holidays are over. You’ll enjoy this time of year without stress.
Families are often very competitive. They have rivalries over sports teams, who is more successful, and who is superior. Don’t participate. Just watch and enjoy the show. Let go of your thoughts as you listen to the battle. Let go of any pull to chime in and play. You’ll just regret it later.
Our True Self doesn’t honor status, superiority, or inferiority. Competition is fuel for the false self. But don’t flip to the other side of the superior game. Self deprecation is also false.
12) Stop, Drop, and Roll:
If everything falls apart, and you hit the point of wanting to jump off a bridge. Stop, walk away, and remember that you’re true desire is freedom. Don’t jump. Often, we get psychologically reversed around the people who installed beliefs in our mind, and we start judging ourselves. We doubt. We forget what really matters; and it feels like shit. We start believing that we’ll never get there. We start to doubt if we actually let go at all. We feel powerless.
If you remember that freedom is the end game, not your mother’s happiness or keeping your dad calm, you can get back in the game. You must realize that they are just showing you some beliefs/obstacles to freedom; you need to clear them anyway, so you might as well do it now.
Reclaiming our freedom to be our Selves really is a game that we all play; and you’ve got the rules now. Winning is the greatest gift in the world; the opportunity to live in this paradise of earth as your Self all the time. That would be my holiday wish for you (if I believed in holiday wishes)!