Christmas. What a loaded term. It means sooo many different things to all kinds of different people. For some of us, it means family, some presents, some food, some ‘religion’, and for others it could mean grieving loss. But apart from a time when you can get days off work, get presents, eat lots and hang out with family and friends (all good things!) – what should we be thinking about in this season?
If you’ve engaged with us at Lumi before, you probably know by now that we are all about finding the deeper meaning to things. Why do we have fears? Why do we hold ourselves back? Why do women think that they can’t do things that they are completely capable of? In this same thinking, I want to use this opportunity to challenge you to think about what you’re chasing this Christmas. Is it true?
Truth is an interesting concept. In our postmodern world (yes, some would say ‘post-postmodern world’), we are often sent messages from many angles about how truth is subjective. I have studied many a uni subject that have told me this: that history is only written by the victors, that there are multiple truths depending on accounts, that truth is essentially, in the eye of the beholder. So, does ‘truth’ exist?
In my opinion: Yes. Because if there’s no truth in the world – then what are we all actually doing?
Let me step back and tell you about the truth that’s in my life. First and foremost, love is a truth I experience. It is a truth in my life that I am sure of. I see it in my family, my workplace, in the stories I read, in my church, in my husband, my friends, and on a really good day – even in myself. Love makes me do things that selfish me, selfish Catherine wouldn’t do if she really got the choice.
I also see hope. Hope in a better future for millions of people – women, children, men, people with disabilities – currently living without basic needs. Hope for equality. Hope for a world where there are as many women and girls reaching their potential as men and boys. I know this is truth, because I feel it. I feel it, therefore it is.
Lastly, home. Home is my truth. Home is where we can truly be ourselves, absent of all the insecurity and stress and anxiety that all the places that are not home can bring to us. When I seek home, I am certain of the truth. I also have hope in freedom. In seeking and seeing the love, hope and ‘home’ in my world, I am convinced that there are things in this life that are true. Pure – unblemished.
Some of my hero’s are people that have, although not perfectly, lived out some of these truths. Nelson Mandela fought for freedom his whole life. Mother Teresa sought peace in one of the world’s most darkest places. Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks sought justice for their people. Sheryl Sandberg fights for equality. They knew these things were truths they wanted to achieve, and so they set their sights and goals on them – the direction of their lives was and is hugely influenced by their dreams of experiencing and seeing these truths come about in both little and big ways.
Now, I run the risk here of seeming both incomprehensible and like I’m chasing a perfect, impossible state of being for any of us. ‘World Peace.’ A completely unselfish, perfect, existence. Yes, it can feel like this sometimes. I have times where I get so frustrated at my darkness – my inability to think of others. My selfishness, my egotistical attitude. And this is not always obvious, like purposely taking the chocolate from the fridge for myself and eating it secretly so my husband doesn’t see (sorry love…) – it can be more subtle. It’s craving that promotion or role title, it’s being a little too overconfident in my ability to do things that I actually can’t do, it’s silently thinking I’m better than someone my age because I’ve achieved ‘x,y and z’ when they have ‘only’ achieved ‘x and y’. When I seek these things over and above the truths that I should be seeking, I become an unwhole person – that person with little humility, respect or consideration. But when I’m centered, and I’m seeking the truth – boy, do I shine. And this is not in my physical doing, it’s what I’m chasing. My goals and dreams are focused on the truth.
So what does this have to do with Christmas? Well, many things. Christmas and the holidays are a time to reflect on the year that has been and to look at the year ahead. It’s a time where usually, we can have the space to think about what is important to us. So now, as you read this (hopefully entering your holidays…) I ask – what is important to you? What are you chasing? Where is your home?
You may not have these answers right now – you may not have them next month or even next year – but I encourage you to search for them. Life is a deep, wonderful, confusing existence, and so when we work to get to the bottom of our heart and think about what truths we really want to pursue in our lives, those confusing and anxiety-filled things in life can often become a lot more clear and peaceful. Often, because they matter less and those things – those truths that you’re chasing – matter so much more.
With all my heart, I wish you a joyous, peaceful Christmas. And ladies, never be afraid to set your eyes on the prize.