How do you find meaning in the Holiday Season?
Part of my desire to celebrate and find meaning this holiday season is to reflect on the deeper feelings of the season. I've decided to be purposeful about planning time to reflect on what this time of year means to me.
We have so many symbols, rituals and traditions that we may follow at this time of year and yet do we really know the meaning behind them? Or are we so busy that we do what we’ve done year after year, “just to get it done or because it’s expected”? The decorating, the gift giving, the dinners, the services we may attend, the parties we go to. What do you think?
I’ll share an example from my life.
I love the symbol of the Advent Wreath and having it in my home. But yet again I found myself in a rush to find the purple and pink candles to set it up properly and to make sure I was prepared to light a candle for each of the weeks leading up to Christmas.
I challenged myself this year.
I knew what the wreath represented on the surface. But did I really know the history and meaning behind this symbol? The answer was no. I took the time to learn more about the Advent Wreath. What astonished me was the meaning behind each of the "candles". What I learned was that each week had a word associated with it. I had forgotten or just failed to pay attention. Each of the words represent a beacon of light to me. They are Hope, Faith, Joy and Peace.
As part of my practice to find more meaning in this Holiday Season I am reflecting on what each of these words mean to me over the next few blogs. I’ll begin with Hope. I “hope” you’ll indulge me!
What does Hope mean?
“Only in the darkness can you see the stars.” Martin Luther King, Jr.
I usually shy away from using the word Hope because I thought it meant a longing for something I may never have. So to use it made me kind of sad. That’s when I came across the quote from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Hope took on a new meaning. I’ve since changed my mind about what Hope means to me.
There is beauty in the darkness if you choose to see it.
Hope means to me that even in the darkness of whatever I may going through there is a gift. Hope is that gift. Hope is that beacon of light that guides you through to the next week, the next day, the next moment.
Hope isn’t about wishing for something else. Hope is the promise that it will get better. Hope guides you to trust. With a hopeful spirit you trust that even in the darkness there is light. That even when things seem at their worst, you will move through it. Hope asks you to believe and have courage that something better is on its way to you.
Look up. Find the light. Gaze at the stars. That is where you’ll find Hope.