‘Tis the season to be swept away on a wave of annoyances. I’m prone to agonizing over minutiae, anyway, and I don’t think anyone could or does fault me for the things that often aggravate me these days—the kids’ health, various family matters, work, school… you name it, there’s stress attached. And whether it’s a “good” reason to get upset or not, the fact remains that I fret. Endlessly.
I want to take care of everyone. That’s what I do. I want to soothe the savage hormone beast, make school a happy place again, and hear Otto talk about work without a multitude of heavy sighs. I want my parents to smile and my friends to relax. Is it really so much to ask that I be omniscient and omnipotent and that I be able to fix everything for everyone??
(Uh, don’t answer that.)
What I’m always struggling to remember is this: Fixing is good, but love is enough. Even as I fret and flail because IF I CANNOT FIX IT WE’RE ALL DOOMED, I am forgetting that my inadequate-feeling love is exactly what I can and should offer without apology.
I know this because the love offered to me has rarely “fixed” whatever issues I wrestled, but it’s been more than enough to keep me going. Sometimes just knowing I was loved has been everything.
While I try to remember this all year ’round, the holiday season conveniently offers plenty of reminders wedged inbetween the scheduling issues and rock-bottom sales. (Heh.) For example: Although I wax nostalgic every year when we decorate the tree with ornaments from years past, and each one holds a memory, there’s one special piece that only I am allowed to hang, and it always goes right up top just underneath the topper.
There was a time when I had trouble feeling the love surrounding me. There was a time when I worried I had nothing left to offer, and that maybe I wasn’t worthy of the life I barely dared to hope for. While I am grateful for each and every person who helped to hold me up until I could stand on my own again, it was during this time that one very special woman—while fighting her own battles—opened her heart to me. The heart ornament came from her later, after both our lives had improved and we both were feeling abundantly blessed. But that heart has been the focal point of our Christmas tree ever since.
I think of her when I look at it, of course. She is still one of my dearest friends, and the closest I’ll ever have to a sister. But that’s not why I need it right in front. It’s a reminder to me that the greatest of these is love, indeed.
So I will continue to love without regret or fear, as best I can. And that—as the saying goes—is the reason for the season.
Happy Love Thursday, everyone. Let’s all help each other remember, okay?