Counselor's Corner: December generosity

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Christmas is coming. The lights are shining brightly. Colorful wreaths and trees are all around us. Stores are filled with shoppers. Lower prices for gifts attract us to shop. The Salvation Army is out with their dedicated bell ringers seeking donations for the poor.

Between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the world seems more generous. We share our money and time more at this time of the year than any other. The song of love and giving seems to be in the air.

In December, we look for goodness. Starting with Thanksgiving and on through December, we become more hopeful and optimistic.

This generous and loving attitude can positively change a person. The reflections in December about peace to “men of good will” can inspire us to wish goodness to every woman and man we see. I find myself even friendlier during December. Everyone is looking for love. Everyone is looking for kindness.

I think December Generosity needs to start first with being kind to our own personal self. This kindness happens when I realize that generous acts and generous thoughts toward others become an act of love toward our own personal self. The more I perform kind acts toward someone else, the more love I experience. The more love I experience by giving to others, the more I will have an experience of a loving God.

December Generosity is a reminder of what life should be: a consistent journey of giving love and an attentive listening and receiving love. Love, sweet love is what life is all about. When I forget this, I forget how to live.

Each year we are reminded that love, sweet love is what we need to be all about.

To make this simple truth a reality, I must make a conscious effort to be loving and kind towards everyone. I must also make a conscious effort to be quiet and listen to a God who is always loving me. This means the conscious decision to take some quiet time each day to meditate and listen to God. Whatever religious belief one might have, it is most important to be quiet and let whoever God is for me speak to me in the depth of my heart.

The month of December shouts to us of the importance of doing this. Yet it becomes so difficult to listen to the wisdom of these two basic principles of love and meditative listening to God.

We can be so afraid of reaching out kindly to others because these actions force us to look deeper within ourselves and challenge us to see our own selfishness and negativity. We become so afraid to be quiet with God because our unfinished business surfaces so quickly.

December Generosity pushes me towards others more and pushes me towards God more. I must listen and pay attention to these gentle nudges during this amazing month.

When I can look at everyone with an attentive attitude of love, my heart becomes lighter and my mind becomes more attentive to other people. I see goodness and turn away from negativity.

When I take more quiet time with God during this last month of the year, I prepare myself to live the New Year with more love and kindness in my heart.

Yesterday I attended the funeral of a friend. She was 86 years old. Her love, kindness, humility and loving bluntness towards others, inspired many people. This is a woman who lost a husband and two children within one year, a couple of years ago. She suffered greatly but it didn’t stop her from consistently being kind and loving towards others. Her physical diminishments because of congestive heart failure did not stop her from reaching out and loving others. In her final weeks in hospice, many people came to sit by her side and experience this very kind and loving woman.
She died in this December month of generosity and love.

Life for each of us should be filled with generosity and love. It brings out the very best in ourselves and pushes us closer to the source of all love who will love us forever. December Generosity gives us a glimpse of eternal love and joy.

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Fred Cavaiani is a licensed marriage and family therapist and limited licensed psychologist with a private practice in Troy. He is the founder of Marriage Growth Center. Cavaiani conducts numerous programs for groups throughout Michigan. He is associate editor and contributing writer for Human Development Magazine. His column in the Legal News runs every other Tuesday. He can be reached at (248)362-3340. His e-mail address is: Fredcavi@yahoo.com and his website (under reconstruction) is FredsCounselorsCorner.com


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