John Hendry 

Relationships - Article 

As the Christmas season approaches and 2017 draws to a close, each of us has a tendency to reflect on the year we have had. 

Reflection critically calls us to value the little things that have added meaning to our lives this year, presented as gifts to others and from others. 

We recognise that contribution to others, to things bigger than ourselves, has authenticated our life’s purpose.  Giving to the ‘common good’ lifts our lives as it lifts the lives of others and our community as a whole. 

Friends and family give much to us and this important reflection found at year's end opens our hearts to others, helps us appreciate others.  Awe presents, as do the moral strengths that add considerably and deeply to each of us and our relationships. Family and friends recognise how each can add to our wellbeing and the wellbeing of others.

Gifts are given and received, and relationships honoured as we each reach out with a deep sense of gratitude to those who have made our lives that little bit more pleasant, peaceful and meaningful. Gratitude consolidates our contributions and the contributions of others, big or small, and enables us to appreciate life.

This moment in the year also reminds us that we are human, that we do make mistakes as we live our lives and that others forgive us and allow us to move forward with dignity. Likewise, we need to be able to forgive others for mistakes made. This intimacy of reflection permits us to give to others and to appreciate others. It enables us to see things more clearly and realistically, and in so doing allows us to connect more closely, to feel more secure and to value our lives. It does this for others.

Each of us will look back, will rethink and reimagine things. Stories will be told and uplifting and engaging conversations will be enjoyed. Please do share your gratitude to those who, even in little ways, have made your life richer in 2017. Many have. Be kind to yourself and to all, and assist those who may be alone or lonely. Meaning is given to our lives and the lives of others by us giving.  Please look to give.

Spiritually, take time to be with yourself. Be kind to yourself. Self-compassion allows us to stand straighter and to envisage giving more. Be gracious and reverent in all you do, for this too will add meaning to your life and the lives of those you love, those you share your life with, and especially those who need you. 

Wishing you, and those around you, well in the New Year.