Holiday Message from Rodger Harding

by Administrator 23.Dec.2015 06:41:00

Love at Work… During the Holidays … and Always!

Love, along with Fear, is perhaps the biggest driver of action known to humankind! Don’t we all rely on the idea of accessing Love in time of fear, chaos, change, uncertainty et al…?

For me, Love is an unconditional appreciation & acceptance of who a person is at any point in time. Trite as this may sound, is this perhaps not the most difficult of concepts to live out?

It is even more difficult to really love ourselves: In our society, we are told from birth who to be, how to conform, what to say, how to say it etc. We are given bench marks of success that include wealth, position and status - How quickly do we fall short of expected standards?  So too, do we not often mistrust the perceived transactional nature of love? … The giving and receiving of affection with barely concealed agendas?

Most of us have seen a ton of gift, card and greeting exchange, as well as festive get-togethers where we have wished each other well in the past few weeks - Most of it well intended!  Do we allow ourselves to feel loved and appreciated? Do we trust collegial expressions of goodwill?

Considering then the logic of loving ourselves before we are able to allow others to love us … and us them… What better time than the Holidays to consider the extent to which we accept & appreciate ourselves for who we really are.

If we love ourselves we will trust the big-picture love others have for us, and the value of our love for them!

In this context, I continue with varying degrees of success, to practice self-love. I thought to share as a Holiday greeting/wish, my 3 (extremely difficult) exercises to achieve this often elusive goal:

  1. Practice active Gratitude: Bring mundane fortune to conscious awareness. Good examples are the ability to think, walk, talk, see, hear and enjoy those around us…. And, if we are lucky, to impact the world positively! What would our day look like if one or more of these factors were not present?
  2. Celebrate Individuality: We are so often tempted to compare ourselves with others – Constant marketing and social pressure does not make it easy to be content with who we are and what we have. Most days I force myself to recall the well-known line from Desiderata: “There will always be greater and lesser persons than yourself!” Accepting that reality, allows us to experience moments of real pride in our life achievement. Our insignificance in the grand scheme of things sets us free… while still remaining accountable to the many gifts bestowed on us!
  3. Get off center stage: So often we place ourselves squarely in the middle of situations. Especially in difficult times we feel that the world is out to get us… ... Realizing that bigger-picture love is not always evident, applying exercises  1  & 2 will ensure our ability to be accepting of, and effectively manage, not only our unique selves, but also the inevitable randomness, chance and the wild-card factor that life so regularly throws at us….

Now and again, when I get these exercises right, I am able to humbly say: I love my neighbor as myself!

My best wishes to you all for a wonderful Holiday Season, and a safe, happy and prosperous 2016!


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