My dear friends, we love you so very much,
In this season of love and light, we know that there are many of you who also experience the holidays as a season of loss, loneliness, or lack. Anytime there are such massive expectations of how life "should" look, these will, by their very nature, highlight the contrasts.
If the holidays "should" be a time of family and friends, but they are not, you will have a tendency to feel as if something is wrong. If the holidays should be a time of giving but you can't afford gifts, you might feel a sense of lack.
It is in releasing expectations, and facing the present moment with all the love and light in your heart, that you can find joy amidst loss, loneliness, or lack. If you feel a sense of loss, by facing the present bravely you will see all that you do have. If you feel a sense of loneliness, and face the present you will see all out there who are in need of love and in volunteering, or assisting others you will soothe your own loneliness. If you feel a sense of lack, it is in facing the present that you can look inside of yourself and find the gifts you do have to offer – the ones that don't cost a dime.
The holidays, or any time of year, are enjoyed so much more easily when you face life as it is when you look inside yourself, as you are, and when you accept those two things first, then asking yourself, "How can I bring more love into my life? How can I share love with life?"
Perhaps by offering to walk a friend's dog a few times next year, you will connect with other human beings whom you might not have met! Perhaps by making a jar filled with little pieces of paper containing wishes for a friend, you will feel the light of the season rushing through you and, in this positive vibration, enjoy your own miracles. Perhaps by sitting quietly and remembering all the good times with a loved one who has transitioned, you will be in a space to connect with them and feel their continuing presence around you.
Dear ones, release your expectations of yourself and life. Enjoy the holidays and every day as a simple, loving dance with life.
This is our holiday recipe for happiness:
Come as you are. Meet life as it is. Add love.
God Bless You! We love you so very much.
-- The Angels
Message From Ann
Letting go of expectations has been an ongoing lesson in my life. When I graduated college with a BS in Electrician Engineering, I expected I'd get a good job, get married, have two kids, retire, travel, and fit in a social life and crafts. As the saying goes, "God had other plans." Much better ones.
Everything was working perfectly according to plan with two exceptions: I didn't love my work and I didn't love my life. In fact, it wasn't until several years after college that I realized that what was missing in my life was me. I was so focused on "how things should look" that I had never stopped to ask myself, "Do I like what I'm creating?" "An I enjoying the path I'm on?" When I did, the answers were painful series of "no's."
Within years of admitting that truth to myself, and completely letting go of my expectations about how life should look, I quit engineering, admitted my marriage was exactly what I thought it "should" be, but not even close to what I felt drawn to, and discovered that I was called to do angel readings.
I went into my life changes kicking and screaming. I experienced loss, loneliness, and lack all at once. I grieved and sobbed at night. I felt like a horrible person for "quitting" until I finally had to admit that the creator of universes actually had a better plan for everyone involved than I had conceived. My ex-husband, who is a very good man, remarried a woman just like I thought I was and has been happy ever since. My job was delegated to six other people who then had an opportunity to move up in the company. I ended up in a life I love.
As I wrote last week, my first few Christmases on my own looked nothing like I thought they "should." Instead, guided by angels, they were filled with wonderful surprises.
Here are a few tips to enjoy the holidays if you are feeling lack, loss, or loneliness:
1. If you are lonely seek out ways to give
Nothing cures loneliness quicker than connection. One of the kindest ways to connect with others is to serve. Volunteer to wrap presents, deliver Christmas angel gifts, hold preemies at a local hospital, read stories, build houses, serve soup, walk rescue dogs... The list of needs out there is endless. Google "holiday volunteer opportunities" with your city's name and you'll find many.
If public volunteering isn't your thing do something quietly kind for others. Slip notes under the doorways of total strangers with inspirational quotes. Give out candy canes. Smile. Hold a door. Help someone in need.
In giving we forget ourselves and find the connection we seek.
2. If you are experiencing a loss, reconnect with the joy of the relationship
When you're grieving, you can't get around the tears, nor should you. It is best to allow the emotions to come and go in their natural cycles. However, when not engulfed by grief, you can start to develop a relationship with your loved one in heaven so you can continue to connect, albeit in a very different way than you did when they were on earth.
Step one is to create ways to remember the good times. Find every happy photo you can and make an album or a collage that brings back good feelings. Instead of focusing on what you don't have, or won't have, do your best to focus on the beautiful times you did have.
Next, make a resolution to grow spiritually and learn to connect with your dear one in heaven. There are many CDs, classes, etc. out there that can help you. I have one with a few meditations to help you connect called "Life After Death" that people report worked well for them.
If you can focus on finding the connection with your loved one again, then slowly loss turns into an expanded relationship.
3. If you're experiencing lack, dig for the abundance within
Maybe you can't afford gifts this year. In that case, its time to get creative as people have done for centuries and find ways to share your gifts, heart, talents, etc. Maybe you can give the gift of cooking a meal for someone, walking their dog, or creating something inexpensive.
I once gave friends a certificate for a nice home cooked meal every month. It didn't cost me much. It gave me the joy to create, and they ate well! Another year I took cheap styrofoam balls, glued them together, rolled them in glue and Christmas sparkle snow from the dollar store and decorated them as snowmen. I included a handwritten poem and my friends loved them.
A letter expressing your love and appreciation for a friend is a beautiful gift. A collection of notes from mutual friends is even more beautiful. You can help someone decorate for Christmas. If you have a voice you can sing them a personalized carol. You can always find inexpensive gifts from your reservoir of talent and care. Rarely does a receiver expect you to give as much as you do?
Gifts from the heart are remembered long after the stuff comes and goes.
I hope this helps you have a happy holiday no matter what is going on in your life and heart. It is after all, always about the love we bring to it.
Love you all!
Please feel free to share any of my messages or posts. The only thing I ask is a small note: ©Ann Albers, www.VisionsofHeaven.com