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Dec. 22, 2021

Episode 5: My Christmas Wish For You

Episode 5: My Christmas Wish For You

This episode talks about uncovering our most deeply held values and making our decisions based on those. George Baily, a character from the movie, It's a Wonderful Life, teaches us how to live a life aligned with our values. Also: IS DIE HARD A CHRISTMAS MOVIE?

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This episode talks about uncovering our most deeply held values and making our decisions based on those. George Baily, a character from the movie, It's a Wonderful Life, teaches us how to live a life aligned with our values. Also: IS DIE HARD A CHRISTMAS MOVIE?

In this episode, I share my Christmas wish for you.

Download Discover My Core Values PDF

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Get Melissa's book, "Teach Us To Pray: An Ancient Model For A New Day". 

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Hello? Hello. In this episode, episode five, it is about Christmas. This episode releases on December 22nd. And it's three days until the big day. I get all kinds of excited this time of year. When I think about all of the preparations and everything time seems to go so fast, like, oh, slow down. There are only three days left. But then when I think about waking up on Christmas morning, the time seems to drag by drag bias. It was slowly. I remember as a kid waking up on Christmas morning at a ridiculous hour, when the sun wasn't even thinking about coming up over the horizon yet and running downstairs only to be sent back to bed to wait until the sun come out. And though I'm an adult and I don't have the same expectations at Christmas. I love living it vicariously through, my son and all of the other folks who love Christmas as much as I do. And then this episode I share my Christmas wish for you. Good morning and welcome back to the pursuing uncomfortable podcast. Today is December 22nd. Which means there are three days left until Christmas. I love Christmas. I know I'm not alone in that I know most people do. A lot of people do. And one of my favorite traditions in the season before Christmas is to watch Christmas movies. I love Christmas movies. I have. Classic movies that I enjoy. I have new movies that I enjoy. Elfa is one of my favorite. I love buddy. The elf. And enthusiasm. His gentle nature. Home alone is a family favorite. Of course we have the annual argument of whether or not die hard is a Christmas movie. Or is a movie that happens to have, Christmas in the background. We're not going to resolve that argument today. One of my favorite movies is it's a wonderful life. And in that. I learn a lot about life itself. Not just about Christmas. And George Bailey is an incredibly interesting character to me. Every time I watched this movie, I get greater depths of wisdom and understanding, and there are more and more lessons to. I uncover. And what I want to talk about today. Is how George Bailey's values align. Uh, his life. So I want to start talking about this in discussing the things that George finds irritating. George Bailey is played by Jimmy Stewart and in his life, he has big dreams. He wants to go places. He wants to fly on the planes. He wants to ride on the boats. He wants to explore all the exotic lands. He has a national geographic subscription. Magazine subscription as a kid and he dreams about. All of the far away places exploring the whole world. And he cannot wait. To get out of Bedford falls. The town he grew up in that feels so small and so confining and so limiting to him. And as the movie continues, George continues to make decision after decision after decision that keeps him in Bedford falls. And as we go through the movie, he just is. Irritated more and more by the course that his life has taken. His work. He is irritated that he is the one who keeps Bailey building and loan open. His dad and his uncle, Billy, his father's brother. Opened the building and loan back in their day. And they are the only ones who stand between. Mr. Potter, the evil nemesis and the average guy, the working man and his family in Bedford falls. So they see the building and loan as a necessary institution in this town. And. The only thing, George dislikes more than the possibility of spending his days in Bedford falls. Doing this work is the thought of Mr. Potter holding sway over all the people in Bedford falls. So he reluctantly gives up his opportunities to go to college and to go explore the world and to live all these big dreams. He has to run the Bailey building and loan that would shut down after the death of his father. If he were not there to run it. So. The though he sees value in what he does. He is con. Tenuously more and more. Dissatisfied in less happy. Doing this work. The other thing that is a big irritation to him is Mr. Potter, of course, every good. Protagonist needs an antagonist. And that is Mr. Potter. We're going to talk a little bit more about him in just a little bit. Uh, Mr. Potter represents everything that George stands against. Mr. Potter is all about the money, all about the riches, all about the wealth, all about power and control. At the expense of anyone who is in his way. So George stands between Mr. Potter and all the other people. And George. Continually struggles with the quote unquote smallness of his life. And if you didn't detect that from the intonation, I need you to know that smallness, I have quotes around that. George views his life as a small life. And he watches his friends build and live. Big things, big dreams. His buddy, Sam Wainwright is building airplanes. His brother, Harry is flying planes and he goes off to war and becomes a hero. All of his friends are going out and doing big things in their lives. And George is still stuck in Bedford falls. His house irritates him. That house. Is the old Granville house that was falling apart, but