I love to run outside. There is something therapeutic and detoxifying about running with nature all around you. With music pumping in my ears and the wind in my face, a cacophony of melodies one can’t find on a treadmill is suddenly formed all around me.
The other day I was running, and when I do run I let my mind open up freely to explore all kinds of thoughts and feelings. One thing that kept popping up in my brain was all the cracks and crevices I run beside on the streets. It made me think of how we, as in our inner self, are cracked in just the same way as that pavement. Pressures of life often break through our concrete wall of self-assurance and positivity. We are all imperfect people striving to lead a perfect life, and along the way we acquire some pretty big potholes to show for it. But there is beauty in those imperfections too. They are learning curves, they are life experiences, they are tears of pain and joy. But most of all they are the things that make us who we are today, right now.
Self-Reflection is one of the healthiest things we can do for ourselves because it permits us to look at those “cracks” we have made over time, see the good, the bad, and the ugly with them, then try and heal from it. Whatever you see when you look in the mirror, whatever “cracks” you have staring back at you, know that those are teachable moments in life. They might be mistakes made or things that happen to us which are out of our control. But remember that Love and Hope are greater powers than Negativity and Self-Destruction. Know that something higher out there is holding you up (for me that is Jesus), helping you along the way through this crazy thing we call “Life.”
(Photo by Becca Lavin on Unsplash)
So the next time you see a large crack in the pavement, recognize what it took to get there. And relish in the fact that, even though the crack exist, the Foundation is still standing strong and holding up to the environment around it.
Until next time,
Driving home tonight on a December evening, the night is so clear and beautiful, I notice the stars above. Looking quickly through my windshield, since the road I am driving is a two-lane highway, it makes me remember days I stood outside at night with my dad and surveyed the different constellations in the sky. My father loved the stars and when we stood outside at night to let the dogs outside for one last potty break he would tell me different names for each one in the sky. Now when I look at the sky I always think of him. I know the Big Dipper is part of Orion’s belt and where to find Venus on a clear evening. I didn’t know the stars like he did, and in actuality, he probably didn’t know that many. But he was my dad and he knew the world. It didn’t matter if what my dad told me was wrong because he was there with me sharing something new and wonderful about my environment.
December is a wonderful time of the year. Everyone seems to be hopped up on the holiday cheer. I try and remember what it means to be a part of the holidays because the people around me love it so much. But inwardly this time of year is a bit hard. Just for the simple fact that my family is so different and there are huge chunks missing at our Christmas tables. But I know now I have to think on a bigger scale when it comes to Christmas and the holiday spirit. There is something greater in the world than my heartache and happiness. Is that not what this time of year means? To think outside of oneself and focus on others because no matter how awful things might seem to us, there is always something far worse and far harsher.
I looked at those stars tonight on the way home and realized my daughter sleeping soundly in the backseat deserved more than my own heartache. She deserved the belief I still have inside for a great Christmas. She deserves to know the love and friendship I grew up with around the holidays. Wrapping gifts, gathering to laugh and reminisce, those are memories my children need to have in their hearts. They need to experience the joy and love that comes from serving and helping others that need a lift in life. I suddenly realized tonight while driving how important it is for my own children to see me enjoy the holidays. They don’t know the true hurt that can come from an ugly world. Their family is intact and safe. Their life is still pretty sheltered in the idea that a large guy in a red suit is going to fulfill their every wish on Christmas morning. But is that really the true meaning of Christmas? Finding the perfect gift? I have already stressed about what to buy whom this year and it boggles my mind that I need to focus so much on the material aspect of the Christmas season when I really need to be focused on something much bigger. Christmas was not designed around the largest gift under the tree. It was created thanks to the birth of a sweet baby boy who saved the world from itself.
Thanks to those stars in the sky tonight, I realized while driving my daughter home that I need to open my mind and heart up to something more. I will always miss those holes in my heart, but the ones I loved and lost wouldn’t want their absence to take away from anyone’s happiness. I need to realize that Christmas is not about finding the perfect gift or fulfilling a quota. It is about finding a person to love and help. It is about being kind and understanding to one another. The holidays can be stressful enough without all the added materialistic and narcissistic aspects of today’s world. Think about Zu Zu’s petals in “It’s a Wonderful Life” and what they meant to George. It was a representation of how good life can be without all the fluff. So go focus on YOUR stars in the night sky and find what YOU believe in to make this holiday season a memorable one for yourself and for your family.
Merry Christmas and Holiday Cheers!