Holidays have an innate ability to bring out the best, and sometimes the worst, in ourselves and others. Surrounded by family, it is not unusual to relive moments from the past, or to revert to actions and responses thought long banished. In that environment, stories are often told, sometimes to evoke humor, or to embarrass or to intentionally cause pain. It is my hope that your weekend was filled with laughter and joy. If you found your cheeks smarting from proverbial backhands instead of hurting from perpetual laughter, try to remember the blessings that are in your life.
You control you. You know who you are and where you are going. Your boundaries are set so that people (including family) know where they are permitted to go, and where they cannot go. Whomever responds negatively to your boundaries, to your rules, may do so. That does not change who you are or what you’ve decided for yourself. These realities are among those first blessings you should count.
Those who understand you, who understand your boundaries, those who love you and are willing to discuss things truthfully with you are also blessings.
Health is next, in my opinion. With all of the challenges that flow from battling an illness, to be healthy is truly a blessing.
Many more blessings exist that will likely show up on your list. Count and cherish each one. While you do, I hope that your smile makes your own cheeks hurt.
Yesterday, while walking to an afternoon meeting in downtown New York, I came upon this planter. Surrounded by 6 or 7 other planters all full of beautiful, pink tulips, I couldn’t stop the smile from spreading across my face as I looked at this lone, yellow tulip. While taking this picture, I asked the question you likely asked yourself: had the gardener intended to plant this yellow tulip within the bed of pink tulips, or was it a mistake?
Sometimes, you fit in; sometimes, you stand out. Both have their time and place in this world. Both are beautiful choices. Staying the course, keeping an even keel, maintaining the peace and helping others (and yourself) to remain calm and balanced are reasoned choices. Similarly, being brave and trying something new, pushing yourself to walk outside of your comfort zone, setting new boundaries are choices that set you apart, but are also reasoned choices that can help you grow.
Whether you are the pink tulip or the yellow tulip today, your choices are your own. Own each choice and be proud of what you’ve chosen. Have faith in yourself. When the time comes to choose, you’ll know what is best for you.