INSPIRATION FOR TODAY:
"Too many of us are hung up on what we don't have, can't have, or won't ever have. We spend too much energy being down, when we could use that same energy - if not less of it - doing, or at least trying to do, some of the things we really want to do."
- Terry McMillan (Cited in The Best of BITS & PIECES)
SPREAD THE TABLE!
Here we are in the midst of the holiday rush - buying gifts, attending parties, decorating, sending cards, and preparing for the feast of the season. We're doing all this for whom?
We tell ourselves it's for the ones we love. We want to make them happy, fill them with joy, and make their world bright. We want to make everything perfect for them at this special time of year.
In a way, that's like preparing the holiday feast for those who matter most to us, then eating it for them and commenting on how tasty it was. Truth is - we can't "make them" do anything, we can only spread the table before them.
Whether they choose to consume the feast, or be happy doing it, is their choice - not ours. We can give the presents, offer our own good holiday spirit, or bake the cookies, but we cannot "make" anything happen.
Epictetus once said, "Happiness and freedom begin with a clear understanding of one principle: Some things are within our control, and some things are not. If you think that you have free rein over things that are naturally beyond your control, or if you attempt to adopt the affairs of others as your own, your pursuits will be thwarted and you will become a frustrated, anxious, and fault-finding person."
Why not take a little of the pressure off yourself this holiday season? Feel free to give whatever gifts, energy, creativity, or love you have to offer, but let go of the desire to control the outcome. The gifts that will make the most difference are those that arise from the heart with no expectation of reward. My wish for you is the joy and freedom that results from giving. Happy holidays and best wishes to you and yours!