True Meaning of the Holiday Season

Finding Meaning in the Holiday Season

The holidays are a time of year, almost a rite of passage one might say, that you either love or dread. There’s little in-between. Most folks look forward to the holidays and Christmas on some level, perhaps believing they can or will rekindle that childhood feeling of innocence and wonder that usually accompanies this time of the year. Most folks, however, don’t usually feel the same kind of anticipation toward the familial obligations the holidays often bring. Few folks look at the time as an opportunity to reflect upon the meaning of the holidays, and why they are meant to be important and special.

The Meaning Revealed

The holidays aren’t about presents or Santa Claus. They aren’t meant only for children (as some believe), but rather all of us. They aren’t about seeing the family and having to sit through the stress of another family dinner. They aren’t just for Christians or Jews or African-Americans or people who believe in something. They aren’t about gorging ourselves on sweets and food. They aren’t about watching football or parades or singing carols in a cold winter’s night. They aren’t about decorating Christmas trees or stringing up thousands of lights on the outside of one’s house.

The holidays and Christmas are a time to take a good look around you. They are about finding something spiritual and wonderful about yourself, your life, and the people who fill it and make it special. Not to just give thanks or show appreciation through some materialistic and commercial sense, but to understand that you have a lot. Despite everything, you are alive, relatively well, and have a life filled with people that love you. Yes, you may not realize it or even believe it to be true, but it is nonetheless. You may feel unlovable, unloved, unhappy, stressed out. But those are the simple untruths we tell ourselves everyday. The frequency of the telling doesn’t make them come true.

Finding Oneself at This Time

No matter what your religious or spiritual beliefs, the holidays for most people involve some understanding that we should be celebrating something very special. In celebrating, though, we often lose sight of the things that are truly important in our lives. We get tangled up in the specifics and forget the general point. It’s like a person who spends a year getting ready to throw a big party for themselves to enjoy…. But then the party comes and they spend so much time fretting the details, they forgot to enjoy themselves. What was the point? What is the point of a holiday you don’t give yourself time to enjoy? What is the point of obligations if you feel obligated to do them??

Ahh, you say, well, that’s what makes them obligations in the first place. But really, are they? Who puts obligations on to us? Our parents? No, we’re grown adults now. We don’t have to do what they say or ask of us. We have free will, and if we don’t want to go to a family gathering, we can simply choose not to. It doesn’t make us bad people, nor does it mean we don’t love our family. It means, simply, that sometimes we need to find our own way to celebrate that feels genuine and real to us. And that means throwing obligations out the door sometimes. Obligation is just another word for a choice where we don’t feel like we have much of a choice. The lie most people believe about obligations is that the choice doesn’t exist. But the truth is simple — you do have a choice.

What Do You Value?

Wrested free of obligations, perhaps now is the time to take a good hard look at your life and what you value. Your friends, your loved ones, your family? The car, the home, the boat, the stereo, the television, your CD or DVD collection?? Having employment, curbside trash service, running water, a roof, sufficient food and heat? Fast food, Wal-Mart, Target, Macy’s, and your local deli? Hot soup on a cold day, snow in the winter, sun in the summer? The breath that you’re taking right now, even as you read these words with two perfectly good eyes, moving a mouse with a perfectly good hand connected to a working arm?? The ability not only to receive love given to you, but to give it as well?… With a heart that grows not based upon the size of one’s wallet or the knowledge we gain, but with simple openness and age?

Honestly now, do you value more the lies you tell yourself everyday or the truth that you are afraid to admit? The familiar lies such as “I’m not good enough,” “Nobody loves me,” “I’m fat and ugly,” “I’m stupid,” “I’ll never feel better”? Why do you value these lies so much?? Maybe because you’ve been telling them to yourself for so long, you’re starting to believe them. But lies hold no value — you give them meaning and substance by continuing to believe them. The minute you choose to let go of them, they will lose their substance and the truth of you will be revealed — that you are beautiful, loved, and special in this world.

Wrested free of the trappings of the holidays as experienced by most, you become free, genuine, and unique. You remember what it means to be alive in this world, to experience life — the joys, the pain, the achievements, the losses. Everything. It is there for you. Today. Tomorrow, maybe. But today, definitely. Go out and enjoy it, enjoy yourself (maybe for a change). Enjoy the life you’ve made and the future life that is open to endless possibilities, limited only by your own imagination.

I have no magical answers, no words of wisdom or insight into how you can get to a point in your life where you can feel again, feel true to yourself, feel happiness at the life that you’ve chosen. Except this — that life is a choice we make every single day that we’re alive. How we react and interact with others, the types of relationships we choose to have with our families and friends, the choices of careers, education, and loved ones. These are all conscious choices we make. What we value or don’t value. Choosing to pursue even more materialism in an already materialistic world. It’s your choice.

The world of you is open to your own exploration. This holiday season, while celebrating the special joys of the world, take a moment to celebrate the special joys of you. Because the real secret of the holidays and Christmas is that the love and joy of the season is about the love and joy we can choose to share with one another. You and the love you have to give are what make this world special.

Peace to you.

