While trying how to start off this final month of the year, I came across the following by Linda Anderson Krech. I felt she really addresses the climate of the holiday season in a most poignant manner.
“Are you looking forward to the holiday season? If you are happy with the state of your life, and you’ll be spending time with people you love, it’s easy to look forward with positive anticipation. The jingles and the jangles of the season may sound sweet to you, and the holiday sparkle lifts your spirits.
But not everyone is embedded in a cozy world of a loving family. Many people do not have a cohesive family, or a healthy family, or any family. The festive sounds and sights of the holiday may be experienced very differently if your relationships are under strain or if you find yourself isolated due to divorce, illness, relocation, rifts or the death of loved ones.
One of the seasonal traps that we can fall into is focusing on what we don’t have. That’s so easy to do when we are saturated by images of the perfect family gatherings. If our life looks very different, we can become acutely aware of what is missing and find ourselves dwelling on what we don’t have. This sets us on the path of disappointment and self-pity.
But this is where we can go beyond our circumstantial limitations and discover a way to make the holidays meaningful. What could that look like? We can do something interesting, creative, helpful, generous, loving or sweet and, in the process, replace self-pity with fulfillment and satisfaction.
How to do this may not be at all obvious, at first glance. That’s part of the challenge and the opportunity to expand ourselves, using resourcefulness and taking initiative. What can you offer, and who can you offer it to? Can you lend a hand with activities that are already organized, or can you come up with a small scale effort of your own? Can you do something anonymously with strangers, or strategically with specific people you know, maybe gifts for school custodians or hospital staff, or special attention to the animals at the Humane Society.
May we all find a way to work with and enjoy our circumstances. The more we attempt to use our energy toward the common good in some way, the more rewarded we will be in our own hearts and lives. It’s easy to lose sight of that simple truth under the holiday hubbub, but let's try to keep it in view."
Comments are welcome.