Yesterday was a very good day. Perhaps the best Christmas I've ever had. We've been talking here about leaving the past behind, staying in the present moment, not arguing with reality, not judging or comparing, allowing..........things I've learned a lot about with my daughter. Yesterday opened a new door for me which I couldn't have been able to walk through without having been practicing those ideas. My daughter usually brings her friend with her to our family get-togethers. Last time, on her birthday, my husband and he played guitar together. husband told me this young man was so down and out he had broken guitar strings which he had managed to repair rather then buy new ones which obviously he couldn't afford. Turns out he is a musician and a very, very good guitar player, husband loved playing with him. So for Christmas, husband bought him a couple of sets of new guitar strings. This young mans reaction just brought tears to my eyes, when he received the gift, his eyes welled up and he said, "thank you so much, you couldn't have given me a better gift." He got really choked up. It was obvious he has not been given to, at least recently. He looks like he has had a hard time of it. I just wanted to put my arms around this person and give him a bunch of love. He retreated to another room to put the strings on and somehow got all the strings mixed up and was frustrated. His lack of self esteem is so obvious, he was trying for an hour to put these strings on. My daughter went in and sat with him and with a voice filled with care said, "ok, lets figure this out, we can do this." The guy said, "I've messed everything up", he sounded close to tears. husband and I were in the next room and we could hear them. Everyone else was engaged in talking so no one else was aware. My daughter sat on the floor and for about an hour helped him to get it all worked out. She was patient, compassionate and helped in a way that did not diminish him but empowered him. He got his guitar together and played. He can play like an angel. While we were talking later on, my daughter told us that she has gotten many of her friends to go to my acupuncturist. She has helped her friends get jobs, get help, get services, she has become a "helper" to the people I might consider to be folks living on the fringes........the forgotten ones many can't see. It's a part of my daughter I had not seen before. The compassion and presence she showed the man about his guitar strings is such a vivid picture for me, my husband was as impressed as I was with her ability to show up for him and offer such kindness. I can look back and see how my angers and judgements, my own resentments and hurts, although justified, prevented me from seeing the whole picture of my daughter. And, I had to look at my own judgements about people who look a certain way, or live a certain way.........realizing that underneath those perceptions I had, are people with stories, people who are down and out for whatever reason, people with talents and fears, hurts and feelings, like me. My daughter doesn't have that judgement. When I look back in time, I realize she never did, she is able to walk in these circles comfortably offering help without judgement or attachment. This is not an either or thing, she has made monumental mistakes with her own family, with me, she's hurt others, but that is not ALL she is, there are other components of her that I am only beginning to see and understand. And, I am able to do that because of letting go, allowing, not judging, not comparing, and staying here in the present moment. It has been an interesting experience. It's opened up whole new vistas for me, in many different ways. I practice every day on staying present, on letting go of the past and not slipping in to future thinking, on really, letting go, letting go of a lot of 'stuff,' stuff which just takes place in my own mind, my constant barrage of thoughts about right and wrong, good and bad, geez, it's tiring to have all those judgements about life all the time...........staying in the moment somehow releases me from all of that stuff and frees me to just be here.........being present in the moment where I can witness the beauty of right now........like last night with my daughter and her friend...........husband and I are still talking about my daughter's calm and caring responses to her friend and to the others in her life.........in her own way, she is being a support to those in her direct sphere. For the first time, I feel proud of her. I am so happy to feel that. Three years ago, right after Christmas, I joined this board on a very dark and tumultuous time in my life.......something I see on this board frequently, parents showing up in the midst of the worst nightmare of their lives, watching their kids go off the rails in one way or another and being on the sidelines helpless to prevent it. With a whole lot of support and a whole lot of change, my life has improved in every possible way by practicing detachment, by letting go of what I can't control and by accepting life as it is rather than how I want it to be........it has been the most devastating experience and conversely the most enlightening. I am forever grateful for this forum, for those in my life who love me and for my ability as a human being to grow and change. This Christmas, I got the most valuable gift, I got to love my daughter unconditionally. What an amazing gift for me.