Choosing What You See, Choosing How You Feel

They’re back!!! Once again, the holidays are upon us. Does it seem like more people than ever are lamenting what’s coming? Could it be they’re not looking forward to the cycle of pressure, obligations, expectations, and disappointments? The older we get the faster our life cycles come around and the big banner holiday events may come to feel compulsory or even repetitive — the same group, same family, same old stories…blah, blah.

Yes. I have felt some version of this each year at about this time. Thankfully, it’s never taken hold of me because I take hold of myself first!

Rather than see the driver who cut me off as inconsiderate and rude I can actively decide to empathize and see her as rushed and distracted—and let it go.

Sometimes the choice comes after I’ve already “gone there.” Watching a young boy drag his mother toward the toy store I caught myself thinking “Well, HE’S spoiled!” That thought screeched to a stop because, as they walked past me and I watched them more closely, the little boy looked up at his mom with the purest love and happiness I’ve ever seen. He didn’t seem spoiled or ungrateful at all. My first judgment could have been final — negative and dismissive. By choosing to pay closer attention (to look again or “re-spect”) I received the gift of being proved wrong in the best way… I was uplifted.

Make the Choice!

This year, as the pressures and tensions of the holiday season pile up, choose to take a deep breath, choose to be considerate, choose to be empathetic.

I choose to see the world as one of infinite possibilities. In any given moment I may have to remind myself to make that choice. When I catch myself being closed or judgmental I remember that I can choose instead to see the good. I can choose to feel good. You can, too! I give you permission.

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