At the risk of really irritating animal rights activists(and I am one), I can only say that when I woke up this morning, realized it was December, I felt like a frog in a blender!
We can’t blame it on the coffee. It is 5:30 am for God’s sake and we are sitting up in our bed, heart racing and feeling like a dump truck just left us covered with 5000 pounds of paper all saying “To Do”.
Why does that happen at this time of the year? Some would say the holidays are the culprit…shopping, mailing, family stress, toys that they just gotta get or the Department of Social Services will knock on your door December 26th. I don’t think it is that simple.
The end of the year is what December is about, and it seems that shame, guilt, remorse and regret, let’s call them the Four Feelings of the Apocalypse, roar into our lives and hearts with a vengeance.
Where did the year go? What the heck did I do? What didn’t I do (well enough)? Maybe I am just what they told me I was…unrealistic, a dreamer, so impractical. They were right. I don’t know how to manage my time, am too scattered and am going to end up on the streets if I don’t grow up.
OK. The first thing to do, get out of that bed now! This is not the time to lay there while the Four Horsemen stomp you to death. Out of that bed and head straight for the morning Joe or Jill that makes you happy to be awake and alive. Then, breathe and start another healthier conversation.
Overwhelm is just fear trying to take over the driver’s seat and you don’t have to slide into the passenger’s seat. I have said this before many times.You need to make friends with fear. This emotion kept you from burning yourself, both literally and figuratively throughout your life. That is all it is trying to do now. So, after you breathe a few times, thank your sweet fear for being there to keep you safe. Let it know that you are one smart, strong, capable person and that after that cuppa, you will know just what to do next. Then, tell it to go take a few days or hours off while you do your job.
Not all of us will have the opportunity to volunteer in a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving Day. It isn’t necessary, really. We can find the meaning of this amazing day in the eyes of most everyone we meet if we look at them lovingly.
On Thanksgiving we have an opportunity to “recognize our kinship with all creation by paying attention, tender and thoughtful attention to people who have never been blessed, who feel they aren’t meant to be included and who aren’t among the respectable, the cute and the cuddly.
Maybe we will realize that there is in us an unblessed outcast, an outcast that longs to be held and sheltered by someone we trust.”
These are the words of a wonderful minister I have been fortunate to know for the past 10 years. My words couldn’t craft a better message, so I am sending his beautiful words to you as my Thanksgiving blessing.
–Quotes from Guy Sayles, Minister
First Baptist Church, Asheville, North Carolina
All that we ought to have
thought and have not thought,
All that we ought to have said, and
have not said,
All that we ought to have done, and
have not done;
All that we ought not to have thought,
and yet have thought,
All that we ought not to have spoken,
and yet have spoken,
All that we ought not to have done,
and yet have done;
For thoughts, word and works,
pray we, O God, for forgiveness.
Regret is a killer of dreams, joy and possibilities and yet, most of us live our lives looking backward. It happens in small ways and for many it completely blocks the sun.
Often when I work with clients to explore their many options I hear “I couldn’t do that! I don’t know a thing about ____________”, or “Yeah, I would love that but it’s too late.” Saddest of all is hearing, “I wish I had done___________.” The hand of fear closes doors and possibility evaporates.
Why do we close doors when to keep them open, swinging wide and free would allow so many wonderful possibilities? It is almost always FEAR, and regret is fear’s best friend. When we live in a state of constant apology, we become victims and victims create excuses not to behave and act differently.
I have a wonderful friend who would have been a star pupil in the Gifted and Talented program in school had there been one back then. Artistic, brilliant, sweet and loving and about one of the nicest people I have ever known, he swims in regret and no matter how many people compliment his work, he simply cannot let that in. Regretful living can protect us from failure because we never risk trying, but at a deep cost to our souls.
Let’s give fear a fair shake though. It has a really crucial job…to keep us safe and OMG, does it ever do that well! When we take it by the hand however, it exacts a price. For that safety and sleeping in our comfort zone, we never fully experience joy. Not much of a bargain, would you say??
It is possible to move from fear to courage and from courage to true joy. You only have to take the first step.