“To eat bread without hope is still slowly to starve to death.” – – Pearl S. Buck
This holiday season is one of little financial means for me and void of certain family and friends. I am beginning to feel an emptiness creep into my preparations for the holiday season. Without the usual seasonal hoopla and extravagances, a feeling began to evolve inside of me – a feeling of hopelessness. I quickly realized that if I continued to exist without hope I would surely lose my hold on life. I know from experience that without some form of love and intimacy I would move step-by-step into despair. I would retreat into my little world of selfish gratification and eventually forget what it means to be alive.
With this awareness, I have made great efforts to make this upcoming holiday special with plans to surround myself with my closest friends. When I look at these people whom I know to be on a strong path toward personal growth, I am struck by the sparkle in their eyes, the color in their cheeks, the spring in their step. They have come back to life. They have learned how to care again and to be unafraid of closeness. They have found life again in all its vibrancy and promise of change and renewal. That is what I strive for, and work towards.
This kind of energy is contagious, and forms one of the many advantages of building a network of other people working on their own spirituality and personal growth. I see people change and come back to life. Their growth touches my life and inspires me to come back out of the darkness of my dysfunction and unhealthy ways of thinking and into the clear light of the day. That is a gift so rich, yet so within reach. There is no need now for the exchange of material gifts when such special gifts have already been given. My life has changed through contact with my friends and “family of choice” and by developing my own traditions.
Human misery must somewhere have a stop:
There is no wind that always blows a storm.
It’s easy to think we’ll always be in the same boat, that our characters are fixed, our habits unalterable. “This is who I am. You can take me or leave me.” I know that when I find myself saying similar words to myself or thinking in this way, I often mean, “When you know who I really am, you will leave me.” No one is predestined to be a certain person or to behave in a particular way.
No one stops growing and changing either. We have to have faith in the immense possibilities of movement and growth. Life itself is more than winds and storms. It can be calm, changeable, hot, dry, mellow, promising, gloomy, bright, serene and even phenomenal!
We can match life’s immense diversity of moods. We are a part of life; part of all this wondrous change and diversity and if we are not afraid to let ourselves go a bit, we can be as variable and flexible as life itself.
- Letter: My Life in Therapy (nytimes.com)
- Friends share personal details to strengthen relationships in United States, but not in Japan, study finds (sciencedaily.com)
- If-then plans help protect us from the ‘to hell with it’ effect (bps-research-digest.blogspot.com)
I Accept All My Relationships As They Are Today.
I Will Give Them My Best.
“Only one who listens can speak.” – Dag Hammarskjöld
Inevitably, there will always be times in our life when a relationship becomes difficult. Maybe it’s a friendship that has conflicts, a romantic relationship that suddenly, terrifyingly, starts to fall apart or family relationships, strained by years of unmet expectations, become cold and distant.
A shaky relationship can trigger one’s fear of abandonment. That’s when we feel torn between old, inappropriate interactions and any new tools for setting and maintaining healthy boundaries and one’s commitment to living life as one chooses. What choices are available? Give up and run? Hang on, even though one may not want to? How honest should one be? What should be left unsaid, perhaps better shared with someone else? These are only some of the question we have to ask ourselves.
The wisdom gained through personal growth do nothing until one makes a choice, deciding the course of right action; what to do. All things, including relationships, are on the Universe’s time continuum. Until – or when – we come to a decision, we can live each day going about our lives. All we can do is live each moment and give ourselves the love and nurturing we need until the difficulty finally comes to an end. The outcome may not be expected, but at last, with reality in our midst, we are ready to accept life and our relationships just as they are, now stronger to face our next challenge.