Hello and welcome to Friday, December 24, 2021. Merry Christmas Eve and Happy Holidays my friends. This is a rare and precious time of year, please engage with love and kindness.
Though COVID has certainly influenced our friend and family gatherings, the Holiday Season is a time when we typically put more energy into re-connecting with loved ones.
As we plan and prepare for the festivities, our head often gets busy as well. Before we’ve even arrived at the party, the mind begins to fortify our pre-conceived ideas about each of the attendees. We might entertain inner dialogues about how dad mumbles and scowls at mom because everything has to be perfect, how Aunt Jane righteously shares her views on religion and politics, how Kate picks at her food, how Uncle Chris incessantly worries about absolutely everything, how Bill is always late and the first to leave (“does he not like me?”), and how Jeff is sure get drunk and ruin the Holiday for everyone! “These people will never change,” we say to ourselves.
People Do Change!
We first need to recognize that our family and friends are more than the labels we place on them. We, of course, know this intuitively. Nevertheless, we attend Holiday dinners and parties with these stories in the forefront of our mind. If we’re certain that Chris will annoy us with his worrying, we will be on the lookout for anything coming out of his mouth that resembles worry. As we look for worry in his conversations, we may miss out on so much more of what he has to share.
Even though Jeff may have made a drunken mess out of the last thirty Holiday seasons, he can change. Everyone can change.
DC and I love to watch A Christmas Carol – especially the Muppet version. And while Scrooge, just like the Grinch, are fictional characters, they are poignant examples of how even the most odious and hopeless people can and do change.
Throughout my recovery from addiction, I’ve seen miracle after miracle. I’ve personally witnessed hopeless drunkards and addicts live meaningful lives, free from the bondage of alcohol and drugs. For unexplainable reasons, people who were once doomed to die as a result of their addiction, experience a personality change adequate enough to foster recovery. Alcoholism and addiction aren’t the only realm in which profound change occurs.
Just like myself, I’ve had the honor of being in the presence of others diagnosed with ADHD and Anxiety Disorder who can now sit still and calmly meditate in silence for extended periods without the use of medication. In my healthcare days, I witnessed more than one person who, nearing their death, experienced a complete shift in their awareness and worldview thereby allowing family and friends to heal from years of despair. I’m aware of instances of people who overcame remarkable physical and mental disabilities. Though we may be aware of incredible transformations such as these, we still often cling to the thought, “They will never change.”
Each of us can help. We can first learn to recognize and let go of the inaccurate labels that we use to identify ourselves and others. These labels reinforce the behavior. While Kate may indeed pick at her food, she is much more than that. Let’s take the time to really get to know and listen to Kate. We can also create the space for change through hope and faith. Though it may not work out, we can be open and supportive knowing there is a possibility.
While much of this change in others is out of our control, we can do something about ourselves. We are changing all the time. You are not who you were five years ago. We can either change by not changing current behaviors thereby reinforcing unhealthy habits, or we can change with discernment and wisdom. Because we tend to believe everything we think, intentional change is best done in collaboration with a guide you trust.
I’m here to help.
You are Loved by me, Unconditionally!
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