“Joys of the season to you and all you love!”
We do so much for others at this time of year, and for the outward displays of spirit. Whether celebrating the return of the sun, Christmas, Hanukkah, Diwali, or others, festivities and events call us to service. And sometimes, as adults, the little person inside the grown-up starts to act out. The office parties, holiday gatherings, gift shopping, all take energy and are fraught with expectations of ourselves and others, and something snaps.
I was volunteering at a community festival. I’d helped with set-up, the stringing of lights and banners, and at the event I was greeting people at a door, taking donations, giving directions. Yet eventually, I started to notice I wasn’t getting to participate in the fun part. Everybody was having fun, except Meee.
In earlier days, I would ruthlessly squelch that plaintive childish voice and keep on, smiling cheerfully and pretending it was alright, better to give than receive. But as a person of spirit, I need to take care of myself too. So I took a breath, checked in with the increasingly frantic tone of my inner self and realized she was right. It was time to take the help that was offered, let go of my self-appointed martyrdom and pass the torch to another person. So I asked, and another woman arrived at the post, and she was lovely, kind, smiling. I felt good leaving it in her hands.
As I remember this, I realize that she was showing me what I had contributed, all unknowing, to the event. Steadiness, good humor, unflappability. And now she could also bring those beautiful qualities to the world. And as I allowed myself to go and have fun, I will have that happy memory to add to all the reasons I volunteer here.
So, as you find and create the special places of light inside you and out in your world, remember that child inside of you. You also need to play, and it’s a different kind of sharing, to ask for help so you too can relax and join the fun. And then when you step back in to help, it will be even more a gift from the heart.
Sending wishes and light for joy and love, peace to the world and happiness to all that you are.
~ Lori Fuglem