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these things i know to be true.

December 19, 2011

it’s the most wonderful time of the year.  lights are glittering, cookies are baking, carols are being sung, trees are being decorated.  anticipation hangs thick in the air, particularly if young children are a part of your life.

somehow, the holidays always trigger a period of self-reflection for me, a time for assessing how i’ve lived my life during the past year and whether or not i’ve been the person i really want to be.  i carry a jagged little shard of melancholy in my soul, and while i deny it the opportunity to dominate my life and cloud my positive thinking, it feels prudent at times to allow the questions and clarify the thoughts that lurk in dark little corners.  as a reward i am always given bits of insight and inspiration that carry me leaps and bounds in exciting new directions.

these are the thoughts that have been tumbling around in my mind lately, hoping to become polished and gleaming like precious stones:

• words have power •

my words have strong power, the power to lift up others and make them buoyant as well as the power to slice and wound as easily as a razor-sharp knife.  it is up to me to choose my words carefully and to deliver them with integrity.  having the last word does not determine a winner.  as christmas approaches i know people who have let words come between them and do not know how to close the gap that widens with each passing day, causing pain and sadness for both.  may i strive to be mindful of how i wield my words, and in the event that i slip and cause another pain that i remember two very important words:  i’m sorry.

• everyone has a story •

it is so easy to see things from my own perspective and become annoyed or agitated by the words or actions of another.  one of the four agreements by don miguel ruiz is not to take things personally.  it has taught me to carefully consider other perspectives when i feel reactive.  the speeding driver who passes me on my way to work may be a jerk, but he may also be late to work at a job that he might lose because he had sick kids at home and couldn’t find someone to watch them.  most of the time i will not know the stories of the people i come in contact with throughout my day, but if they are offered i hope that i will have the compassion to listen.  it is an incredible act of generosity and kindness to hear the stories of others.  we all want to be heard.

• love and loss go together •

it is an unfortunate truth that in the act of loving someone or something we are setting in motion a chain of events that ultimately leads to loss.  i was reminded of this yet again when sassysister1 had to take her 17 year old cat to the vet to be put down on friday.  this cat, which she adopted as a kitten while in college, finally indicated that her time had come.  when i saw the four pounds that remained of her teetering unevenly across the kitchen floor last weekend i was overcome with sadness but also with respect–  respect for love that goes the distance, that doesn’t quit, and that offers care and support to the very end.  it’s a big job to love, and an even bigger job to let go.  but living without loving just isn’t an option.

• first we fill, then we empty •

this is an idea that i got from pixie campbell in her online soulodge class.  all of us carry each other in different ways, especially emotionally.  we can not continue to fill ourselves with thoughts and cares of others without periodically releasing those burdens.  self-care is of utmost importance in order to keep being of service to others, and i need to remember that.  being able to identify and meet needs is not selfish, it’s exactly the opposite.  take care of self to take care of others.

• shine your light •

everyone has something special to share with the world.  everyone.  yet so often fear, doubt, insecurity, perfectionism, or shortsightedness have stopped me from sharing my passion with others, effectively extinguishing my light and leaving me in the dark.  i have been learning about this and finding ways to break this cycle, ways to let my light shine and welcome the light of others.  we are social beings, in need of community.  if we all shine our light, we create a brighter world for ourselves and others.  shiny bright makes me happy.

as i have thought about these things i have recognized some traits and attributes that do not serve me well, and i am ready to cast these into the fire and not invite them into 2012.  this thursday is the winter solstice, and my family will be participating in pixie campbell’s mother of all releasings ceremony.  you can find out about it here and here.  we plan to celebrate by creating bundles, enjoying a hearty meal, and gathering around the fire pit to cast away that which no longer serves us and to welcome back the light.  i invite you to join us–  physically if you are nearby, and in spirit if far away.   it’s a season of renewal–  the most wonderful time of the year!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. December 19, 2011 4:39 am

    AWESOME post!

    • December 19, 2011 4:39 am

      Oops. That’s me.

    • sassysistersink permalink*
      December 19, 2011 4:45 am

      hi jillian!
      i have learned so much about these things from you.
      thank you for your big heart.

  2. December 19, 2011 2:04 pm

    oh, amen, AMEN, to EVERYTHING you said, especially about the jagged little shard of
    melancholy inside of you: i carry one, too, and although i long to be rid of it, somehow it
    reminds me that i see things others do not see, and it is what makes me ME. [if that makes

    condolences to sassysister1….

    and happy christmas to all….even your animals….!


    • sassysistersink permalink*
      December 19, 2011 2:38 pm

      exactly. you get it.
      thank you.

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