About John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

John Grohol, PsyDDr. John Grohol is the founder & CEO of Psych Central. He is also an author, researcher, and expert in mental health online, and has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues — as well as the intersection of technology and human behavior — since 1992. Dr. Grohol sits on the editorial board of the journal Computers in Human Behavior and is a founding board member and treasurer of the Society for Participatory Medicine.

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How to Cope with Your Narcissistic Family During the Holiday Season

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Randi Fine gives advice on how to cope with your narcissistic family during the holiday season

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Overcoming Adversity Quote


Quote About Facing and Overcoming Adversity

When life places a wall in our path we have two choices…
we can beat our head against it or we can figure out a way to
get around it. ~Randi G Fine~

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Growing Through Pain Picture Quote

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 Pain Has a Greater Purpose Quote

While in the midst of our sadness, grieving, or disappointment, the overwhelming feelings make it difficult to imagine that our pain has a greater purpose. Know that there is always a universal intention and a lesson to be learned from every challenge we face in life. Face pain with acceptance – something good always rises out of something bad. Trust that you will be led through your pain, and in time will be led out of it. ~Randi G. Fine~

I am available to talk about any life issues that are concerning you. Private, confidential.



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Inspirational Short Christmas Story

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The Gold Wrapping Paper 

An Inspirational Short Christmas Story

Found on

Once upon a time, there was a man who worked very hard just to keep food on the table for his family. This particular year a few days before Christmas, he punished his little five-year-old daughter after learning that she had used up the family’s only roll of expensive gold wrapping paper.

As money was tight, he became even more upset when on Christmas Eve he saw that the child had used all of the expensive gold paper to decorate one shoe box she had put under the Christmas tree. He also was concerned about where she had gotten money to buy what was in the shoe box.

Nevertheless, the next morning the little girl, filled with excitement, brought the gift box to her father and said, “This is for you, Daddy!”

As he opened the box, the father was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction, now regretting how he had punished her.

But when he opened the shoe box, he found it was empty and again his anger flared. “Don’t you know, young lady,” he said harshly, “when you give someone a present, there’s supposed to be something inside the package!”

The little girl looked up at him with sad tears rolling from her eyes and whispered: “Daddy, it’s not empty. I blew kisses into it until it was all full.”

The father was crushed. He fell on his knees and put his arms around his precious little girl. He begged her to forgive him for his unnecessary anger.

An accident took the life of the child only a short time later. It is told that the father kept this little gold box by his bed for all the years of his life. Whenever he was discouraged or faced difficult problems, he would open the box, take out an imaginary kiss, and remember the love of this beautiful child who had put it there.

In a very real sense, each of us has been given an invisible golden box filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children, family, friends and God. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold.

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Protecting Yourself from Abusive Narcissists and Shamers

Protecting Yourself from Abusive Narcissists and Shamer/Blamers

In this December 9, 2016 show on A Fine Time for Healing, show host Randi Fine talks about defining boundaries with your narcissistic abusers and others who cannot possible understand what you are going through.

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Childhood Narcissistic Abuse Quote

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npd-abuse26Self-love, self-respect, and self-validation are inner experiences that childhood narcissistic abuse victims never develop. As adults they require reinforcement from others that they are lovable, worthy, intelligent, and sane. They need to be reassured that the decisions they make are right and that they are not misinterpreting things. ~ Randi G. Fine

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Limiting Beliefs Held by Narcissistic Abuse Victims

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affirmation591Changing Your Inner Dialogue

Excerpt from Randi Fine’s Upcoming Book, Close Encounters of the Worst Kind: The Narcissistic Abuse Survivors Guide to Healing

Each of us has a subconscious inner voice, called an “inner dialogue,” that strongly influences our life.  Since it has always been such a consistent part of our waking lives, most of us do not even realize it is there.

Our inner dialogue controls everything we do. It shapes our perception, makes decisions for us, cautions us, forms our values and opinions, tells us who we are and what we like, monitors our behavior, evaluates situations, and makes judgments.

When our inner dialogue is positive, it empowers us. When our inner dialogue is negative it discourages us. Negative dialogue forms limiting beliefs.

Limiting beliefs can come from powerful outside influences such as parents, religions, families, educators, culture, media, and society. They can also develop on their own after repeated exposure to stimuli, or as a result of trauma or abuse.

Limiting beliefs sabotage our lives. They tell us untruths and lies, make us feel bad about ourselves, impede our success, and cause us to repeat unhealthy patterns. They even govern our moods and reactions.

