I have just spent the past few hours painting the UGLIEST ornaments ever. I kept hanging in there “keep going, you’ll be glad they’re done tomorrow”….. Honestly, it has been like a Lifetime Movie….. I hang in there, it’s got to get better… and then it suddenly ends and you realize you were bamboosed! We are talking UGLY!
This evening I went out with Lilly. I looked around me, houses filled with lights, smoke pouring out chimneys. Outside it is blistery cold, and looking into a home at night, lit, always makes me feel better. I used to look into the windows and think “What is their story? Are they happy?” Always envisioning the perfect life. I still love to look into windows as I drive by (I promise you, I’m not a peeping Tomette nor am I a stalker) and look at how the walls are decorated. Soon there will be Christmas trees, lights in the windows. I will once again e envision perfect lives as I drive by, wondering what that feels like? Only the thought will only last a few seconds long, and I remind myself that everyone is subject to pain, to disappointment, to sickness. No one is exempt, no one flies through life with only sugar sprinkled on their souls. My life is normal, like everyone else’s. Every family has their cross to bear, in my family it is cancer. Other families have been torn apart and beaten by alcoholism, addiction, gambling, abuse. No matter how perfect the houses look on the outside, how beautifully groomed the windows, the yard, hard times have, at some point, have fallen on the residents of each home.
Some hide their challenges well, others, like me, lay it all out there… if you only KNEW what I didn’t share with you! 🙂 Some will mask their emotions, their feelings with a fancy car, pretty smile, beautiful clothes. Some will be focused externally, thinking that will bring them serenity, wholeness, happiness. And then there is some who, in spite of all the difficulties that life dumped on them, they will smile, genuinely, their joyous attitudes will shine like the brightest star. This is the family, the people, the persons who have lived through the most difficulties. They understand the preciousness of today, this second, they understand that there is so much that has or will happen that is out of their control. In spite of their frustration, they will get the most out of the day, relinquishing any desire to try to change that which they cannot. They have learned not to pound their head against the wall in frustration. They have learned to not kiss off this moment because of what happened yesterday, or worried about what tomorrow will bring. They have learned to put things in proper perspective, to let the small things go, and the majority of things are insignificant. They live life fully, they handle their challenges, probably on their knees, surrendering. Perhaps they will cry, fall down for a few days, but they are smart enough, strong enough to let it go, to forgive, to love, to be one with their God. They have learned that some days feel mundane, but what a gift that is, to have the freedom to laugh, to sit, to just be.
Me? I have learned so much in my life, and I have a long ways to go. I do not trip on my future, but I do at times cling to my past. I am usually able to have perspective on that which is insignificant, that which is vital, that to which I am able to make a choice…. Do I let whatever is troubling in front of me… go? Or do I grab onto it, do I take the bait and go on that emotional turbulent carpet ride?
As I looked back at my own home, the lights that were on in my living room, I noticed how warm my lights appeared, the warm yellow glow that was visible from the outside. My walls are warm gold, so what reflects will emulate the warm in the room. How beautiful, I thought. How beautiful! To passerby’s this may look like the perfect room. I suppose some will go by and think that whoever lives here has the perfect life, or if nothing else, better than theirs. One day something will happen that will change their looking for happiness outside of themselves. The grass isn’t greener on the other side, it is just how we view it.
Walking back into the house I was immediately comforted with the warmth of a fire, the heat from the furnace. How lucky I am, I thought to myself. How rich I am to have a home, a place to call my own, shelter from the storms of life. How perfectly imperfect my life is. In days ahead I will remind myself of the reflection that was coming from my own window, one of warmth, one of beauty. I will smile at the choice of colors I have decorated my home with, they reflect what I want in my life..
I liked the reflection from my home. I was and am happy with what was visually pleasing, but more importantly, I love what is inside of it…reminding me to forfeit the external distractions that take my focus away from what is most important to me, and that is, what exists inside of me.