The Door May Not Be Open Anymore

No matter if you’re Christian or not, during December, many people all over the globe go through a wave of Christmas spirit and send lovely messages to each other.

Somehow, to some people, there is a need to melt heart’s pains, forgive and forget past resentments.  For a few days, everyone unites in ‘good spirits’ and love for humanity. There a few though who won’t be touched by the ‘infectious Christmas’ goodness’. They will continue going about life nurturing problems, disappointments, and misunderstandings and refusing to listen to those who are the subject of these.

Christmas’ day is over, but not yet the messages’ exchange as the start of the new year will trigger another message spree. And every year I join the craze and make my own cards using my own photos.

I could do that any time of the year though. Anyone could. To ponder about the way we conduct life and how we related to others, loved ones or strangers, could be a daily practise. Forgiving and sending a little love around is always a good thought. Why then wait a whole year?

There is another habit that makes me uncomfortable, and that is gift giving. This year I decided to stop it all together. Then I started feeling uncomfortable about my decision, one week before Christmas. Finally, I surrendered to my unconscious need to give gifts to my family and ended up rushing to shop on the busiest days of the year. How clever!

Cards and gifts sent and done? Checked!  Now what?

What has really changed after that besides acquiring an extra kilo or so after many dinners?  What is really bothering me?

It is not the cards, and perhaps not even the gifts. We were together as a family and enjoyed each other’s company. Not many words are needed to express that despite all clichés inherent to the holiday season, it feels good to know that we love each other and also to be together.

Now let me get back to those who seem to be immune to the ‘heartwarming holiday spirit’ and who keep committed to hating, despising, being indifferent and unforgiving to others.

I know three young adults, who are in this situation. Two boys are sons of a friend, and a girl is a daughter of a relative of mine.

Just as in any conflict situation, there are always two sides, emotionally charged with misperceptions, misjudgments and an incredible pride closing ears, eyes and hearts that impede listening, understanding, and forgiveness. There is also a possibility to accept that you may not always be right as you thought, just because perception is not reality and you can only find this out when you listen to each other’s intentions.

I am sad for them and for their parents, and that makes me suffer too.

When only one side is willing to have a dialogue and often meets refusal, that usually ends up as a two-way process, where both sides resent and are angry at each other. Anger will be compounded by fear and pride, resulting in an emotional overwhelm which will affect the ability to think and act rationally.

Unfortunately, I can only say that everyone is losing this battle. Parents and youngsters. There will be a time when the door to each other’s hearts will close. The distance will be abysmal, and the willingness to accept and forgive will vanish.

I hope that these kids don’t change their minds when it is perhaps too late. There isn’t worse feeling than the impossibility to repair or redo an action when someone is not among us any longer. I wish for them to not wait until this door is not open anymore.

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Sharing sights & insights captured with diverse angles. Ex-corporate, now my own boss. Cycling, hiking, cooking, reading, yoga, writing and photography, are no longer only hobbies listed on my resume. It's what I do when I want.

32 thoughts on “The Door May Not Be Open Anymore

  1. I am sad for them too…and yet, reading this, I realize I need to do a gut check myself, not with immediate family (currently) but with others who I do carry a grudge…two having to do with money I they owe me, compounded by poor communication skills on their part. Thank you for this thoughtful post (and gentle nudge) DM


    1. Thank you for reading. I’m glad that sharing my experiences may help others to reflect as much as I do. Every situation is different and there is no toolkit, no one-size fits all solution, but we learn from each other’s wisdom as much as from the mistakes.
      Thanks for the support and good luck!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It takes a lot for me to close a door like you describe but I have had to choose that stance a few times in my life…mostly for my personal safety.

    What I realized about that stance while reading your post is it then becomes a story with only one side…and sometimes, I think that is simply the sacrifice we have to make…no matter how sad or lonely it is…

    Very thought provoking. Thanks and Happy New Year?


    1. Every person has a different experience and for that there is not a standard solution for our struggles.
      Sometimes it’s not possible to open some doors anymore, when trust and respect is gone and all boundaries have been crossed.

      It’s our choice, always, to decide when enough is enough and move on.

      Happy New Year to you too!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The site is acting weird so I don’t know if this comment will show.

    First, in support of dispensing with cards and gifts . . . for the past few years, we’ve dispensed with sending cards to anyone younger than about 80 (our parents and a few aunts). Also, as far as gifts exchanging, I urge people to donate to a charity instead of buying me a gift. If they insist on a gift, bake something I like or send me small quantities of foods I like.

    To a few people, we send money for that’s what they need most (as opposed to some electronic gadget). To a few other people, we send local food goods. The rest just get e-mail wishes.

    And, you are right . . . one has to counter years of ingrained habit and the (false) feeling that somehow you’re being a Scrooge. The thing is, Christmas has become more of a commercial holiday than a spiritual one.

    Finally, the closed hearts and minds you describe can be the summary for where most of the people in the US (and pretty much, people in any country one can think of) stand with regards to a number of issues. The sad part is that so many are willing to ride those attitudes to a bitter end rather than channel their energies into making a positive and lasting change that benefits everyone. Such is the fate of man.


