Peace, did you achieve it throughout the Thanksgiving holiday? I did fairly well, however, it was just my son and me and we joined friends for the day of feasting. It is easy to stay present when things are just right and in balance, however, how about when things are not in alignment, how do you handle stress? It is such an important topic at this time of year when we are being laid siege to with all the commercials in print, broadcast, or online. Our life is being brought to you by the perfect moment, the perfect jewelry, food, gift, etc. and it can all get a little overwhelming to stay present. This time of the year is rough for my son and me as we lost his father eight years ago and it often brings out our grief and everything looks perfectly out of balance for us. As my son was leaving his university, he was chatting with an acquaintance that had recently lost his father and he conveyed to my son the fact that he had no family to go home to now that his father was gone. How tragic, because he does have a family, but he was carrying this prefect ‘traditional family’ image in his mind and rather than feeling peace and love he was feeling alone and left out. It is important that we each do our part to not stand in judgment of others for we do not know where they have walked, and we should learn to shine our hearts forward. This is the moment we have, right now and it is up to us how we are going to shine, brightly or in shadow. This year we are both getting better with the stress of all the perfectionism and learning to lean into the sorrow when we feel it, and then let it go and stay present. It is work. Remember that genuine compassion flows towards all living beings, particularly your enemies. If you try to develop compassion towards your enemy, it may not benefit him directly, he may not even be aware of it, but it will immediately benefit you by calming your mind. On the other hand, if you dwell on how awful everything is, you immediately lose your peace of mind. Take a moment to share a smile, ask someone how he or she is doing, listen, shine your heart, forgive, and walk in peace as you go about this holiday season.
The ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand in moments of comfort and convenience, but where they stand in times of challenge and controversy. ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.