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The Double-Edged Sword of Christmas

mens coach mens program self reliant way Dec 23, 2023
Benny Wills

Read time: 3 1/2 minutes

Here it comes
And there it goes
Every moment drifts away
Here and gone
And on and on
For forever and a day
The not-so-distant future becomes the distant past
People come from nowhere and exit just as fast
Life is swift yet feels eternal
Sans a script or dress rehearsal
A ticking-tocking paradox
And a quest for the best outside the box
Hug and hold and tell a friend
You’re so happy that you have them
Because all things end
All beginnings fade to gray
Yet life goes on
And on and on
For forever and a day


It's that time of year. Again. For me, it's Christmas number 41.

This time of year always evokes an array of emotions. In certain moments, I'm happy and joyful, and in others, I'm sad and pouty. (Don't tell Santa.)

At the end of the year, you look back at the 12 months gone by and forward to the 12 ahead.

I struggle at times with nostalgia and sentimentality. That's one of the reasons why I've become so goal-driven. The more I direct my thoughts towards where I'm going, the less time I spend dwelling on the past. On times gone by. Friends I'll never see again. Childhood. And now, my 20's and 30's.

You can't spend your life looking in the rearview mirror. If you do, you'll crash.

I shake off the December blues more easily than I used to. Having a family and the massive responsibility that comes with it helps. But Christmas time, cold weather, and short days can amplify my angst.

The impermanence of life gets the better of me sometimes. It can even bring me to tears. Every year seems shorter than the last.

And then...

I see the excitement in my three-year-old's eyes, anticipating Christmas morning. My one-year-old year old trying his best to speak. The cooing sounds of my sleeping newborn. And I'm content. Motivated. Determined.

It's well established now that I work with (coach) people for a living. So many people struggle with loneliness.

And I feel it. Deeply.

Empathy is one of my superpowers. But at times, it's also my kryptonite. A blessing and a curse. I empathize to an extreme degree. I feel what others feel. Especially when I'm working with them.

In this digital age, we're more connected than ever. Ironically, though, we're lacking connection.

We text instead of talk. We experience each other through typed words rather than through spoken ones. In public, we often turn to our phones for no other reason than to avoid real interaction.

Miscommunication is at an all-time high. And what is miscommunication if not missed communication?

Is it any wonder why we are more divided than ever?

All my life, I've taken on people's pain as if it were my own. As a kid, I was teased for being "too sensitive." As I matured, I learned to harness it as a gift. Now, as an adult, I'm better at compartmentalizing, but it can still be overwhelming.

It's also why I'm good at what I do.

Sometimes I jokingly refer to myself as a conspiracy therapist. But it's true. And I'm passionate about it. I have experienced so many brilliant, talented, and authentic people who are suffering their way through lonely and unfulfilled lives.

Because they "know too much."

I want them to see themselves as clearly as I see them. I want them to understand that their lives have meaning. They are valuable additions to the human race. They have a masterpiece inside of them. Several masterpieces! Untapped services they could render. Ways they, and only they, can help people. If only they could see it. Realize it. Step into it. Unleash it.

My life should be unique; it should be an alms, a battle, a conquest, a medicine. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

I digress.

It's easy to get down at Christmas time. To feel defeated, downtrodden, and worthless. All alone in a mad, mad world.

Please, if you take nothing else away from this newsletter, hear this:


There are wins between the milestones that we tend to overlook. As my dear friend, Liam, said right before he died:

Conversations shared late at night, or in the quiet moment in an afternoon walk, or in bustling transit to and from “important events” – those are the moments. This is the marrow of living. The space between what’s advertised.

I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Whomever you are, wherever you are.

If you need someone to talk to, don't hesitate to book a call with me. I have spots available in the Self Reliant Way. It would be an honor to assist you on your journey.

Women, this includes you. I will be expanding the scope of SRW in New Year. Details forthcoming.

Kick off 2024 on the right foot. So this time next year, you can feel accomplished, even if a little bluesy.

Remember, it's all just the ebb and flow of life. No one can feel amazing all the time.

The highs are only made sweeter by the lows. 

Count your blessings this Christmas. Raise your standards for the New Year. 

Your life is your life.

Know it while you have it.

Until next time.

Much love to all, and to all a good night.


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