These days I feel a bit crazy.
With Christmas on the horizon I have such mixed emotions. For as I anticipate Christmas and the beautiful celebration with family, I am also approaching it with a heavy heart.
I just was talking with one of my sisters and I jokingly said, "so you have everything together?" She paused and then shared how heavy her heart is. She went to a wake last night for a friend whose husband lost his battle to glioblastoma (a cancerous brain tumor). The family not only lost their loved one, but they now carry an unfortunate financial burden because of the husband's treatments the past nine months.
This is one of many stories that have come my way, this past week alone. I shared with my sister that I have been heavy hearted as well with all the people going through tough times. From illness and struggling in relationships to homelessness and people being persecuted for their beliefs, the struggles out there are many, and they are real. This time of year can feel more like a lead weight on people's hearts rather than "the most wonderful time of the year."
And in spite of all the realness of life around me, and the real issues people are going through, I have these irrational struggles too that I am wrapped up in. "First world problems" I guess you can call them. Things like, I forgot to give gifts to this teacher and that person. I did not doing anything special for my friends. I didn't order enough Christmas cards and have a number of addressed envelopes with no card in them sitting in my kitchen. I have a crazy mind saying I got my kids enough presents. Then in the next thought I take a 180 thinking I didn't get my kids enough; and then couple those thoughts with playing their disappointed reactions in my head on repeat.
My mind is swirling between what matters and what doesn't.
Maybe you can relate.
I am finding it is more important than ever right now to focus on what matters. I know I need to...
Pause. Breathe. Pray.
And I need to do it often to remind myself that even though there will is darkness...
The presence of light extinguishes darkness.
So in place of my swirling thoughts I am going to do my best to anchor my thoughts instead by:
- Remembering the light of love that came into the world on Christmas day to give us hope in dark times.
- Letting go of the insignificant, and distracting, chatter in my mind that is drawing me away from being a light of love.
- Doing what I can, when I can and know that is enough.
- Focusing on what really matters (aka people over things).
- Being a light to others during their dark times by living out love through my words and actions.
- Praying for people who are struggling, physically, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually, that the light of love flow their way and they are able to receive it.
- Praying each person can cast away thoughts that dim their light so that they can shine brightly and flow the light of love onto others.
My Christmas wish is to not let darkness overcome me, but to be the light that will help extinguish it. For me, that is what will make this a merry Christmas.
And I hope the same for you.
PS If you are interested in helping the family I mentioned above, here is the link to their gofundme page at https://www.gofundme.com/jaybrothers . Thank you for considering helping this family in their time of need.