Years of degradation, manipulation and brainwashing by your narcissistic abuser has infused your mind with many limiting beliefs. You will be surprised at how many of the following you can claim as your own:

  • I do not deserve: happiness, success, love, recognition, success, money, relationships, friendships with quality people
  • I do not: trust myself, know what I want, feel worthy, have self-control, like or love myself, matter
  • I am not: good enough, smart enough, worthy enough, thoughtful enough, motivated enough, competent enough, rich enough, outgoing enough, thin enough, pretty enough, skilled enough, important enough
  • I cannot: do it as well as others can, reach goals, make money, survive on my own, start a business, get a degree, change who I am, change how I think
  • I should not: think of myself first, love or like myself, feel good about myself, feel angry, ask for what I want, expect others to come through for me, trust anyone, let my guard down
  • I should be: more successful than I am, farther along in life than I am, more educated, more social, a better person
  • Nobody: listens to me, cares about me, wants me, believes in me, likes me, accepts me
  • No one will like or love me if: I am not perfect, I am not successful, I am not a pleaser, they get to know me, I speak honestly, I am not beautiful, I don’t earn their approval
  • Everyone else: judges me, is better than me, rejects me, hates me, thinks I am stupid
  • I always: make mistakes, procrastinate, say stupid things, anger people, quit things, frustrate people, feel guilty, look foolish
  • I am: a quitter, a weirdo, lazy, an unlovable person, an unlikable person, a failure, responsible for others’ happiness
  • It is my job to: smooth things over, make others happy, make others feel better, apologize, keep the peace
  • There’s no point in: getting my hopes up, trying at all, trying again, being honest, having goals, asking for what I want, showing people who I really am
  • Happiness is: a myth, unattainable, for others
  • I must suffer to: show how much I care, get attention, make up for bad things I’ve done, prove my point
  • I must be fearful of: other people, life, relationships, men, women

Reread the above list and highlight all the limiting beliefs that apply to you. Explore each one by asking yourself the following questions:

  1. Why do I have the limiting belief?
  2. Is the belief true or false?
  3. Is the belief relevant to my life now?
  4. Am I willing to let the belief go?

Before you can change your subconscious inner dialogue you must bring it to your conscious mind and then challenge it. That involves monitoring your thoughts, emotions, actions and reactions to see what triggers you and what non-productive patterns you are stuck in.

Limiting beliefs change when they are replaced by positive dialogue. You can reprogram your mind through the use of positive affirmations such as:

  • I deserve to love and be loved
  • I love and accept myself totally and completely
  • I choose happiness and peace in my life
  • I am whole, healthy and complete
  • I am worthy of success
  • I deserve to live a life of abundance
  • I am the only one in charge of my life
  • I am a beautiful person inside and out
  • I am a survivor
  • I am worthy of all the good things in life
  • I can face any challenge

These are just suggestions. You can create your own affirmations or find other ones that resonate with you.

Repeat your affirmations often. Say them to yourself in the mirror. Post them in places where you spend a lot of time. Especially use them whenever you catch yourself having limiting beliefs. The more often and regularly you repeat your affirmations, the faster your inner dialogue will change and the better you will feel about yourself.

Copyrighted material. May share with proper attribution but may not be reproduced.

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Thanksgiving Gratitude Message 2016


A Message of Gratitude on Thanksgiving

Randi G. Fine

Thanksgiving is a day that comes once every year to remind us to be grateful for all the blessings in our lives. It is a day for positive reflection, forgiveness and gratitude.

As we reflect, let us remember loved ones who are no longer with us, allowing gratitude to fill our hearts for the gift of having had these beautiful souls in our lives. Let us not focus on the loss of what we no longer have in the physical sense, but on the generous gift we were blessed with that profoundly touched our lives. Know that they are always with us in spirit. Thank them for the outpouring of eternal love and protection they surround us with every moment of every day.

Let us remember to give thanks on Thanksgiving to our many guides in the spirit world who love us more than we will ever know – who support us through challenging times and joyfully applaud all our successes.

On this Thanksgiving holiday, let us take a vacation from feelings of malice, judgment, blame, hatred, resentment and victimization – feelings that poison our souls and harden our hearts. Let us free our spirits – open them up to give thanks for our survival, recovery, and everything that brought us forth to this day.

As we celebrate Thanksgiving this year, let us be grateful for those who love us, see past our shortcomings, and accept us for who we are. Let us accept ourselves, forgive ourselves and be grateful for the person we are. And let us extend the same appreciation, forgiveness and acceptance to others.

On this Thanksgiving holiday I would like to extend my heartfelt gratitude to all of you, my dearest readers, followers, and listeners, for allowing me to share the things that are most important to me.  I am deeply inspired by all of you.

Wishing you a warm, lovely Thanksgiving day, however you wish to spend it. May your blessings from this day forward be bountiful.

Happy Thanksgiving

With Love and Gratitude,



Previous Thanksgiving Posts:

Thanksgiving Message
Thanksgiving Blessing
Thanksgiving a Time to Be Grateful

More Gratitude Posts:

Rumi Gratitude Poem
Grateful Outlook Attracts Universal Generosity
Gratitude Picture Quote
Gratitude Picture Quote
Grateful Picture Quote
Thankfulness Message
Gratitude Message
Beautiful Life Picture Quote
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Narcissistic Parents Picture Quote

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npd-abuse29Narcissistic parents believe they own their children. Whatever they do for the child is considered a sacrifice, so the child always has a debt to pay. Whatever the child achieves is owned by the parent too. Perhaps it was the parent’s constant nagging or urging that got the child there, or maybe it was the parent’s genes or talents that made the success possible. And the achievements only matter if they please the parent or give him something to brag about. It is always all about them.

~Randi G Fine, Close Encounters of the Worst Kind

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