he and his wife, Mary. Now lived in because it was her dream to restore this home. George is always getting frustrated by the things that aren't complete in his home. And as he runs in the front door and goes up the stairs and he grabs onto the little post, I don't sure they have a particular name on the stairway. It always comes off. There's always something irritating him about the house that they live in. That old drafty house. And then there are the people in his life. That constantly challenge him. His uncle Billy. Mr. Potter. The bank inspector who always seems to pop up when there is bad news. And all of these things. Contribute to George's feeling of the smallness in his life. And then in the critical moment of the movie, when George contemplates taking his own life, his guardian angel Clarence Clarence OD body comes in. And gives George a new view on his life. A new mindset. Now Clarence. Isn't the typical, stereotypical guardian angel that you would think of when you think about guardian angels. Clarence is odd. His name is Anne a giveaway to his character here. Clarence is. Naive Clarence is a little slow. Clarence doesn't have all of those character. Any of those characteristics actually. That we would ascribe to people that are heroes or to help us rise above clearance is kind of the opposite of that. And you get this feeling. Is George there? To save Clarence or is clearance there to save George? And. As the movie continues to unfold. What we see clearly. Is that George chose this life, this particular life. At every step of the way. And George doesn't realize that. Yet. George sees. A life that eluded him that. Evaded him. He sees this big life of adventure. That. Cat away from him. And this is what he settled for. But as the movie continues to unfold. We see very clearly that every choice George made led to this point in his life. And that is really important to understand, because. What he didn't realize yet, is that the decisions he made. He made because of the deepest held value he had and his deep. Most deeply held value. Was the people matter. Helping people in their time of need was Georgia's most deeply held value. And that colored every decision he had made throughout his life. Whether it was his little brother in peril or the pharmacist he worked for. Are all the people who needed. Someone other than Mr. Potter to turn to, and all the people who needed someone to stand between them and Mr. Potter, every decision George made in his life. Came from his most deeply held value. The difficulty he had. Was that he didn't realize. What his most deeply held value was. Clarence. Helped him see that? George experienced dissatisfaction in life because he thought that thing he wanted most was to go off and explore other worlds. But in fact, what was most deeply rooted within him? Was helping others, especially in their time of need. And by the end of the movie, Clarence has helped him realize that that is his most deeply held value. And that that has given him exactly. The life that he wants when he gets a chance to see what life would have been like. How did he chose differently? It's not a life he recognizes or even feels at home in, or even wants to be a part of. He gets a glimpse at the choices he made, which came from that deeply held value. And he loves his life. He realizes the wonder of it. The wonderfulness of it, the depth of joy and happiness available to him. Because he made choices, aligning with his values. He had. All that he wanted and needed. Now let's go back to Mr. Potter. We might say the same thing about Mr. Potter that he do was living a life aligned with his most deeply held values. That he wanted money. He wanted power. He was greedy. And he did everything he could in order to. The secure those things, but Mr. Potter was not happy. And that is a big clue to us. That Mr. Potter. Also was not aware of his most deeply held. Value. Now we don't know anything about Mr. Potter's life or his growing up or the decisions he made or the people in his life or the formative influences he had. But it would appear. That Mr. Potter is making decisions to fill an empty space inside of him. And he can never get enough stuff to fill an empty space because the space isn't made for stuff it's made for something else. That Mr. Potter, can't see. He could have his own awakening. That would be an interesting movie too. But that's the difference? When we live. Aligned with our values. The fruit of that is joy and generosity and compassion for others. So let's go back to George for a little bit and what we can learn from that. I take away from that is that he or she who chooses their life. Aligned with their deepest values, build a wonderful life. And I say the word choose because we do choose the life that we have. We make choices every day, some little, some big, but the choices we make, create the life that we have. And when we make those choices. Aligning with the values that we hold as most important. That's how we build a life that brings us joy. That brings us purpose. And at the end of the day, Uh, life. Worth living. How are you? Choosing your life. What choices do you make? Big choices, little choices that, that form and mold and create the life that you have. Are they in line with your values? And see George had this difficult time because he had an unexamined life. He didn't know. What the most important thing to him was. And if he had had an opportunity. As he was growing to take time to examine his life and to. Spend time in prayer or meditation or contemplation, however you like to think of it. To have an understanding of what is most prominent and important and valuable within himself. He might not have ended up on that bridge. Ready to jump off. And unexamined life can have some dissatisfaction. Because we confuse. The big dreams that seem fun. With the life that comes from our most deeply held values. Now. It's not always easy