Arran and I are currently in Hawaii, traveling with my parents for the holiday season. I feel pretty gifted that we all get along so well that this is something we have looked forward to for months. Traveling is wonderful on so many levels, and incredibly trying on just as many. It’s why I love it so much, it can be gruelling. You learn a lot about yourself and of others, and without the distractions of day to day living (work, running errands, school pick ups) you can really get a great glimpse into the best and the most trying parts of yourself and those you love.
Layer in traveling with your parents and children, and all of a sudden it’s like walking around with partial dopplegangers, with some of the best parts of you that you adore being reflected back, as well as some of the parts of you that you wish were buried, that you were SURE were buried, yet you recognise them all too well in another family member – because that ‘annoying’ trait you yourself have.
I find it remarkable really, that then when we are around the people we know better than anyone, any old thing falls out of our mouths, we assume forgiveness and a ‘take me as I am’ attitude seems to present. When we don’t know people that well, we censor quietly, and are over polite and usually kind, and it should really be the other way around. We should be more compassionate, caring and kind to those we love the most, yet it’s usually a slackness, a familiarity and sometimes just being plain demanding that reigns free.
So the festive season is here, that time of year where we usually see family whether we desire it or not. So whether you’re traveling or not with all it’s trials, there’s most likely going to be some close proximity with family. Something that keeps coming up for me loud and clear, is that it’s not always best to be loud, or clear, and sometimes what is needed is to just shut the hell up. The small comments that are unnecessary, let’s keep them to ourselves…for example when being shown something on Xmas eve with no possibility or return ‘oh really, you chose that? I don’t think she’s going to like that’ or when traveling in the car ‘I think we’re going the wrong way’ (duh) or the comment whilst someone already has a whole mince pie in there mouth ‘I hope you’re not going to eat too much at Christmas lunch this year, you made yourself sick last year’ and so on.
You know them, we could write a book together on stupid, inane comments that would be better left unsaid. That we would never in a million years say to a stranger yet feel entitled to say to someone close.
Awareness and loving kindness can go so far in not accidentally hurting someone and in turn attracting negativity to ourselves. So this holiday break, let’s practise compassion, and in general, just shut the hell up. If it doesn’t need to be said, just don’t say it. Let’s take that moment to pause, and ask ourselves, ‘is what I am about to say contributing in important ways?; If the answer is no, then let is stay a silent thought.
In the next few days I’ll share some thoughts on what to do when we can’t monitor everyone’s commenting and how to deal with negativity or a lack of awareness from others.