    1. The comment made it here and I would t want to miss it for anything.

      What you do to replace Christmas gifts is much more meaningful and useful. I will do it next year. Thanks.
      Christmas is truly commercial and I regret for having surrendered to the gift thing.

      Unfortunately, closed hearts and minds are everywhere. And have always been. Sad but true.
      Thanks for an insightful comment.
      My very best wishes to you for 2018.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I wish it too, Lucile. I wasn’t sure where you were going with this post and whether it was maybe a reflection on the international situation. Better something nearer to home. Who knows- hopefully they’ll read this. Meantime, full of the joys of whatever, I wish you an abundance of good health and happiness in 2018. 🙂 🙂


    1. That is a heartbreak situation, Jo, but I hope that these kids get back to their senses. They don’t read my blog, though! 😞Thanks for the new year’s wishes, dearest Jo. That’s what matters. If we’re healthy and happy, the rest is a consequence.
      I wish you and your loved ones the same in double and many more adventures and travels.
      Love from near by you (en route to Heathrow to catch a connection flight)

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Thought provoking, Lucile. In our family we have decided to send cards to elderly people who do not have a computer, and I send to my old friends who used to work in a post office – cannot NOT send cards to them, can I? The rest get e-mails or sms/mms.
    I agree we really could send our love into the world more than once a year – and should. I feel very sorry for your friends and relatives with those youngsters. But somewhere along the road, I feel they must have lost that real contact. Maybe long ago. If you have a loving and mutual listening/understanding relationship with your children – this should not go that much wrong? Being a parent is difficult – but so is being young. I hope for them not to close that door, and I wish you and yours that happy and healthy new year we all need. ♥


    1. I loved the idea of sending cards to your friends who worked in a post office. How thoughtful and heartwarming.
      I only send virtual cards nowadays, as my circle of elderly people are all using email or WhatsApp. How nice!
      I enjoyed reading your perspective about this situation. I’m just a step parent which is not the same experience. I keep strictly inside my boundaries to not intervene in family’s matters.
      But when my friends who are parents talk about these situations, they sort of agree that this is teenager’s behavior, but I have difficulties to accept that because I have never treated my parents like that, even when they were wrong. Maybe it’s a generational thing.
      I keep hoping for the best but it breaks my heart to see them suffering.


      1. I never treated my parents like that either- and our children never treated us badly in their teens. We had a constant dialogue and trusted each other .


  6. The holidays always seem like a great time to reflect and I know, try as I might, I don’t always have the joy of Christmas in my heart all year long. With violent world events, crazy weather and the rampant expectations for materialism, it is easy to become cynical and stay that way! I like your metaphor of the open door and may it stay that was to allow us to feel the joy and giving spirit of the holidays. Wishing you and your family a fab 2018, Lucile!


  7. First…great, great shot. And yeah, two sides to everything. And some people will never learn till it’s too late. Perhaps some maturing will help, perhaps not. All we can really do is keep putting one foot in front of the other.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wise man! And thanks for the compliment.
      Sorry for the very late reply. I have been absent from blogging for almost two months. I’m no tennis player but hit a tennis elbow issue. Hope all is well with you.


  8. Agree with Mr Badfish on every count. And I will keep these kids in my prayers, along with my prayers for the world that we can all open our hearts and learn to love. I also hear you on the gift giving part. One option is to give to a charity of your choice (or their choice) – something everyone can feel good about. Better than stuff!


  9. Thank you for your thoughtful reflections on the Christmas holiday. You raise some great questions here: why not spend a bit of time each day thinking back on how we interacted with others–not to make ourselves feel guilty but to try to do better the next day. I am always a little resentful of the extra burdens that Christmas puts on me, but, oh, how glad I am later that we were “forced” to get together with our families and extended families. I know what you mean about not liking the gift part, but I also sympathize with your buying gifts at the last moment.

    As the parent of several adult children, I appreciate your wise advice. Listen, I tell myself: don’t preach at them all the time. Both sides need to listen, as you say.


      1. I enjoyed seeing your lovely pictures from Brazil on Instagram, Lucile. I talked to a young woman from São Paulo when I was in line for a ride at Universal Studios in Florida, and I thought about you—although I know you’re not from São Paulo. Still, there was the Brazil connection!


        1. I have been absent here, Sandi, and I am glad we can ‘see’ each other on Instagram. How interesting that you talked to a Brazilian from Sao Paulo! I have lived 10 years there and that is where I did my post-grad studies and had my first job. I am happy to hear that you thought of me, thanks!

          Liked by 1 person

          1. And now I have been once again taking a hiatus from the blogging world . . . But, yes, it is nice that we can keep up on Instagram, Lucile! My daughter’s recent marriage had been taking up all my spare time (though of course one could not complain).


            1. You and I are back and forth to blogging, and that’s ok, isn’t it? I’m also happy that we can connect there. I loved to follow the wedding preparations and to see the photos of the D day! Wonderful to see you all so happy and beautiful!

              Liked by 1 person

              1. Thanks, Lucile! Who knows? Maybe this COVID-19 quarantine will send me back to blogging? Or not. I seem to be the only person I know who is getting less done during this time. We are getting outside more, of course, and that is good. But I am probably doing more oversight of my son. I hope that you and your family are well: are you in the Netherlands now? Or Brazil?


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