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Give Yourself the Gifts of Acceptance, Gratitude and Hope

The holidays can be challenging. It’s a busy time, but you can end up feeling lonely amidst the crowds. Plus, there’s the tendency to imagine that everyone else is having a “hallmark holiday” that’s much better than yours. This can leave you feeling bad about who you are and where you are in your life today.

That’s when it can help to give yourself the gifts of acceptance, gratitude and hope.

Acceptance and Gratitude

Acceptance doesn’t mean you like everything about your life right now. It just means you acknowledge where you are today. And you focus your attention on anything in your life that you can be grateful for.

It’s easy to focus on what’s wrong in your life instead of what’s right. But, when you do that you’ll always fall short. Plus it dishonors how hard you’ve fought to get to where you are today.

It works better to remember — you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be at this moment. And to bless yourself for all you’ve gone through to bring you to today and to thank the universe for who you are and where you are right now.

Hope

It’s risky to hope. Especially if you grew up in the kind of family that said, “Don’t get your hopes up and you won’t be disappointed.” But, hope is what brings us the good.

I made a list of goals last December and I pulled it out this week. I was amazed that 90% of what was on my list had happened! I had a whole section about wanting to move to Ventura and what we were looking for in a house. We didn’t get everything we wanted — our house needs A LOT of updating. But, we got the majority of what we were hoping for. And we also got some unexpected blessings — like we were able to find a house in our favorite neighborhood.

That doesn’t mean my life is perfect. We’ve definitely had our share of challenges with moving up to Ventura. And we’re still finding our way. But, we took the biggest step and I’m hopeful that the rest will continue to unfold as it’s meant to.

So, I would encouage you to give yourself the gift of hope. Consider what you’d like to bring into your life in 2016 — in terms of love, work, prosperity? Create a list. Be specific. Put your list where you can see it or write down some steps to reach those goals and put the list away away till next year.

That’s hope — it’s believing that you deserve to have the life and love you want. Because you do.

Your Turn

If you’d like to share your hopes for 2016, I’d love to hear them. Just leave a comment below.

And if you’re in the Ventura area, I’d love to have you join me for my annual, How to Let Go of the Past So You Can Get Started on Your Future meetup, January 16. Just click here for more information.

Vonda (“Vondie”) Lozano, Ph.D., is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and Certified Hypnotherapist. She’s been featured in Cosmopolitan, the Wall Street Journal and on KABC Talk Radio. Vondie offers hypnosis, counseling, and workshops in Ventura. Nearby cities include Camarillo, Ojai and Oxnard.

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Sherrill

    Wow! This is so on the mark. The Holiday’s are a difficult time for everyone. I like the sentence (that it helps to give yourself the gifts of acceptance, gratitude and hope. There is still things in my life I want to work on and change but I am very grateful for how far I have come this year and the growth I can see in myself. I am grateful for all of the friends and people I have met this last year and the support and love they have given. In the past few years I have tried to hang on to the last paragraph:
    It works better to remember — you’re exactly where you’re supposed to be at this moment. And to bless yourself for all you’ve gone through to bring you to today and to thank the universe for who you are and where you are right now.
    Sometime it’s difficult to acknowledge how far we have come because it seems so little when we look at far we want to get.
    I am just hoping to have another year to grow and experience all this wonderful life has to offer if we would only accept.

    Thank you Dr. Vondie for your encouraging words.
    Much love to you and yours over the Holidays and may the New Year Bring many new joys and experiences.

    • Vondie

      Thanks for sharing Sherill!
      Much love to you too.
      Vondie <3

  • Patti P

    Hi Dr. Vondie,
    Having just relocated from SoCal to Portland, OR, I knew that the holidays would be very different for me. I am in the middle of a divorce, and it felt very sad not to have both my children here at Christmas, as it had always been in the past. For the most part I was flooded with memories of happier times. At the same time I knew that from here on out, happier Christmas times are ahead.
    The part I especially liked in your message is when you say that we need to stop & think about what we’ve endured in the past that got us here, to this point. It feels good to acknowledge that I’ve braved some pretty rough waters, but I’m in a place with much more peace now.I’m not completely out of the fray yet, but I will never have to return to the worst point, I am pushing through.
    Thank you for sharing what’s happening in your life. I always wish you the best ♡

    • Vondie

      Hi Patti,
      Sorry to hear you had a rough holiday. Yes – new places and especially not having both your kids there definitely would make the holidays harder. Plus moving involves changes which involves grief (as I can also attest to). It does help to remember where you come from and how far you’ve come … and to enjoy what is good and wonderful about your new life too.
      Sending you love and blessings in Portland and wishes for happier times ahead.
      Much love,
      Vondie <3

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