I wish you a very merry and peaceful Christmas. I hope you enjoy this time to catch up with family, friends – and yourself – and feel full to the brim with gratitude, love and peace.
But…if your experience turns out to be a little less than heavenly, you might appreciate a beautiful little meditation/prayer to help you cope with the emotions of the season!
Because, as peaceful as you would love your holiday to be, it is likely that you will instead come face-to-face with The Difficult Person.
This may be your mother (who knows how to point out when you’ve put on a few pounds) or it could be your uncle (who always wants to know why a great girl like you is still single) or it could be your kids (who fight over their presents and refuse to eat the Christmas dinner you slaved over!).
For most of us, it will probably be all of the above, plus maybe your demanding boss thrown in for good measure!
To get you through the Christmas period full of the peace you really would like to feel, I recommend a beautiful Buddhist meditation/prayer that is sure to help get you back in touch with the loving serene version of you that you know is in there.
(NOTE: You don’t need to believe in a God to practice this meditation – it is simply a way of sending out love and positive energy – which is often enough to make surprisingly huge changes)
I have found this short meditation – when practised daily – has been amazing for changing my mood and helping transform the energy of my most challenging relationships. Because, of course, as difficult as we may find others around us, the only person we can change is ourselves.
And changing our own feelings towards someone else can have miraculous effects on their behaviour too.
“If you are willing to look at another person’s behaviour toward you as a reflection of the state of their relationship with themselves rather than a statement about your value as a person, then you will, over a period of time, cease to react at all.”
So if you’re feeling overcome with anger, frustration, hurt or upset over the holiday, due to someone else’s behaviour or words, find yourself a nice quiet place to sit. You may like to light a candle and/or play some soothing music.
Then take some slow deep breaths in and out for a couple of minutes. Place your hands over your heart and say this little meditation.
Loving Kindness Prayer (or Meditation)
May ____ be peaceful
May ____ be happy
May ____ be safe
May ____ awaken to the light of _____ true nature
May ____ be free
(You don’t have to stick with the exact suggestions above, if one or more of them don’t really resonate. Some alternatives would be: “May I be filled with loving kindness” and “May I be free from suffering”. Go with whatever feels right or create your own wishes.)
So the first time you say this prayer, you wish all these blessings for yourself.
So you’re slowly saying:
May I be peaceful
May I be happy
May I be safe
May I awaken to the light of my true nature
May I be free
Next time, you wish all these blessings for someone you love and are very close to (e.g. your child or your partner)
Next time round, you make your wishes for someone for whom you have neutral feelings towards (e.g. the postman, the lady who makes your coffee in the local cafe)
This is all a warm up for the humdinger: you are now ready to go through the prayer again, but this time substituting the name of The Difficult Person. Whoever it is that is currently upsetting you or driving you bananas!
It may not be easy to wish them all these wonderful things when you actually feel like you wish them the exact opposite! But stick with it. The more you say these words, the easier it will be. Until you gradually begin to feel differently – and act differently – towards this person.
It’s more than just saying the words, too. If you can really visualise the person you are speaking of receiving all these blessings you are sending – and feeling really good about it – this will add to the impact.
This meditation is not about letting them off the hook for bad behaviour – but a way to help you feel less triggered by it. And so free to enjoy your own life.
Lastly you may like to add a prayer for all of humanity. This is a wonderful way to feel a little less powerless when witnessing the horrors being experienced in parts of the world right now.
May all beings be peaceful
May all beings be happy
May all beings be safe
May all beings awaken to the light of their true nature
May all beings be free
So I wish you the very best this Christmas. May you feel loved, healthy and safe.
Do you think you will try this prayer? Would it help you know how to deal with difficult people in your life? If you do try it, please do let me know how it helped.
Thanks for reading my blog during 2015 – I appreciate you being part of this little online community.