Earlier this month Father Christmas came to Adelaide. As most South Aussies know, on the second Saturday of November each year the children, and those who still retain some of their childhood within, get to taste the joy of giving when the Christmas Pageant heralds the Christmas season.
For some people Christmas can be a time of loneliness, a time when they feel a sense of sadness, perhaps with memories of times gone by or perhaps it’s a time to think about relatives and friends who are no longer with us or, perhaps, it’s a time when they feel inadequate because they are not in a position to really give the things they would really love to give to their loved ones and perhaps they have another reason.
The Christmas Pageant was instigated by the Chairman of John Martins, a department that was in Adelaide in 1931 when many people were having a really tough time and Sir Edward Hayward felt he would like to bring some joy to people’s hearts and to share some good cheer.
Like so many things, Christmas is what you make it and you don’t have to outlay thousands of dollars, to keep up with the Joneses or to be really stressed out just to make it a successful and joyous occasion. It’s a time when we can really give some thought to not just Christmas Day but the Christmas Spirit and the season generally.
The season in South Australia kicks off with the Pageant and lasts for about 2 months – well it seems like that. The shops have their decorations out and many people are organising their parties and cooking for that special person or in some way making the most of what they have to offer. It’s really all about the giving – not the getting, it’s about gratitude and sharing.
One of the things I’m grateful for is the gift of sharing. Over the last couple of days I have visited with my brother who lives interstate and who willingly shares his family with me. This gives me such joy to be a part of their lives and to see the little ones growing and learning, smiling and laughing. I also spent a couple of days with an aged aunt who is such an inspiration to me and someone from whom I feel I can learn some of life’s lessons. One of those lessons is the art of really listening to someone, caring about them and always from a place of being non-judgemental. I trust will be able to be there for others when they need someone to listen, just like my aunt.
Relationships, specifically at this time of year, can easily be tested. Unfortunately when that happens the feelings of hurt and sadness, the sense of loss and grief for what could have been can last forever, that is unless the issues are dealt with quickly and fairly. Ill tempers can be sparked off like a raging bushfire in a nano second over what seems like nothing or nothing important. Well obviously it is important to one of the parties otherwise the situation would not be an issue.
So you might ask – how does one win in such circumstances?
Well, let’s look at what’s going on. Is winning (and winning what) really so important that you are prepared to jeopardise absolutely everything just to be right (or whatever the situation is for you)?
A little while ago a friend told me how she had an issue with a family member and after a little while the family member had been able to put it behind him while she was still hanging on to it. I asked her to think about why she was hanging on to it – for what purpose. After all we all do things for a reason. She didn’t have to share her reason with me, I just asked he to think about it – and after a short while she said she was able to let it go.
This is NOT about letting someone walk over you or bully you or whatever: it’s about respecting yourself and the other person. Respecting yourself is about making your boundaries known and respecting the other person is about honouring their world.
We all know how quickly and sometimes how innocently we can upset someone, especially when one or both of the parties is under stress. We say something, maybe they don’t hear us or they don’t understand what our intention is and, before you know it, there’s a problem. I have found when this happens, just stop for a moment and take a walk in the other person’s shoes, I ask myself how would I like to respond, what do I want at the end of the day, how could I have said it better, what was it that I said to upset them, what did they make what I said mean. When things cool down, have a private chat with the person, apologise if that’s appropriate. Perhaps your gift to the other person could be forgiveness, a little understanding and some tolerance.
If you’d like to explore this further, please feel free to contact me for a free session – that is free of obligation, free of judgment and free of charge – just fill out the form and, hey presto, I will get back to you to make a time for a chat. How easy is that?
I look forward to hearing from you.
Until next time
Life Coach Adelaide