During the holiday season, a lot of people struggle with feelings of sadness and inadequacy. That’s why I’m sharing this great blog post by Hannah Brencher, whose site you can find here.
May your holidays be filled with peace and love, even amidst the sadness.
MONDAY #196: put those blinders on.
I have a friend who reminds me pretty regularly to my put my blinders on. I can see her clearly in my head right now with her two hands around her eyes like binoculars saying to me, “Put your blinders on, baby girl.”
What she is really telling me: Focus on one thing at a time. Don’t stretch yourself in a million different directions. Be present to the moment you’ve got because it’s all you’ve been promised.
It’s easy for me to fall into a slump at this time of year. It seems crazy to admit that because the holidays are my favorite time of the year. I wait all year for November and then it shows up and I don’t feel ready. Or I feel stretched too thin. Or the list is too long. Or I am just sad… for no reason other than I don’t always feel like Buddy the Elf.
All of this is completely normal. I’m writing about it today because I know I’m not the only one. I’m not the only one who needs a holiday reminder to put my blinders on, to let go of all the things that really don’t matter this time of year so I can grasp tighter to the things I was so clearly made for.
So today is really simple. I simply wanted to email to remind you a few things in the midst of a crazy December. Be well, loves.
Small gestures matter: Small things, on repeat, matter so much. The holiday season is made up of small actions. Decorating the tree. Donating blankets to a humane society. Writing cards. Lighting candles. Holiday parties. Don’t ever be discouraged by the small ways you step up to love other people. Those small things will echo in eternity. This world never changed because of massive movements that erupted in a day. Those massive movements all started small. We must be people who are invested in the small details because they hold the whole world together.
Feel all the feelings: Joy isn’t a prerequisite for this season. Trust me, I wish it was. I wish I could crank the joy volume up to full blast. But it’s okay if you aren’t feeling joyful. It’s okay if this season stirs a sense of loss in you. Feel all your feelings. Cry, dance, sing, whatever.
Be here now: I don’t know if you’ve ever seen this Apple commercial. It’s my favorite thing to watch during the holidays. Crazy? Yes, I am. But I love the simple message it sends to all of us: be here now. Be present. Engage with the people you’ve got around you.
You’ve got a 5-foot radius all around you. In that 5-foot radius is all things you steward and relationships you carry. Steward and carry them well. We’ve been given a lot but we often don’t see it because:
a) we think there should be more.
b) we think there should be better.
c) we think we would be happier having what others have.
You might be forced to put your blinders on this holiday season because you can’t help but compare yourself to everyone around you. You might not be able to muster up even a portion of joy because you keep thinking, “Their tree is better… their gifts are better… their home is better…”
Don’t waste the season scrolling through the happy holidays of everyone else. Go out into the world and live out this time of year. Don’t wait. Don’t hesitate.
It matters that you’re here: How many times have I said this? Probably too many. But I am constantly preaching it to myself.
I say this because it is easy to believe we don’t matter. But you do. You really do. Call someone you love and make their day. Love through action. Loving through action trumps the fear.
I wasted a significant amount of brain space for a very long time worrying about my place in this world. And as someone who knows it from experience, you can’t properly live in the here and now and also question your existence at the same time. The two don’t go hand in hand. Either one happens of the other happens. You pick though.
You either live or you wonder if you living even matters. I can tell you it does. I can tell you-you’re here for something. I can tell there is something you’re here to do. The work isn’t over yet so keep on living.
tying you closer than most,