Embrace With Human Kindness…
My daughter embracing time with her great-grandfather, Papoo, sitting in the car, talking. A beautiful moment. A core memory for all of us. We certainly miss him, every day.
This is not written to negate anyone’s feelings of anxiety, frustration, grief, or any other emotion around the holidays, as I know how important it is to attend to all of our emotions. Instead, I am calling attention to how we might be able to come together with kindness and enjoy the holidays; giving gratitude for the life we are here living…
I have been sick in bed with the flu for six days. So naturally, I have done a lot of resting, reflecting, binge watching, scrolling, and reading the news. While I could speak about the awful, tragic, and heartbreaking news that has repeatedly occurred day, after day, after day, I will instead share some thoughts about something else that has struck my heart while scrolling, watching, and reading news content.
I have observed countless TV news stories, social media graphics, and articles regarding anxiety related to gatherings over the holidays. No, this year it’s not so much about contracting COVID-19, it’s about the emotional and mental toll that one might experience related to gatherings during the holidays.
Everywhere I turn there seems to be holiday guidance related to reducing stress, grounding ourselves to decrease anxiety before that event or seeing “those” people, preparing ourselves on how we will respond to certain topics, and setting boundaries. These boundaries include cutting time short, requesting everyone stay away from discussing politics, or even choosing to stay home alone.
While all of this is great advice, and certainly helpful, it does make my heart ache. It makes me wonder, deeper than ever, what can we do to change this narrative?
Why are so many things tearing us apart?
Why are we so anxious to spend time with others?
Why should we need to set up conversation scenarios in our minds so we can be prepared to respond?
Why should we need to send out family texts asking everyone to stay away from discussing certain topics?
Not to mention all the other pressures that many of us put on ourselves to get the shopping done, cook, set a beautiful table, give the perfect gifts, spread time amongst different groups - seeing your parents, your in-laws, attending a work party, etc.
Let’s do better.
Come up with a better way.
A better way to be with our people.
Embrace the time we have.
Sadly, I have many people in my life who are facing physical illness, and those individuals are showing more strength and positivity than you could ever imagine. These beautiful individuals, coupled with the daily tragic news, continues to remind me how incredibly precious life is.
Let’s take this time to truly find our gratitude.
Bring your kindness where ever you go.
Choose to reach out to someone that might be feeling anxious or apprehensive about that gathering and let them know you are going to be there for them.
Choose to embrace the time you've been blessed with.
Let’s continue working together to create a kinder, more compassionate and inclusive world.
With kindness and gratitude,