to figure out what our most deeply held values are. And I have. A link to a document in the show notes that will help you with that. If you want to do that process, just go and click on the link. But it's important to find out what your most deeply held values are, so that you can live a life worth living. You can live a life that. You can't wait to jump out of bed each morning. And get into how would it be for you if you had a life so full of purpose and joy and love that you couldn't wait each morning to get out of bed and live. If you want to start choosing that life, it comes from understanding what your most deeply held values are. Spend some time in prayer and meditation or contemplation. However you go about that. And however you name that. And if you want some help reach out or download that PDF there, and it's a process that will help you find that within yourself. And then start making choices that line up with that. Make choices that align with your values and with your purpose, use that as a yardstick in life. To decide what is worth investing your time, your money, your resources, and your energy in. And what isn't. When you start. Delineating that in your life. That's when some really cool stuff happens. That's when you've connect with your purpose and you connect with. That higher power. However you choose to name or understand that the energy in the universe. And that's how you separate yourself from all the stuff that just SAPs your energy, that doesn't align with you and your purpose in life. So get clear on that. And then find a Clarence. Or be a clearance for someone. Find someone who will mirror to you. What your values are. Are you married to that person? Are you friends with that person? Do you already have that person in your life? Connect with him or her. And mirror back and forth to each other, the values that they hold. Utmost. An accountability partner that helps us to stay on track with who and what, and how we view what as important in life. Is a true gift and a nugget of gold. So as we count down the days till Christmas with three days left. One of the greatest gifts that we can give. And have and be. Is to be like Clarence. Or to be like, George find have that moment of discovery in your life. When, you know what your deepest held values are. And then. Be that person. For yourself and for others. That holds up a mirror and they loving and life building way so that others too can find their purpose. And live out their lives. We all know that life gets hard and difficult and uncomfortable. This podcast is all about. Pursuing those uncomfortable moments, not shying away from them, but to lean into them. A hundred percent taking them on so that we can overcome them and come through the other side and thrive and grow and live a life. We love. So. When, you know, what is important to you when you know, what is most valuable? That will help you determine which battles d'Alene into and which ones aren't worth your time. A friend of mine. Went through. Cancer. In this last year. And one of the most profound things she told me about her cancer journey was that, and believe me, when I say she was swimming upstream in life, she was swimming upstream in life. She has so many challenges and difficulties in her life and she had this cancer diagnosis. And she said that when she went into the hospital, which she had to do by herself, because it was a pandemic time. That she told the nurse that was going to administer the local anesthetic. She said, I don't want to have any memory of this. I want the stuff that will knock me out. And she said she made that choice because was that a battle that she could fight? Sure. It was. But it's not the battle she chose to fight. She has so many other things in life. And knowing her values, knowing what was important in her priorities, she chose which ones she was ready to lean into and which ones she couldn't. And didn't want to. Knowing your values and your priorities in life. Clarify the choices you make. So my wish for you on this Christmas. Is that you have the gift of knowing. No yourself. No your heart. No, your priorities. No, your values. I come from a faith tradition that celebrates incarnation. Incarnation means that divine presence, that divine energy. Lights up every bit of life on this planet. Every bit of life that grows has that divine energy, that divine spark, that divine potential within it and friends you do to each and every one of you listening to this podcast. Is full of that energy that. Permeates this universe. That energy that inspires you. That drives you. That makes you who you are. Find out for yourself. The shape and form of that energy within yourself. What is your purpose? What inspires you? What values do you hold highest? My wish for you this Christmas. Is that, that knowing that awakening would come to you and that you would have the inspiration and the knowledge you need. So that you can lean into those battles that are important to you that are going to grow you and inspire you. And push you forward in life to a place where you love the life. And you thrive in life. And all the other people around you. We'll also. That is my Christmas wish for you.

Melissa EbkenProfile Photo

Melissa Ebken

Pastor, Author, Coach, Consultant, Podcastor

Melissa is at home in the difficult spaces of peoples’ lives, willing to listen and to walk with those who struggle and suffer. She is a trained coach and has consulted with churches in conflict. Her current pursuits include founding a Virtual Assistant training academy, forming a ministry co-op to better serve small churches, supporting nurses to thrive in stressful climates through building emotional intelligence, and guiding people who are ready to lean into and overcome difficult challenges and experiences in their lives.
She authored a book Teach Us To Pray: An Ancient Model For a Modern Day, and hosts the Pursuing Uncomfortable Podcast.