Tara Brach, one of my favorite Buddhist practitioners, recently wrote, ‘While the holidays can be times of loving celebration, they can also highlight relational conflicts and challenges.’ Old patterns of behavior kick in, and we can get sabotaged by our own controlling natures. In her podcast, she offers ideas about how to bring loving kindness to ourselves and others. She posits, ‘We need to make space for us imperfect humans.’

My reflection: During my son’s many years of active addiction, I took no time to prepare my heart for the holidays. I was more like a train on an errant track, rushing to get through the holidays in one piece. Overwhelmed with emotions and fears, I plowed through each day.

Today’s Promise to consider: The holidays can be times of extreme stress for all families, and especially when addiction is involved. Let us prepare our hearts for the holidays and not place unreasonable expectations on ourselves or others. Life is limited and we aren’t guaranteed next year, so let’s make an intention – now and not in the New Year – to celebrate and be present for family and friends. As Tara says, ‘We are all imperfect. Let us connect with the gold inside us.’

Maya Angelou wrote:  

I’ve learned that people will forget what you said,

People will forget what you did,

But people will never forget how you made them feel.

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