We all have a story that kicks us behind the knees. It’s not always the biggest story, it’s not always the one with the Hollywood glitz, the sensational story. Sometimes it’s the smallest of the small ones that truly gets us, for reasons we don’t even always understand. Once you get to know me a little, or work with me a little, you’ll know that I don’t teach us to understand our pain, so we can increase our tolerance of it -I am not out to train an army of pain warriors- but rather, so we can answer it, heal it. Fix the business that’s making more of it already. And those tender hurty places, those stories that catch our breath, are come-hithers from the lost children within us.
I wrote this for my actual real live seventeen year old. A gift from my very own Gift Guide “gifts you can give for zero dollars suggestions”. It’s an answer to the saddest story she holds in her heart. She won’t see it until tomorrow morning, but it’s the kind of gift that grows with sharing (unlike the box of half eaten chocolates on my kitchen counter) so I am gonna share it with you now, and grow it a few more sizes before I slip it under the tree.
That story that makes you so sad. The one where your Dad is a little boy and he goes in for his first haircut by himself, and he is feeling proud and confident. He requests a crew cut, because he hears that it is the new thing to have a short haircut and he wants to look like that film actor, you know the one.
And then, simply, his hair is gone, shaved, and he is bewildered. But worse he is embarrassed. And worse yet, he is sad.
That. There. It sticks at that point. That is where you see his brave face, put on. His tender child heart. offered up to the dogs. That’s where the tears come. Because in this clip he is helpless. Innocence unprotected. Exposed by the world’s cruel hand. And it opens up a cave in your heart. Where you, the little one, the one that needs protecting, cannot do the protecting.
But I want you to look a little closer. Take in the rest of the frame. When the camera pans wide, THEY are there; the adoring audience, with their popcorn and their chocolate covered raisins. They aren’t laughing. Not AT him. They are smiling, warmly, knowingly. They chuckle because he is so handsome, so mature looking with his head near shaved. Smiling because they can see his worry, and they feel for him, but they know what is coming. They can see what you cannot; the wings, fanning the frame. The ethereal glow in the light. And there is something in the music that lilts. A sweetness.
They know about the kid at school who is gonna think he is cool, tough even.
Who’s gonna be his best friend, through ALL the years, the best man at his wedding.
They know that Susie from Miss Leighton’s class thinks he is pretty darned cute, with or without hair.
They know how smart he is. The thoughts he is going to think. The words he is going to write. All of the gifts he is going to give.
And they know about you. Sun-shiny, delightful, magical you.
You, with your bright eyes looking up at him.
Wonder and love. With all of the innocence that can never be lost, restored. With love that goes back in time, and holds his hand, and tells him nothing will ever be lonely again because you exist.
Love that laughs with him. That makes silly faces for him. That lets him be the fierce protector.
Love that loves all of the little things in him. That meets vulnerability with invincibility.
Love that makes him forever safe. Forever radiant. Forever everything to someone.
Today I gift you a lens. A looking glass that lets you truly see. The Love you give is unstoppable. It is so much bigger than the loss, which asks you to hug harder, breathe deeper, stand back while Love fills you to the brim, heals you, and then overflows. Let it reach through every tear, year, sore place and sad story, and answer all that asks in you. And then shine it on everything and everyone.
Unstoppable loving you & Little Dad. Hugged by the world. Standing proud. Feeling fine in his new ‘do.
So this Christmas Eve, or Eve of the Holiday that may or may not mean something about Christ or the Solstice for you but is nonetheless our cultural celebration of goodwill, let me sit with you, in spirit, and hold your hand, and visit your hurt, lost places with you. And let me hug you through them, or politely encourage you from a distance if you’re not quite ready for hugging, and together let us let the light in.
Blessings to you, and Merry Christmas.
P.S. Thank you so much for reading! I will do my best to reply to all of your replies personally, just be patient with me as it may take some time. You can find out more of what I have going on at my website.
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