Ghosts. They are everywhere.
I don’t mean the literal, spirit kind of ghosts. Ghostbusters might have you convinced, but I don’t believe in literal ghosts.
But I think that you and I do carry ghosts inside. I’m not just talking about a little indegestion, leftovers from last nights’ beer and pizza.
There are at least three kinds of ghosts that I know about. You will recognize the names from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol. There are probably a lot of ghosts out there. Skinny ones, fat ones, fast and slow ones, and large and ogre ghosts along with their tiny rabbit sized counterparts. No matter how they look, ghosts can hang around too long… kinda like body odor.
Three kinds of ghosts that you carry with you
1.The Ghost of your Christmas Past – Yesterday is gone, but these ghosts hang on. Regret, guilt, sadness are real emotions at Christmas. But ghosts of the past don’t limit themselves to your sense of loss or grief. The ghosts of yesterday like to lecture, a lot. They specialize in lectures about how you could be a better parent or partner. They remind you about the piles and the stacks in your house. They like to tell you how much work you have to do on your home. And they specialize in reminding you about all of the dreams that you used to have and how they are pretty much in the trash right now. You can ignore them or try to eat them into silence, but these strategies don’t work. Donuts don’t silence these pesky ghosts. The only thing that works is taking the time to laugh. Laughter makes yesterday’s ghosts want to ghost you. For more about ghosting, see this article.
2.The Ghost of your Christmas Present – these ghosts are not a present, nor are they a gift. They specialize in getting under your skin. There are a few types of ghosts of the present:
a.These are the ghosts that like to distract you with shiny things, new technology and promises of time saving devices. Run, darn it, run. When you hear someone say “this will save you time” or “this will make your life easier,” these are code words for “the product manual will confuse the hell out of you.” Taking you out of the present is exactly what these ghosts want to do, and that can wreck your day.
b.Then there are the ghosts of the actual presents. You think you are getting some new gifts under the tree? Think again. What Christmas presents really are is another form of commitment. If you are like me, you should run away from commitment. In fact, why don’t you give yourself a gift and ghost your commitments to owning more Christmas stuff. The more stuff that you have doesn’t make you any richer. You just get busier and your head becomes packed with Christmas shaped filler.
3.The Ghost of your Christmas Future – these ghosts never give you a break. They love to tell you how your dreams will never happen. Sure, you may have ditched a lot of your dreams. That is actually a good thing. Letting go of all of the messy multitude of dreams gives you energy to pick up the few dreams that really matter. Future ghosts know that the future hasn’t happened yet and that you could make a 1000 different decisions. They don’t care, they just pick the worst possible outcome and let you have it. Don’t listen to the future ghosts. They only want to share a ghost sized dose of guilt and indigestion.
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Keep it Real
Photo by Jon Feinstein