The holidays have been tough for my family. For the last four years, my side has faced some kind of life-scare that always shows itself sometime between Thanksgiving and Christmas. We’ve spent too much time in hospitals. It’s surreal, really, to have the whole world talking about celebration when someone you love is suffering; when the ground under your feet is shifting and you can’t find your equilibrium. Surely, the world would stop spinning? But no. Life moves on, regardless of what is happening.
For me, this has expanded my perception. Seeing other families in the ICU, when they too should be nestled in front of the hearth of a fire or sitting around the dinner table together or watching their favorite Christmas movies, makes you realize that there’s always more going on with people than we realize. That the holidays for so many aren’t happy, happy, joy, joy, but a struggle to keep it together. That there are no days off from the fragility of being human.
At the same time, I still love the holidays for what they represent. To me, they represent the best of what we can be. They represent love. As I sit beside my twinkling Christmas tree as I write, I’m filled with such joy and warmth and gratitude. Peace.
In a world that has clearly lost its mind and in the face of our own struggles, no matter what is going on in our lives, let’s find a way to remember what is at the core of it all.
It’s not about the sales and the presents. Or the parties and the food. It’s about love.
The rest is supposed to be how we show our love (but even that seems to get lost in the noise of it all).
All my work is centered around purpose. I spend my days asking people, “You do what you do for the sake of what? Why do you care?” in an effort to connect them to what drives them at their core; their “why” or what I call their Super Objective. But this morning I realize that many of us have forgotten the purpose of the holidays. We’re so busy being busy that we’ve lost our “why.”
When I talk about the Super Objective, I encourage people to use active verbs, to put them on an active path. You can’t achieve your Super Objective from the sidelines, it requires you to act. To connect. To lift up. To unleash. To foster. To cultivate. To spark. What is the impact that you are here to have?
Far too often, the verb “to love,” is treated passively. It’s a nice thing to say, but too often, it’s lost the ability to ignite us into action. But what if we were to approach it as the active verb that it truly is? To love.
Did you love actively in that last conversation you had with your kids? With your partner? With your friend? Did you love actively when buying the latest gadget to put under the tree or did you just buy something to check it off the list? Are you loving when you make dinner, or just doing what needs to be done?
This holiday, I encourage us to love actively. To get to the root of what the season is all about. Is the way you “love” active or passive? Hold your own feet to the fire and ensure that your actions are in alignment with purpose.
We never know what our holidays will bring. So much is outside of our control. But we can control our own actions. What is the purpose of the holidays? What is the impact you want to have? Love. Actively.