Saturday, December 29, 2012

all you need is love

love.  the last of the advent topics.  {I'm going to share my random, chaotic brain with you this morning. I'm hoping you can find the thread and follow along.}

man, have I struggled with these!  I've had a difficult time getting into the christmas spirit.  I know that a big part of my issues this winter have been being too busy.  or maybe that's the excuse I'm going with.  between school {which has been going full throttle since the beginning of august}, kids sports, and a husband who works night shift, I didn't really anticipate the impact on my mental health.  yes.  I'm going crazy.  ha!  no really, my body hasn't figured out how to relax.  I've had some down time in december and I haven't known what to do with it.  as a result, I've sorta missed the anticipation of the christmas season.  and that makes me sad.  did I put on the happy face, put the lights up, buy the presents, throw the party and maybe actually enjoy it?  yep.  sometimes behaviour needs to lead and the heart can follow.

that said, my purpose in doing these advent posts was to help get my heart and my mind into the christmas spirit.  the advent, or anticipatory season.  and once again, I'm a week late.  and you know what?  that's okay.  because regardless of the timing of my writing, my heart has been focused and then refocused on joy, peace, hope and love.  and although I didn't totally feel like my energy was there, the boys and I drove through candy cane lane and enjoyed the lights, we decorated the tree together, we watched all the home alone movies together, trips to costco together, we went to church and then a movie on christmas eve...together.  it's been good.  and slowly, rest is coming.

so how does this relate to love?  I'm not sure.  what I know is that love does.  love shows up.  love acts.  love shuts up.  I've been the recipient of this lately.

a gift from friends that was unexpected and I was unable to reciprocate.  I literally burst into tears when I opened it.  it's hard being taken care of when you focus about 85% of your daily energy on taking care of others.  love.

then yesterday I got a phone call and it was a "get your ass up and meet me now!" kind of phone call.  I needed that.  and she knew that.  love.

and I had a revelation yesterday... I read this post at a deeper story.  grace's #1 resounded deeply with me:
"1. People are hurting, err on the side of kindness.  If they aren’t now, they will be soon.  So many of us, so often in misery taken out by life’s ugly curve balls.  Your kindness can make all the difference in the world.  Be kind.  Be kind.  Be kind.
When you tweet, when you blog, when you visit family, when you come home to a cranky spouse, when you change a diaper, when you are in traffic, when you are on your period, when your cat pisses on your shirt, when you have no words for the exasperation you are feeling.  No matter what, be kind.  Play nice."

kindness is the prelude to love.  when you struggle with love, start with kindness.  when you meet people that are difficult to love, let alone like, start with kindness.  because sometimes you have to change your behaviour first and give your attitude and heart a chance to catch up.

because I watched love actually this week, I'm going to end with a quote from joni mitchell {go listen to the whole song's lovely!}: "I've looked at love from both sides now, from give and take and still somehow, it's love's illusions I recall, I really don't know love at all".

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