Holiday Grounding 4.0: Love is Near
Breathe, O breathe Thy loving Spirit, Into every troubled breast!
Let us all in Thee inherit; Let us find that promised rest.
-Charles Wesley, Love Divine.
We’re closing in on Christmas. Whether you celebrate the holidays or not, I imagine you will agree with me here: anticipation is in the air. This anticipation is not just for the gifts and festivities of the season’s climax; this anticipation is for a new year, a fresh start. 2016 has been quite an interesting one to say the least. Whatever your experience is, I want to applaud you for showing up and staying courageous and committed to the process. It’s that feeling of finishing a long book (preferably a hard copy), placing it ever so gingerly on the book shelf next to the host of other old companions you’ve learned from, and then standing back with a deep sigh of prideful relief as you admire your handiwork.
I feel the same surge of prideful relief as I round the corner and lock into that last stretch of a year lived fully. It’s almost like adrenaline kicks in and my feet seem to carry themselves over the finish line: the hard work’s been done and now what’s left is Christmas shopping. (Nope, still haven’t finished.)
We’ve been on a journey of Holiday Grounding this month. I know I’ve needed it, just like I need lots of reminders. With that said, I want to quickly point out those high level road posts—where we’ve been and where we’re going. More importantly, I’d then like to talk about movies and the Beatles. Here goes…
Comparison steals not only joy, but opportunity, creativity, and focus. “Winners focus on winning, losers focus on winners.” Remember that quote? I don’t know who said it, but they nailed it. The next time you find yourself comparing yourself to someone else this week, get grounded in gratitude. Pull out the old gratitude journal and immediately jot down a couple things you are thankful for. Game changer. Let go of that scarcity mindset and lean into this phrase: “I am more than enough, right this minute.”
Advent creates space
Advent is traditionally recognized as a religious observance, but I believe it’s a pathway of hope and anticipation for anyone who longs to create space for new, powerful gifts and opportunities. What are those unique dreams and desires you long to see become reality in 2017? Create space today for them by letting go of old stuffy attachments that no longer serve you then write down a better fit for the season you’re in. Give it a word, one word, and cling to it; let it feed your soul.
Generosity releases fear
It’s true. As we give out of our need, we align with the truth of something bigger and more powerful than fear: love. I’m not saying we ditch our boundaries and overlook needs; far from it. I’m saying acknowledge the feeling attached to whatever it is you need, risk uncertainty, and knowing that God is good and the universe is working in our favor, create that feeling in your life by paying it forward for someone around you in need. I’ve come to believe human frailty and suffering is one of the most elemental, binding forces. Generosity opens up so much connection.
All you need is Love? Really?
I love the movie Love Actually. It’s my favorite modern Christmas classic. I love it for so many reasons, namely the dry British humor (I’m a frustrated Anglophile at heart), rockstar cast (Hugh Grant, Emma Thompson, and Collin Firth, anyone?), and the collection of messy, real life stories all strewn together throughout the film. It’s a little raunchy, a little sad, quite comical, and very clumsy all at once. I watched this the other night with my sister, Lauren over a trough full of Pad Thai for probably the 27th time. It never gets old.
Lennon & McCartney
Why is this? Beyond obvious reasons aforementioned, my hunch is it tells a story of Love, perfectly imperfect, just like you and me. In the recesses of each storyline, we see a common thread, a choice, albeit rickety and awkward at times, to open up to a love that feels uncertain, risky. I think Lennon and McCartney had it all wrong. Sure, All you Need is Love is a masterful, catchy tune…one of my favorites, however, if love is indeed all around us, and we choose not to see it, embrace it, and lean into it, we might as well just Let it be and take that Long and Winding Road back home— we’re going Nowhere Man. (See what I did there?)
We’ve been on a journey this year and it’s all coming to a head in the next several days. One of my most valuable gifts of 2016 has been sharing a bit more of that journey with you through this blog. I swear most weeks I’m writing because I need to hear every word of what I’m saying. Taking our own advice is often the hardest thing to do.
Today, as you wrap up any preparations, cooking, and shopping, please join me as I get still and choose Love. Love is right where we are, deep inside our hearts, and no one can take that away. It might get messy and it might get lonely- that’s okay. The choice is still ours to make.
We have amazing things ahead on this journey. For now, I pray the season’s beauty overtakes you: the lights, the laughter, the complexity, all of it. I pray you will find peace in the fact that you’re not alone, ever. Lean into love, friend, it’s there, waiting for you, and it will not disappoint. Have a very Merry Christmas!
Love & Gratitude,