Between times of difficulty, and perhaps during them as well, always remember that there's only this moment.
Sure, last night might have been rough. Tomorrow might be a tough one, too. But you're not where you were last night, nor are you where you'll be tomorrow. You're only here, now. Keep this in mind amidst the holiday chaos.
Whether you're with family, friends, or strangers, those around you can only be how they are right now, so you should try to see them as such.
While psychology say's people are the sum of their behaviors, their pasts, their likes and dislikes, spirituality says they are how they are right now. And while we never want to discount or invalidate someone's story, we can always strive to see beyond it. We can recognize that people, places, and things are how they are in this moment, and that's all they can be.
When it comes to interacting with family, friends, and strangers during this holiday season, try ditching their story and their behaviors, and instead see them for where they are right now. What does their current state call for? Compassion? Humor? Playfulness? Perhaps a calming presence?
Now, especially during the holidays, we reunite with our families and interact with certain people from whom we normally keep a distance. Sometimes these interactions can be hurtful. The stories they carry, the past traumas, coupled with our own internal narratives, don't always come together harmoniously.
The net result of family gatherings can often be fraught with tension and bad blood. But recognize that this tension is due to people carrying their past selves, and past assumptions about others, to the table. Rather than two individuals interacting with each other in the moment, we have two fickle, egoic minds trying to be right.
This holiday season, remember to see the person in front of you for who they are right now, in this moment. Sure, they have a past, and sure, they may not do things the way you do them. But that's the beauty of being human. There's variety in every individual, so rather than that being a source of pain, let that be a source of beauty.
You get to be in the presence of such variety of personalities, behaviors, and walks of life. Let that be your gift this holiday season. Not the last minute presents, not the stuff under the tree, but the variety of life around you, and more importantly, in you.
Live with substance!