Thursday, November 28, 2013

Conspiracy of Love

Blessed is the season,
which engages the whole world
in a conspiracy of love. 
~Hamilton Wright Mabie

Can you feel it—the warm fuzzy glow of good cheer building from the first turkey dinner, jingle-belled advertisement and beautifully wrapped vision of holiday bliss, and reaching a crescendo as we join our families and friends to celebrate the season?  Giddy with the holiday spirit, we’re just a little more kind and a little more forgiving as we move through the days filled with anticipation of . . .

Of what?  What are we looking forward to?  What are we expecting?  What do we really want? 

Kids seem to know with surprising clarity.  “I want an American Girl doll!” “I want a new bike!” “I want chocolate chip cookies!” “I WANT MY MOMMY!”  But how many of these wants are truly needs?  Do they even recognize the difference?  Rarely.  In watching kids flit from one toy to the next we see right through their fly-by-night passions, reaching for this and grabbing for that. 

We forget that adults are not so different, except that we use these long, detailed explanations to rationalize our dubious choices, cleverly disguising the pretenses of our decisions even from ourselves sometimes.  We reach for this and long for that then reach for something else.  Sometimes we get what we want.  And sometimes we reach for what we think we really want only to get it and later discover that it wasn’t so great after all.  Maybe things have changed since we began wanting what we want and we find that it’s no longer relevant when it arrives.  And sometimes when we don’t get what we want it makes us want it even more; an unrequited passion not so easily extinguished.  But how much of what we say we want do we truly need?

Perhaps at the root of every desire is a basic longing—to connect, to love, to be at peace; the hunt for comfort and joy.  Remember this as you move through Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, Christmas, and look for ways to connect with the root of your longing.   

Try this: 

  1. Volunteer!  Get out of yourself and give back to your community!  As Rumi says, there are a thousand ways to kneel and kiss the ground.
  1. Keep it real!  No holiday is perfect and few celebrations rarely resemble the cozy gatherings depicted in commercials and our favorite programs on television.  If your family dynamic has changed or tradition is too hard to satisfy, don’t be afraid to do things a little different each year! Get rid of the pressure!
  1. Take some time for yourself!  Give the gift of your presence.  You can’t be there for others in any real way if you’re not there for yourself so slow down, take a nap, read a book, get a massage, and take some time to reflect on where you’ve been, where you’re going and what you’re thankful for.
  1. Remember what’s important.  It’s easy to lose sight of why we’re doing what we’re doing when we’re so busy baking and buying and wrapping and coming and going.  Take some time to connect with the real reason for the season.

Succumb to the conspiracy of love and you just might find that what you’re looking for has been with you all along.

P.S.  Thanks for sharing the quote Mom!