submitted by Susan B. Apollon, Psychologist, Author, www.TouchedbytheExtraordinary.com
At Thanksgiving we are aware of our blessings. Emotionally, thinking about what we are grateful for feels good to us. However, December focuses on giving – giving from our hearts – rather than receiving. It is one of the loveliest times of the year. Yet, many have shared that what they love most about Thanksgiving is the fact that it is a holiday not centered on the exchange of gifts. Rather, the emphasis is on the value of being together with loved ones, including family and friends. December tends to make gift-giving the priority, forgetting the message of unconditional love for those we genuinely cherish.
This December, ask yourself if your behavior has led others to view you as a blessing. Do you check in on neighbors and friends when they are not well; offer to walk their dog; go to the market or pharmacy for them or bring them a meal or two? Do you enable them to feel they matter and are not alone – though they may be staying socially isolated? By calling and saying,
“Hi, how are you doing?” you can help them feel connected to you and life, as well as to possibly consider you a blessing. Do you offer rides for doctor appointments and errands, or drive them to church or synagogue? It is no different from when a stranger passes you on the street and gives you a hardy, full smile. It makes your heart smile, and you feel a sense of joy – sometimes, forgotten joy.
Around the holidays, and all year long, the gift we can give ourselves and others is the gift of unconditional love. We can share our love, concern and caring for others. These compassionate acts will result in our feeling a deep sense of purpose and fulfillment, as well as enable us to be aware that we have been able to be here for others – without expecting anything in return!
May your holidays be filled with warmth, joy, peace, and blessings of quiet fulfillment and love.