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By Remy Benoit

   "There is only a single magic, a single power, a single salvation and a single happiness, and that is called loving."

                 Herman Hesse
   The holidays are approaching quickly.

Already many calendars are overfilled, generating additional demands on already over scheduled time; generating angst.

Other calendars scream vast empty pages at their owners.

We too often lose sight of what the season is about.
The season is about Love.

And yet we know that throughout the holiday season we will be surrounded by those who seem to live to find fault with whatever we do.
What do you do with them?
That is not the real question, is it?
You cannot do anything for them.
Remember, you tried.
How many times have you tried and found that whatever you did was just not good enough?

If you recall, one of the things we have to learn is that only one person can change a person, and that is that person. Not you, not Uncle Stephen, not Granny.
The desire for change also has to come from the individual. That is not something you can give them, no matter what the season.
But what about you?
How do you juggle all of this?
You develop your own realistic expectations.

Can you honestly say that you have ever had “the” perfect Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s Eve? Often we come close, but we are not creatures of perfection, now are we? Where did we learn to reach for perfection, when what is truly asked of us is compassion?

Jean Luc Picard found the “perfect” Christmas in the Nexus.  He chose to leave it to save the world. He showed compassion; he understood the need for living what is real.
Our reality has its flaws; the are only magnified when we reach for perfection; when we set up unrealistic expectations we are only asking for disappointment
Perhaps we should reach for the comfortable for the holidays; for unleashing our creative spirits to spread love, letting those open to it take it. Perhaps aligning our actions with compassion will help us to clarify our own expectations and avoid disappointment.

And that will take you back to the starting point.
What is the true message of the holiday?
The message is Love.
And Love, truly is all there really is.
And Love truly is for sharing.
How can you reach out and share yours with someone with empty calendar pages?
Who knows, perhaps in doing that you will be spreading peace too.

National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.

Marine Toys for Tots.

Sunshine Foundation.

Meals On Wheels.


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This item is part of historian, author, editor, and educator Remy Benoit's ongoing weblog for Veterans, writers, students, and others who believe in learning from and making history; including thousands of articles and posts and the free writing seminar, Using History for Healing and Writing.

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