On Tuesday evening we held our first annual Blue Christmas Celebration. It was a service of remembrance & healing of loved ones, circumstances and relationships lost. It may seem odd to bring up such things at Christmas but by actually bringing these losses into the light we remove them from lurking in the dark edges of our minds, where they cause shame, sadness and hurt. We wrote the names of lost loved ones, relations and situations on silver ball ornaments to bring them into the light every Christmas. We should not desire to be visited by Ghosts at Christmas as Scrooge did. So we lit a candle to bring light in the darkness and talked about how we should deal with the ghosts of loss & change. Of course I came up with a fun way to remember these tools - in our famous CR fashion as an acronym: GHOSTS
Grieve it - don’t run away! Instead take time with God, a good friend or with pen & paper and share your feelings, memories and what-ifs. The best therapy is to cry it out. Schedule time to honor those who have passed on before you, or those from a past job or home that we've lost touch with and see the good influences they had on your life. Once your meeting is over schedule your next appointment to grieve. In the meantime, live without dwelling. The living need your love & attention and you need theirs. You will find your thoughts turning to your loss, that's normal. Stop at that moment write down the thought, memory, or insight as an agenda item to share/explore at your next appointment.
Help others - loving on others & focusing on others needs allows God to love us and fill our needs in a supernatural way that makes no sense. Don’t believe me?... just go feed the hungry or spend time with the lonely and see what God does!
Open your heart & mind to God and expect Him to fill the void. Are you ready to allow new relationships God brings your way? If the answer is no, this perceptive will only harm you further as you miss out on the blessings God has. In business, there is a rule known as the war of attrition, meaning as a business your sales reps, marketing dept or new product engineers have to continually get new clients and/or products to keep the business thriving while there are losses from clients going out of business, going to competitors or no longer needing your products (obsolesce). The way to overcome this in business and life is to continually allow new relationships and perspectives to grow us. Otherwise we continually shrink into our self.
Self-care is essential not selfish. To help anyone or be able to have healthy relationships & perspectives we need to be physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually well. This requires activity, intake of healthy food, drink, entertainment habits etc, good friends who listen and share wise advice and constant connection with God. Just like the tell you on the plane put your mask on before you can put someone else’s on because if you pass-out you no good for yourself or anyone else.
Trust God and others with the same Love God loves us with. Unconditional, unmerited, unlimited, uniting love of Christ. No expectations, no requirements, no bounds and no restrictions.
Start new traditions - I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen people try to hold on to the old traditions, then when others don’t see the value they become annoyed and frustration is created amongst the family. Instead create new traditions that may incorporate some of the old but allow the young/new people of the family to speak into, feel joy from & ownership in. Then the new traditions are meaningful and honored by all.
Some times we fantacize of Christmases past but each year brings opportunity for another best Christmas ever. So here's a few tips for having another BEST CHRISTMAS EVER!
KISS keep it simple & serene-so that in every event, interaction and moment you can do it with excellence.
Remember the reason-it’s Jesus’ birthday not ours. All He wants for Christmas is that we focus on the miracle and magnitude of Emmanuel -God coming to Earth to be with and for us!
Don’t be obsessed by giving material gifts to a few but give the greatest gifts to all -kindness, encouragement and joy-filled happy greetings!
Giving is an opportunity not an obligation. Give in love, that’s the thought that counts.
Be in the present not about the presents. Enjoy each and every now moment so there will be no regrets of missing the magic.
Expect nothing or no things and everything & every thing you get will be amazing.
Breath, pray & tell God all of your worries. He brings peace, comfort & joy to our worn & rushed hearts.
Being content in all things satisfies hope for all things.
Honor the past, live, love & laugh in the right now and be ready to respond to God’s best in the future.
Have a Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!
All are invited to Christmas Eve Candlelight service. Visit www.ChristmasJoy.org for times and locations.
Peace & Joy,