Over the years the Christmas season has grown more and more difficult for me. My mother died Christmas of 1995. In the years that followed, losses mounted. My 20+ years of marriage ended in divorce. My children grew into strong, confident men with busy lives, but the pride, happiness and love I felt for them didn’t muffle the echo of silence that lingered in my empty home where children’s laughter once dwelled. My design business collapsed in December 2008; but the ultimate loss broke my heart when Daddy passed away shortly before Christmas 2009. And 2010 seared more loss into my heart. But throughout those years, silent embers softly glowed deep within me.
Christmas conjures wonderful memories for most people; visions of magic, sleds gliding through sparkling snow, glittering lights, love, and children sitting in their mother’s lap as they struggle to stay awake to catch a glimpse of Santa. But for many, those visions have faded over years of abuse, loss and pain; and Christmas serves as a reminder of what they’ve lost. I have friends, who’ve recently lost careers, their homes, loved ones and so much more, yet they persevere.
A good friend of mine sent me an email recently with a beautiful metaphor. He said, I remember watching some birds one day on a windy beach in Malibu. They floated in the wind, darting in and out––yet staying in one place. Those birds made no progress until a they focused in on a target. Then they soared, slicing into the breeze and the fierce current that once proved a headwind thrust them forward towards their destination.
Wallowing in the past is like walking on a treadmill, or waving like a flag flopping in the wind; I merely show direction and keep walking, yet never reach my goals or destiny. But a bird doesn’t dwell in the past. It cuts through wind and remains on course, ever pushing towards its destination. I hope you all take flight and soar towards your dreams. And, as you do, think of those who struggle in the wake of their turbulent lives; perhaps you can pay-it-forward and spark someone’s fading flame?
Last week, I did some volunteer work at Wellspring. The stories I heard of the abuse, human trafficking and loss that the children and young women who now reside at the homes have encountered, tugged deeply on my heart––but their strength inspired me; and working in that little shop reminded me how very blessed my life has always been despite the trauma and loss. And so my Christmas wish for every one of you is two fold. May you cherish the wonders in your life, and never give up on your dreams! I hope the Yolanda Adams’ song above, Never Give Up, will spark the embers in your spirit, and that the radiance of your own flame will warm the hearts around you.
Don’t be tossed in the wind and never give up on you––for your own sake, but even more importantly, for the sake of all those who you may one day touch. I believe we all have a divine destiny, and like Jimmy Stewart in It’s A Wonderful Life, you’ll never know how many lives you affect throughout the years, just trust that you do. Today and this Christmas of 2011, my best wishes and love go out to all of those amazing young girls and women at Wellspring. This is your chance to let go and truly make a difference in the world. Your strength is more powerful than you can see at times––but its there, holding stedfast. Believe in yourself, go for the gold and never give up!!
Christmas Blessings to all,