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If you are feeling down during the holidays, periods like this holiday Thanksgiving week, it is completely understandable.  You are probably feeling some disconnection from those you love, those you have loved, or those you would like to love. The easiest of these lost connections to mention, are of course family and friends.

If you love someone, tell them — right now. Don't wait, because tomorrow never comes. All you have is this moment.

If you are upset with someone, and it has gone on for months and years, just stop that right now — and make an effort to reconnect with them. Even if this means apologizing for something you did not do. Being the bigger person and taking the high road, often means disconnecting yourself from the need to 'be right,' in the eyes of others.  As I said recently to someone I love who was having real conflict with her mother, "you don't want them to leave this world — to die — and you had a chip on your shoulder, an unresolved grudge between you. It won't hurt them, it will hurt you. Forgive them because you deserve, not because they do."

But the biggest piece of this puzzle is learning to love yourself — first. If you are feeling down and out, and feeling disconnected, know that this starts with you first. You cannot love someone else, until you love yourself first. You cannot respect, admire or care for someone else, genuinely, until you give this gift to yourself first.

If you don't learn to love yourself, and if you never become what I call, 'reasonably comfortable in your own skin,' then you can never truly live a life at peace with yourself.

Want to reconnect with others, with your family, and with the world, then start with yourself.

Charity really does start at home.

This love note to the world, and to and for those I care about, is my Thanksgiving holiday gift this week.

John Hope Bryant

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