This holiday season has been different for me. I feel a deep sense of peace and calm. I am joyful!
My daughters and I picked out our “real” Christmas tree a few days ago and the whole evening was filled with laughter and celebration. We decided to go to dinner after. I noticed that the restaurant was filled with large parties of people celebrating the season and each other. As we waited I watched people take pictures, exchange gifts, hug, laugh and connect. It was fascinating. As the days have gone by, I have had an acute awareness of people sharing their lives with one another. As I travel, I watch people say goodbye and greet each other. As I shop, I see people in groups enjoying the holiday season. I am a part of a charity that celebrates children and families and the progress a child makes as he/she is connected to others.
I am greatly impacted by the research I studied last week:
Having close relationships is the strongest predictor of life satisfaction and well being.
I wrote this down and have it by my bedside. I realize that life is truly about relationships. All the material goods, houses, money, cars, jobs, etc. cannot satisfy those areas of my heart that long for connection, community and love. BUT, it is sometimes easier for me to spend time and energy building those areas thinking they will satisfy me, when in reality, it is the time I invest with others that satisfies and creates well-being. The well- being then has an impact on the other areas of my life.
Sometimes it is easier for me to write a check to help someone, or send a text, than to meet face to face and give an hour of my time. Time is of great value and giving that away can speak volumes to a person that needs to know they are valued. Usually, that person is me. As I give, I receive.
So I am giving myself a personal challenge to embrace the beauty in our society and be thankful for the way we can connect. I want to have a willing heart to give of my time and energy to maintain and develop close relationships. It is the relationships of today that impact the generation of tomorrow. In the midst of this challenge I can have life satisfaction and well-being.
A man who has friends, must himself be friendly, but there is a friend that sticks closer than a brother.