One of my favorite things about the holidays is all the lights in the neighbor. As December 25th approaches, more and more lights appear: icicles, strings, lighted deer scattered on front yards. Lights seem to be an important thing for almost everyone–some neighborhoods compete with each other; some TV shows give prizes; they even make Christmas movies about lights!
What is it about all those lights that we find so compelling? I have a guess. We all yearn for the light and as the winter closes in and the days get shorter, we are consciously or unconsciously trying to put more light into the world. Quite literally, we want to light the darkness. I love this idea! I love the shared activity of lighting the world.
I wonder if we could use the holiday lights as a reminder to ourselves to keep our own lights burning brightly? Like a lantern with shutters, our light shines, but sometimes the glass panes get sooty and dusty and need some cleaning. It is so easy to be drawn out into the world–to place the focus of our attention on others. It’s not a bad thing to do–it just seems like a healthy balance of self-care and self-love might give us more energy and more peace. If we take the time to clean our sooty panes, rest and rejuvenate in quiet solitude, we may find that we have much more to give.
What would it be like to take a ten-minute break for yourself, during the bustle of the season? It doesn’t have to be an hour at the spa to be useful (though an hour at the spa, sounds pretty great right now!). Ten quiet minutes of full, deep breaths can restore and refresh physically, mentally and spiritually. Surely, we can find those ten, precious minutes.
I am grateful for the lights that twinkle in my neighborhood on these early winter evenings. I am grateful for the care and love my neighbors show with their work. But, I think I really love the light that shines in my loved ones eyes as we spend quiet time together.
Joy to the world begins in the light of those eyes!
We would love to hear from you in the comments section below! Don’t be shy about starting a conversation here. Share your light with us!
Dr. Laurel Ross