Holidays are a stressful time of year, I think for everyone. We have stress of family issues, spending money, feeling the pressure to prove to everyone how much we’ve got it together, dealing with kids going in a million directions and, oftentimes, having to navigate two celebrations to accommodate divorced parents. Overall, it is a lot to deal with.

My business gets very quiet this time of year. No one wants to deal with their loved one’s addiction issues during the holidays. No one wants to do an intervention and send their person off to treatment before Christmas. And, no one wants to deal with their relationship issues or personal struggles during the holidays. Most want to save that for their New Year’s Resolutions.

Unfortunately, when my phone does ring this time of year, it is a crisis. And I am happy to help then too.

The last couple of days I have been thinking a lot about caring for one another and allowing each other some space to make mistakes, to not always handle everything perfectly, to have a different opinion on things, and to still love each other.

I feel like sometimes we forget that we don’t always have to agree. And no one is less intelligent or deserves less respect because they don’t see it my way. This year, I have felt a little overwhelmed by all of the judgment we face all the time and how nasty we can be to one another when our points of view are different. Road rage, this entire presidential campaign, people fighting over parking spots, one lady punched another lady in the face over her spot in line at WalMart. It is simply baffling to me.

I used to be a very judgmental person. And what I learned is that judgment and anger merely shows everyone how badly you feel about yourself. When someone yells at you, or condescends, or comes at you with anger it really has nothing to do with you. It is an absolute reflection of how badly they feel on the inside. I made a conscious effort to clean up my insides and learn how to feel good about myself and my choices and miraculously the desire to judge other people left me entirely. There is no reason to be consumed by what other people are doing or how they are living their life or what choices they are making. My concern is me and my life, and the choices I am making.

Maybe, during the next couple of weeks we can focus on being more forgiving. Allow people some space to make mistakes, to be in a bad mood, to be stressed out and a little short-tempered, to feel extra tired because the holidays are sheer insanity. Maybe we can focus on doing nice things, holding a door, paying for the coffee of the person behind you in the drive-thru line, saying hello and offering a smile.

Maybe we don’t yell at the person who didn’t use their blinker because, let’s be honest, we have ALL made the same mistakes while driving. I always think about my family-if  it were my mom driving and she cut someone off, and that person decided to scream and yell at her or flip her off, I would kick their ass. If it were my niece texting and driving and not paying attention, and someone decided to scream at her or cuss at her, I would unequivocally kick their ass. If it were one of my brothers, same story. Obviously, I am speaking figuratively because I am 5’3″ and 120 pounds. I am not kicking anyone’s ass and the truth is, I would just feel bad for the person because they clearly have a lot of unresolved issues.

We are all someone’s family and we all deserve a little patience, grace, forgiveness, and understanding.

This is a difficult time of year and everyone struggles with their own issues and insecurities and fears. I’m saying let’s offer the kindness that we want to receive and remember that life is difficult by nature. And it is difficult for EVERYONE. Why do we forget we are in this together?