I recently went to a yoga class and the instructor left us with a very thought-provoking Shavasana mediation. She shared with us that someone close to her had recently asked her why she loved them. Her response: because of the person you are and the things that you do. A decent response, I myself have answered exactly like so in the face of that question. Then she went on to share another observation. She wondered, how much of my love for this person stems from my own needs?
Conditional love is not a new concept, but it’s not one I think of often. Especially in this context. I really thought about it post-yoga. How much of my love for all the people in my life can be tied back to what they do for me? I have wonderful friends and family, and I sure do love quite a few people. After this instructor’s observation , I decided I’d challenge myself to look at my relationships on a deeper level, past what they do to make me feel warm and fuzzy.
As I reflected, I began to seriously appreciate my people. Every bit, even the not so gooey parts. I became reaquainted with acceptance, that sticky word that gets tossed around when things aren’t going so well. This word has a dirty rep, but in reality it is your savior. I have learned over the years that you can’t change people. That’s just not the way it works. If you love someone, you have to love every part… or at least accept them.
The holidays can be a crazy time. Scratch that, they are downright nuts, but also filled with really awesome family-friends time. The decorations, the gifts, the coquito or eggnog… it’s all part of this delicious season. However, when we are in such close proximity with our family and loved ones, we may get snappy or rough with our words in the heat of the moment. Stress creeps in, there are tons of things to get done, holiday cooking is enjoyable for the first 15 minutes until you realize the amount of work it entails… It’s all part of why the holidays, which are intended to be our most relaxing time of the year, can quickly turn into a job.
I challenge you this holiday season to dig deep when this happens, because inevitably it will. Think about why you love the ones closest to you. Now, take a second step and think about how many times you may get upset or annoyed with them. How much of that is because you wished they acted in a way that would make your life easier? Truly take a minute to absorb that. I’m sure you can recognize a time you were upset and just wished this person was acting in another way… a way that ultimately would serve you better. It’s a tricky space to navigate, but we can all benefit from remembering that we love someone because of who they are. We get stressed and say things we don’t mean in moments of sheer frustration, which is okay because we’re human, but we should work on approaching these situations with kindness.
So this year, move slowly. Consciously try and navigate through your holiday chores and lists with awareness and ease. When one of your loved ones gets stressed or upset with you, remember that you love them for exactly who they are. Don’t be snappy and tell them why they should be doing things differently. Take a breath and try to ease their stress from a place of non-judgement and genuine love. Acceptance is a sassy maiden, but when you embrace her, she can be quite the allie to your soul and sanity.
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