A Connected Christmas: The Secret to Avoiding Auto-Pilot and Making Today Meaningful


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAChristmas is here. The day of celebration, gratitude, and connection….at least in theory. I desire these high values yet often find myself indulgent and disconnected. Vacations and holidays are traditionally a struggle for me. So often, self-care slumps, discipline diminishes, and disconnection dominates. These tendencies are my auto-pilot.

Two days ago I found myself headed toward that familiar highway to hedonism. I thought, “here we go again”, believing I was cementing a course for the holidays that would leave me disconnected and disappointed.

What happened next changed everything. That’s why I needed to share it with you.

I imagine there are many who start this Christmas day with the “inevitable” indulgences staring them down. Whether it’s the seemingly avoidable spreads of sugars or numerous other numbing experiences, we all have the vices that sing our heart away from meaningful connection. Yet, we still have choices.

Here is what I did that turned my heart back to mindfulness and connection. First, I reached out. I communicated with those I trust about the state of the stirrings in my soul. Then I did something new…something that turned the tables immediately, infusing me with strength and intentionality.

I left myself a voicemail.

Not just any voicemail.

This was a message to myself that I had crafted previously. I created this powerful message for moments of disconnection; for anticipated moral emergencies when I knew I was starting to stray. In this message, I shared vivid imagery and meaningful metaphors. I used song lyrics, past pictures that God had revealed to me, memories of strength and victory, truths I have learned, etc. Basically, I pulled out the “big guns”, communicating everything I knew that would reconnect me with my Divine purpose and everything I hold dear. I spoke this passionate message to myself against the backdrop of a song that always infuses me with strength and a warrior-like attitude. Once I recorded this and listened to it, that’s exactly what I had.

It carried me through Christmas Eve. I felt connected and in control. I ended the day without regrets.

This morning, I listened to the voicemail again and it had the same effect. It infused me with power, focus, and connection. I look with anticipation on today. It will be a day of celebration, gratitude, and connection.

May you take the time to connect with what matters most to you today. May it make all the difference, as you experience the joy of a Connected Christmas. Re-connection is always possible…even in this very moment.

Merry Connected Christmas from LifeSTAR of the Central Valley!

-Written by Forest Benedict, MA, SATP-C, LifeSTAR of the Central Valley

For another great article about surviving the holidays, click here

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About fbenedict

Forest Benedict is the author of Life After Lust: Stories & Strategies for Sex & Pornography Addiction Recovery. He is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and certified Sexual Addiction Treatment Provider (SATP). Forest loves the work he does as the Clinical Director of LifeSTAR of the Central Valley and the Program Manager/Teacher in the SATP program at Mid-America Nazarene University. He writes numerous articles on the LifeSTAR of the Central Valley blog (https://lifestarcentralvalley.wordpress.com/) and also on his personal blog (http://forestbenedict.com/). He created the Life After Lust VLOG on Youtube, sharing insights about recovery from sexual addiction. Forest also writes and speaks publicly about protecting children from pornography.
This entry was posted in Addiction, Change, Recovery, Self-care and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to A Connected Christmas: The Secret to Avoiding Auto-Pilot and Making Today Meaningful

  1. fbenedict says:

    Reblogged this on Write Forest Write and commented:

    Christmas is here. The day of celebration, gratitude, and connection….at least in theory. I desire these high values yet often find myself indulgent and disconnected. Vacations and holidays are traditionally a struggle for me. So often, self-care slumps, discipline diminishes, and disconnection dominates. These tendencies are my auto-pilot.

    Two days ago I found myself headed toward that familiar highway to hedonism. I thought, “here we go again”, believing I was cementing a course for the holidays that would leave me disconnected and disappointed.

    What happened next changed everything. That’s why I needed to share it with you.

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