2022 Holiday Season - A Social Challenge - A Nurturant Challenge

2022 Holiday Season - A Social Challenge - A Nurturant Challenge

To me, it doesn't matter what you're celebrating, just be good to each other this season. The winter can be a very difficult time for many folks, those with hostile or toxic families, those without the resources to have a Christmas like yours or mine, and especially those who are grieving or going through a tough illness.

If the weather is any indication of what this season is about, it's about finding a den, something cozy and warm, and cuddling up with your favourite people. Now, some folks aren't in a good place. Perhaps they are struggling with their mental health, perhaps they struggle with addiction or just the party-season, but they don't have to struggle alone.

This holiday season I challenge you to tell the people you care about that you do. I'm weird and awkward when I do, but most of the people I love in this life know what I feel and that I am practising the art of loving them.

Now, before you dismiss me out of hand because that sounded mushy, just remember that this is mushy season. Slushy snow, fat cats, and overly-excitable children is what this is about, and if you don't have any of that right now - your time will come. Maybe you prefer dogs and don't have one yet, perhaps you haven't made up with a family member you want to return to, but no matter who it is, all relationships require a type of intimacy.

And remember, you know your relationships best, so if you perform acts of love or service as your love language then skip telling them how you feel and show them how you feel. Do it in a way that is not just you, but both of you. Remember they need to be able to take that information in the way they receive affection and intimacy. So, let's say you're a gift-giver but they prefer to receive acts of service, meet them in the middle this season. Perhaps offer a large and extravagant gift box with a coupon book of IOU's like the kind a husband gives their wife. Or, if you're a writer like me, then write that very information down into a card. Use authentic-to-you words to express your relationships this winter.

Sure it's scary when you open up and create a moment for vulnerability, but true leaders do that because if anyone's going to take a shot first for speaking, leading, or doing, it should be the team leader. In your relationships, you are one of two team leaders, so act like it. And when you put yourself out there first, even if you mess up, a true team will come and extract you from that mess because they know it could have been them but you chose to take the jump first.

Furthermore, boundaries are not just a negative qualifier for behaviours you want to limit or prevent; boundaries are also a clear way of defining how to positively interact with people.

As you settle into the Eve of Christmas, the wrap up of Solstice, the burning of Yuletide, the menorah lighting of Hanukkah, or if you're preparing for the final feast of Kwanzaa, remember - in any religion, God is Love. I don't think you and I believe in the same god but I do believe that when we measure it to the most basic unit, we have more in common than we don't.

In summary - I challenge you - tell people you love them this year. Don't hold back. Use your words, your actions, your creativity, your wisdom of them as a person. Tell them you love them this year because the one thing I do know is that none of us know how many years we have left, so don't hold back - that is what "living" really is - putting yourself out there as the social being you are.

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