I haven’t always loved the holidays or keep a loving holiday spirit alive. There have been years when I felt so stressed and pressured that I just didn’t enjoy myself. This was especially true when my children were younger and I felt that I had to have things just right for them. I made myself crazy thinking that the holidays were all about the presents and the shopping and forgetting that it was all about showing my love. While I usually remembered the loving intention behind everything I was doing at some point along the way, I didn’t always put that first and foremost.
That’s all changed for me now. Somewhere along the line, I remembered what it was all about and the holiday season came alive for me again. I still have my moments of stress but I manage it and keep myself focused on what’s most important: showing others how much I care and how much I love them.
It doesn’t have to be just about family and friends. I’ve always been a big believer in volunteering and giving back to show my love for others outside of my immediate circle. There’s something so heartwarming and satisfying in giving someone a boost or something unexpected, especially during the holidays.
When I was young, we went through some pretty rough, pretty lean times. One year, we were blessed by the giving of others and, at a time when my Mom didn’t know how she was going to keep our heat and hot water on, we woke up to presents under the tree. Just thinking about it brings tears to my eyes. Those were tough times for my Mom and my family but receiving those gifts from strangers had a big impact on me that I will never forget
Those strangers shared their love with us. They didn’t know us and they took the time to make sure someone else had something from their hearts. Their act of love helped our family and taught me that sharing and giving, even to strangers, had far reaching effects. When my kids were young teens, I wanted them to know that same feeling and experience giving to strangers with no expectations.
One year, we helped serve holiday meals to families who were homeless or displaced. They saw young women, not much older than them, coming into the church with babies and toddlers. They saw people of all ages standing in line to get a warm meal. It had a huge impact on them and we talked about it for quite some time afterwards. The experience had a big impact on them and they’ve grown up to be very giving, caring and loving adults.
The holidays are really all about giving and receiving in all it’s forms. When you open your heart and commit acts of love, you benefit more than just the people in front of you. The ripple effects spread throughout your community and throughout your life for years in ways you can’t even imagine. Keep your heart open this holiday season. Commit acts of love.
While you’re at it, remember to give to the most important person in your life – You! Giving to your Self by keeping yourself filled with loving spirit, your inner peace strong and your inner Self aligned, connected and alive in all you do is just as important. If you need help, email me. If you need a guided meditation, I have a couple available on my website for your enjoyment and healing. Click here to download your copy.
I was inspired to write about giving today when I watched a video put together by a friend of mine, Lanny Smith, aka The Earthman. The video, “Act of Love – A tribute to Mandela & all people who share acts of love”, is an inspiring music/visual creation by the award-winning songwriter/artist Lanny Smith and the Planet Earth Project band. The journey honors Nelson Mandela and all people who share acts of love every day. Take a look and pass it on and watch the ripples spread out into the world.
Watch and share: