May your heart be light

It's around this time of year that I find either we are imbued with the holiday spirit, we are counting down the minutes until January 2nd arrives, or, depending on the day, we may feel a little of each sentiment. But as I was listening to "Have yourself a Merry Little Christmas" by James Taylor, a verse that I have heard (and sung) so many times, really hit home: "May your heart be light; in a year our troubles will be out of sight". And it occurred to me that, year after year, when we worry and fret or feel desperate and sad, it may be that all it takes is for time to pass, all it takes is for our lives to continue, and suddenly a year from now, we may not remember what it is that troubled us today.

I think we can get so bogged down in what is going on in our lives that we convince ourselves that things just can't get any better or that our troubles are so heavy that we are simply immobile. But truly there are few things that will keep us "down" for a long period of time, and really there are only a few troubles that last more than a year. Certainly there are chronic problems we may each have, and of course there are issues we struggle with for years and over long periods of time, but most troubles that bring us to our knees, that knock the wind from our lungs, are sudden and stinging rather than long-lasting.

It's like my mom not being here for the holidays. When I was younger and she passed away, that time was one of the most difficult I have ever experienced. The loss of my mom is something that stays with me forever and never goes away; except that over time the pain subsides and life continues. The moments of sadness are slowly but surely broken up by moments of joy. The loss stops being acute, the pain is not nearly as great and prolonged, and experiencing the wonders of life helps to heal my soul.

So this holiday season, I wish for all of us a lighter heart. I wish for us to realize that whatever we are going through now may not trouble us in a year. I wish for us to know that the delight we feel today should be relished and enjoyed. I wish for us to understand that our troubles now will be replaced by happiness we cannot yet see. I wish for us to accept that life must go on and that things have a way of working out the way they should. I wish for us all peace and hope.

Lesson learned.