Saturday, December 09, 2006

Holiday Stress is all Relative

Is it just me, or is the holiday season (Thanksgiving through New Year's) extra-stressful because we "have" to be around people we don't really care to be around? I'm not talking about just co-workers or colleagues that make fools of themselves in social situations - I'm talking mainly about relatives, immediate or distant, that we never see or hear from all year, then suddenly they think it's OK to impose their dysfunctional lives, habits, and self-proclaimed genius on everyone else, no matter how obnoxious they may be.

There are certain types of people in the general public I just won't get very close to, trust, or allow to be a part of my life whenever they want to show up:
- drug addicts, alcohol abusers, and the chemically dependent
- thieves, liars, and the chronically obnoxious
- thugs, gangstas, and the generally-criminal in nature
- child abusers, wife beaters, and deadbeat parents

For the most part, I would never deny someone the benefit of the doubt, no matter how grievous their offense may seem to me, if they were seeking advice or help. I understand what a sinful and guilty person I have been, and am grateful for God's forgiveness. When I came to God, He forgave me and accepted me in my sinful state. He didn't wait until I cleaned up to accept me into His grace. I think anyone deserves the same forgiveness, and I try not to think of myself as better than anyone else. Consequently, I have many times reached out or opened my house, and been generous with forgiveness and even help for those who maybe didn't even deserve it.

I'm just trying to sort out my thoughts here...

How am I supposed to act/react/pro-act to someone who is loud, rude, obnoxious, or otherwise unwilling to hear any opinion, thought, or ideas other than from their own self-percieved wisdom? Is it really just my issue or perception? Do I need to adjust something here? Are there those that we should intentionally shun and not allow around us AT ALL? Is "FAMILY" more important than circumstances and uncomfortable situations? Do we entertain someone because "blood is thicker than water?" Maybe - just thinking.....

Any thoughts on this matter? Does anyone else feel this way? After all, it the holidays. Who are YOU entertaining?

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