My stepdaughter recently took a job at a time share resort that overlooks the Pacific Ocean. The place is absolutely breathtaking and, needless to say, very expensive. Almost every day she comes home with a story about how someone berated her, yelled at her, insulted her -- all because they didn't get the ocean view room they wanted, the cleaning crew didn't get to their villa quickly enough, the guest had forgotten their keys, etc. Not once has she been yelled at for something that she actually had a hand in doing or not doing. At first these dressing downs really shook her up. Never in her life had she experienced people treating her in this manner, and she was taking it personally day after day. She hated her job and wanted to quit. It's amazing that so much ugliness can happen in one of the most beautiful places in the country.
Somehow she has learned to not take it personally anymore. She realizes that the people are just angry about not getting their way and not angry with her as a human being. Her experiences seem particularly important when the holidays are upon us. How many times have we, ourselves, gone into stores that are overcrowded, understaffed, and understocked and found ourselves snapping at the first person we see? The overworked check-out person or the shelf stocker becomes the target of our rage.
This holiday season, we need to step back, take a deep breath and realize that the person we are about to unleash our fury on probably has nothing to do with what we are really upset about. We need to remember that during the holidays, everyone's stress level rises and we aren't suffering alone. As wonderful as this time of the year is, getting from point A to point B is often not wonderful at all. So breathe deeply, smile even when you don't feel like it, and let the real meaning of the season into your heart. Everyone will benefit from this -- your family, the people you come into contact with on your errands, your co-workers and, most importantly, you!