Why did I save this topic for the end of the year?
As we complete this year it is a time to celebrate our victories! It’s a time to examine our accomplishments! It’s a time to rehearse to ourselves what we have learned from our losses and what we have gleaned and sometimes painfully gained from even, our sad experiences. It’s a time to celebrate every seeming failure just as much as we celebrate our victories! Why? Because we tried with all our hearts to make it the best year ever!
When I ponder the subject of “joy” in reference to the end of this year, what comes to my mind?
As I ponder the subject of “Joy,” the first word that comes to my mind is “Success.” Success comes in packages both large and small. I would like to invite our readers to experience a guided visualization to wrap up this year with beautiful gift wrap and bestow upon this gift a year, well lived, a great big beautiful bow! Would you care to join me in this imaginary journey back through the year 2019?
I’d like you to close your eyes and imagine a big beautiful Christmas tree in your mind’s eye. Instead of material gifts wrapped in ribbons and bows underneath this tree, I’d like to invite you to imagine the significant experiences that played out in your life during the year of 2019.
Close your eyes and imagine that beautifully lit Christmas tree, with packages wrapped in beautiful, shimmering gift wrap adorned with brightly colored ribbons curling down over the edges of each package. Imagine that all these gifts under this tree have your name written on the gift tag.
Now, imagine as you choose one of those gifts from under the tree and begin to open it. Inside this paper and all of its beautiful trimmings, you discover not the gift you thought you always wanted, but a memory of something that happened this year that caused you to mourn. See the little card tucked inside the gift. Upon the card you read the words,
“I know it may be hard to see
The gift I am with mortal eyes…
I may not feel like joy at first
But, I am a blessing in disguise.”
At first, you may shudder for a moment to think that the very first gift you opened was one of those kinds of gifts that came with wisdom to be gleaned from the experience. You turn the card over and on the back of it, it reads, “I entered your life to teach you how to discover, ‘Wisdom in the Mourning.”
You hesitate before choosing the next package. This time you will choose a smaller gift, hoping that its fragile contents will reveal a true gem! One that will make your heart pound with excitement!
Peeking from beneath a few larger gifts you discover a sweet little parcel wrapped in white shimmering paper with a silver bow. On the card you see your name, just as before. Slowly you begin to unwrap the paper, and in it you discover a memory that you may have forgotten. You ponder the contents of this tiny gift in your heart which occurred all the way back in the beginning of the year! You read the words on the card:
“I was a gift to touch your heart
With respite from above
Unseen friends shall soothe your brow
And fill you with Pure Love.”
You turned the card over and read the words etched in gold, “A gift of “Pure Love in the Mourning” your very own ‘Angels in the Mourning’. ”
One by one you revisit the gifts of 2019. Opening the next beautifully wrapped memory…you discover that deep gift that taught you all about “Forgiveness in the Mourning”.
The next gift hovers over your head as though it is excited for you to open it! It has arrived just in the nick of time to bring you the gift of strength to carry you in one of your deepest hours of need; a time this past year when your heart was grieving the loss of a loved one. Here is another precious gift with its timely message:
“He hears thy heavy hidden sigh
He sees thy heartfelt wound
He whispers words of strength and cheer
Sweet Gifts are coming soon!”
On the back of this card, the words are inscribed, “Faith in the Mourning”. You smile and are reminded by this memory, that there were times during this past year when you wondered if all was lost….but then a bright star appeared in that night sky, giving you the courage and strength you needed to carry on! The embers of dying hope were rekindled and faith began to beam brightly, lighting the way before you again.
You continue to open your gifts, one by one. Reading each little note before you open the trimmings around each memory. Some of the gifts seem small at first. Some, some of the deepest memories seem large, and maybe a bit painful to reminisce upon, at first. Some of the gifts are obvious treasures when you open them! Some of these gifts take a bit more of pondering, meditating and prayerful introspection to discover their sweet significance in your life. But as you take the time to do so, all of life’s puzzle pieces will begin to make perfect sense.
Some of the gifts were not what you wanted, hoped for or ever dreamed of! Now, you begin opening another gift, “Hope in the Mourning”, you realize that in that trial of your faith that pervaded this past year, lingering from previous years perhaps, you discovered a ray of hope through which to perceive your life from a whole new (and different) perspective! That’s when the gift of “Hope in the Mourning” arrived on the scene!
Each month of 2019 came and went. The year seemed to fly by. The months, the weeks, the days, the hours, the minutes, now gift wrapped into memories that you will carry forward as lessons learned, experience gained, wisdom fashioned in your heart and mind.