“He was furious …….” “She felt outrage over the way she was being treated…” There was a public furore over….
Life can be frustrating at times, particularly when you are depending on others. At this time of year, many of us are travelling for Christmas holidays and to visit family during the Festive Season. Whether it’s by coach, train, plane or car we are affected by or depend on drivers, schedulers, pilots, baggage handlers, air attendants and other travellers.
Last Christmas on my already delayed return flight from holidaying on Lord Howe Island, I learned something about unconditional love. After I’d disembarked and collected the luggage I realised that I’d left my reading glasses on the plane, in the seat pocket. Hurrying back, I was asked to notify the nearby service desk attendant who would be able to go down to the plane to check for me; however they were experiencing difficulties of their own with the PA system down. Over the 40 minutes or so that I waited for someone to go down to the still-docked plane, my blood started to boil as I realised that the attendant seemed to be delaying on purpose, especially since I overheard her refusing offers by the other assistants to check this out for me.
Images of entertainment personalities throwing temper tantrums alternated with memories of media stories about the amazing fortitude of travellers held up in recent airline disputes. Which line of thought (and action) was I going to adopt?
I was well aware of studies that have been conducted on the effects of forgiveness on our health such as this Mayo Clinic example. Taking time to think mindfully about it, I realised that I could either let my blood boil over and become aggressive and demanding, or perhaps continue to silently brood over her ridiculously unhelpful behaviour. Alternately, I could forgive, be grateful for the good things happening around me and the amazing holiday I’d just experienced, and unconditionally love all the people at that service desk and working for that airline. It certainly wasn’t easy but I decided on the latter course … this would be my opportunity to show the Christmas spirit, and they obviously could do with that love during this very hectic season.
Eventually the situation was resolved, although I didn’t come away with my glasses after all. But you know, I felt on a ‘real high’ all the same.
Later I realised that a headache, stress and tiredness I’d been feeling earlier had vanished as I chose to love everyone – even the woman at the service desk.
Christmas time is the perfect season to remember the life of Jesus and the example he set for us all. His unconditional love is just what was needed to heal the sick back then. Seems that its health-giving effect is just as powerful for us today.