Two days before Christmas. I read a quote today that seems to sum it up for me: "To perceive Christmas through its wrappings becomes more difficult with every year." (E.B. White) There is a certain pressure to be happy and joyous, and yet it isn't always easy to conjure up those emotions.
No one needs to remind me of all that I have to be grateful for, as I am very aware. I have a good, safe, comfortable home, a steady job that I enjoy and that pays me well enough, I have a terrific almost-15-year-old daughter that continually reminds me of how much she loves me and thinks I'm 'the best', and I have wonderful friendships, old and new. And yet I'm troubled by the fact that a few of those friendships have fallen by the wayside, and largely due to misunderstandings and/or a difference in how to approach the situations life presents us. One's judgments and opinions are only as good as the life experience and perception that they bring to the table at any given moment, and yet relationships are ruined based on that narrow point of view. Despite attempts on my part to bridge the gap, there are a couple of friends who prefer to remain on the fringe.
Of course, this brings me back to the key component of The Four Agreements -- Don't take things personally. It's time to let it go, release whatever ick I'm feeling, and shake it off. No, I'm not a duck, so it won't be as simple as water off the back. But for my own sake, I need to know that I have done what I could and, as long as I can be honest with myself about my intention and attempts, forgive myself and move on.
So, come on Christmas. I embrace the ideas of peace and fellowship of the season, and remain optimistic for the good that will come in the new year. Blessings to all.