A Simple Ingredient For A Lighter Holiday
It is natural to give more during the holidays. Statistics say 31% of all charitable donations happen in the month of December. I am often in awe of the willingness of so many to put themselves out there and give of their time, talents, goods, and money. To me, December feels more like a wonderland than any of the other winter months. But, sometimes habit, ritual, or tradition turns mundane as we fall into a kind of numbness to it. Checklists and busy schedules abound during the holidays and although our honorable intention is to give more, it begs the question, "give more what?" I have been pondering with the hope of better understanding my own "numbness" in order to put more meaning in my holiday observance - to take my "giving more" to another level.
Recently, I have had the privilege of hearing from two gentlemen (one is our very own Jeff Olsen) who both understand the literal concept of numbness. One lives life from a wheelchair and Jeff on a prosthetic leg. They are men of light. You see it in their being. They oooz light. They make you feel light. They are gifted at waking up any numbness lingering in your spiritual, mental, and emotional bodies.
Both spoke of the remembrance they had of feeling within their physical body. Both long for that kind of feeling in their lives and yet, in spite of their numbness, maybe because of their numbness, they have learned to FEEL. Their gift of empathy allows them feeling beyond the everyday understanding. They raise the idea of feeling to "us" and "we" instead of "I" with a knowledge of oneness. They are the epitome of this video that I adore.
I made a commitment a while back to wake up early and spend time engulfing myself in my spiritual practice. I look forward to my time in my little space exploring the lessons bestowed me. This time I was asking questions like what is the "more"? As I pondered, I had an experience that filled my soul with understanding and the answer was something to share.
I saw light in all it's definitions. I saw it scientifically and spiritually, practically and special. I saw light existing and moving in all directions. It was moving at the speed of...light, of course. Suddenly, I understood that there was a propellant making that light move. The light is the mass and movement requires a force. It became crystal clear that the force is...LOVE. Empathetic love is "the more". It brings light into the experience which, by both definitions, elevates and illuminates. Notice how light plays an important role in the video and how love proceeds it. In the video sympathy does create some light by "silver lining", whereas empathy turns darkness to light.
Understanding this concept, the two physically numb teachers of mine harness light by directing and feeding it with feelings of love and empathy. Empathy feels to me like a kind of tangible love - love in action. The loved demonstrated through empathy connects us to one another in a sacred way. These men feel love and share freely despite their physical numbness. No wonder these men radiate light!
Thank you teachers for helping me "see the light" and helping me recognize my "numbness" of busy and check lists. I can now look for ways to bring light to all I come in contact with by using love and empathy to find connection and in turn make my own holiday lighter and brighter.
May light shine on you this holiday season. May you understand your divinity and greatness. May you give and receive empathy and love this season and fuel elevating and illuminating light for the upcoming year!