December can be such a mixed bag, can't it? For many people, it's a time of anticipation and joy as they prepare for holidays with family and friends. For others, it's a time of incredible sadness and loneliness. Some will have lost their jobs this month. Still others have just lost loved ones to death—or have received difficult medical diagnoses. For those who suffered such losses years ago at this time, it's often a reminder of that time. There are so many reasons that this season is difficult for some.
So it's good to be gentle with one another—and with ourselves as well. Don't take it personally if someone doesn't return your hearty greetings or doesn't respond to you in the way you anticipated. You and I don't know what someone else is carrying around inside. This is always true, of course. But somehow at this time of year, emotions are a little more raw. If you're in pain, it seems as though all the rest of the world is excited and joyful. And if you're the one who's sad, please don't beat up on yourself. Just feel the sadness and let others hold you and care for you.
So let's all reach for more gentleness and compassion this season. It will go a long way.