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Saturday, March 2, 2024

Challenges of the holiday season can be overcome

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Sometimes it may seem a little complicated. You’ve been trying for that job you just can’t seem to land. Or you’re working in a job where there’s little respect and even less mobility. Sometimes you just want to say to hell with it all.

These are difficult times, and it’s not even as clear as the divide between the haves and the have-nots. Even people with impressive bank accounts and investments frequently find themselves searching for purpose. Wealth without fulfillment of the spirit is bankruptcy.

Sometimes life’s quagmires for an individual are relational. He can’t find the right woman, she can’t find the right man. And just when you think you’ve gotten it done, you suddenly discover what you thought would be a source of lasting happiness is an illusion.

There are days when the least irritation pushes people almost to the edge; days which should be celebration are transformed into a gray cloud of uncertainty. For no reason, people who seem to have it “going on” doubt themselves and question their self-worth.

Then there are those who have never been convinced they have it “going on” even though the potential others see in them sparkles. When these individuals look in the mirror, they see a loser or at least someone who can never imagine being great or highly respected.

We know that 95 percent of those things we fear never come to fruition, and still there is the irrepressible tendency to be handcuffed by the worst possibilities rather than buoyed by the greatest prospects. The question is asked, what would you do tomorrow if you knew there was absolutely no chance of your feeling?

The same imagination that jolted us into illusions of being superheroes in our childhood is still a latent part of our existence. Only now, that imagination tends to instill a sense of restraint when it comes to trying to envision higher heights in our lifetime. Of course, there are exceptions to the rules. But not many.

As Thanksgiving Day approaches, many look forward to lavish celebrations with family, deep, spiritual involvement, travel and camaraderie among friends, taking advantage of Black Friday sales and enjoying concerts, sporting events, movies, and other forms of entertainment.

By now we know that the words of a famous author are applicable to the realities of the holiday season. Those words suggested these are the best of times, and somehow, simultaneously, the worst of times. It seems an unacceptable conflict but I’m deep for observation, the thoughtful individual knows that it is true.

What can we do? Because the reasons for our mixed emotions vary, so the best that I or anyone can do is simply offer a few general suggestions that might be applicable to some.

Start off with not setting expectations too high. There will be no magic in the air. People will be exactly what you know them to be.

Another suggestion is, recognize that everyone else is going through the same thing you are experiencing or something similar. There are no euphoria prescriptions you can order at the pharmacy to thwart this spiritual nemesis. Accept the high and low points with equal moderation knowing change is constant.

Lastly, redirect, focus on things that bring you a sense of satisfaction, especially in terms of doing for others. Consider how you can bless others even if you can only offer a thoughtful word, a smile or a hug. Don’t underestimate the power of kindness and encouragement. You don’t have to have a lot to care and share.

At the end of the day, learn to relax. Stay prayerful. Don’t make everything about you. And go with the flow. This is no genius. Most of the thoughts you already considered at some time or another. Enjoy the gift of life no matter what your circumstance.

If you are suffering, God has not abandoned or forgotten about you. If you feel forlorn, know that better days are ahead. Keep the faith. Never quit. Never give up. You may have a blessing that is just one “hallelujah” away!

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