This time of year I do a lot of personal reflection. I have a little page where I keep track of my Life Evaluations. It's a chart that shows categories of my life rated from one to ten. I can see at a glance how I have changed for better or worse from year to year. In the last 23 years I have only missed two years. I compare myself to no-one else; just me and my personal goals.
I am a planner. A Goal-Setter. An affirmation-sayer. I hone in on the North Star, say my prayers and set my sail. As above so below. I am the captain of my own destiny. I know The Secret. I've read and internalized the great advocates of positive thinking: Norman Vincent Peale gave me my first AHA moment. That shining realization that we are not bobbers on the ocean created then cast adrift by God.
We have tools! We can choose not to use them, pretend we do not have them or have a tantrum because someone else got them. There have been times in my life when I thought they did not exist or when I knew they were in my life's tool kit and was just too miserable to open the box. My Life Evaluation page shows how I have used the tools the Creator has given me. Sometimes I do great; sometimes I don't.
So, if I have the tools to make my life what I want, why do I occasionally have problems with health, money, relationships and failing to meet some of my goals? Why aren't ALL of my life categories on my chart a perfect TEN? I used to obsess over this question. Gradually over the years and through my personal trials as I traveled through the darkness, light would dawn, then recede, then peek over the horizon again only to sink once more. I moved from dark to gray to dim light to brilliant sun. It has taken two-thirds of my life (I fully intend to live to 100 and beyond) to arrive at conclusions I would have loved to have discovered at 20.
I'm sharing this because regardless of the joy of the holiday season depression runs rampant amongst us. An acquaintance of mine will be reliving the death of her husband on Christmas day, another will grieve over the recent death of her daughter and another awaits her divorce. There is heartache and pain within my own family. My heart goes out to all of them; their pain is like icicle daggers stabbing me; taking me back to times of darkness in my life: as a child when my step-dad held a gun to Mama's head; as an adult I lay curled up in the dark corner of a dark empty house and cried myself to sleep; when divorce simultaneously destroyed and saved my mental and physical health; when my grandson died. The difference between my life then and my life now is not that I do not experience dark times, it is that while I travel through them, I walk in light.
I would love to share the light that may dim but never falter, may flicker but keeps on shining. Every single day when I stand on my mountain, I feel the warmth from that light. As a writer I feel the words swirling around inside me seeking creation. As a human I want others to feel the light and love I feel. I am not sure how I am going to do this, but it is the month of my personal reflections so I am sure that by 1-1-11, I will know!
Until then, may I share one thing? Get out of your head and into your heart. Your mind will echo with negative conversations, words, thoughts and memories circling round and round tormenting and torturing you. Conscientiously shift your attention to your heart. Love resides there waiting for you. Love and comfort and peace. Focus on being in your heart. Feel the warmth. Create a comfortable place to sit there and enjoy the quiet. Just BE. Stay as long as you like. For some folks that's a minute. For others it's fifteen. For some it's an hour. Use this tool to get some peace. You deserve it.