If you have ever watched “The Grinch who Stole Christmas”, you know that the overarching theme in this Christmas classic is that happiness does not come in a box with ribbons and bows, but it comes from embracing the joy and love of family, friends and the simple moment. The story leads us through transformation of the Grinch who begins his journey filled with vindictive anger and resentment until his magical epiphany where he embraces the sheer possibility of something more; something so beautiful it makes his heart grow three times its original size. And while we are always suckers for a story of transformation and possibility, we wanted share that the real gift of this Christmas classic lies in what we all can learn from the people who live in the town of Whoville.
As the Who’s stand in a circle singing Fah-who-foraze, Dah-who-doraze at the top of their lungs, the Grinch and all of us watching realize that what makes them different is that they embody an idea we long abandoned in the name of fear and hurt: CERTAINTY. The Who’s are certain of their joy; they were certain of their abundance; they were certain of their faith and of their love for community. They maintain that certainty in the face of adversity not because they are resigned, but because they really know that this moment is exactly as it should be . . . and they love it.
It got me thinking, what would happen if we all just took a moment to reclaim our absolute right to that kind of certainty in our lives? What might we try if we were certain that we could achieve whatever we set our minds to? Just like Cindy-Loo Who, when we were children we had certainty. Think about the six year old child who says that she will one day become a famous gymnast or a dancer or a scientist or a teacher. That child has absolute conviction and belief, without question, that she can do whatever she sets her mind to.
That conviction lasts until a well-meaning adult reminds that child that it is a cruel, harsh world and that she really needs to give up her silly dream. And while some of you reading may say that the adult is just helping that child avoid the pain of failure and rejection, the reality is that the hope we put in that child to make real changes in this world becomes numbed, only to remain hidden as a notion that something is missing in their life as they grow to be an adult themselves.
So, in the spirit of embracing the lessons from “The Grinch”, I want to invite you to let certainty back into your life and take this special time of the year to create a practice centered around bringing conviction into your life in any way that feels comfortable to you. Maybe it will mean a practice of writing down what you are certain about in yourself, your relationships, your children or your career. Perhaps you will support your child who is certain she wants to be a dancer.
Whatever it means to you, take this week to simply commit to becoming certain about any one area or piece of your life. And as you do, become aware of how often you, like the Grinch, automatically respond to the world as if possibility is nowhere to be found. I promise and am certain that if you begin this practice that you will begin to experience a shift in the way you see your life and yourself and those around you. I look forward to hearing from you as you try this experiment and would love to hear you share with us what you discovered or what practice you put in place!