Here we are again my friends… it’s December and most of us are deep in the anticipation, planning, stress and joy of the holidays. As November and Thanksgiving fade into another memory, December looms before us promising a busy schedule of shopping, holiday parties with too much food and alcohol, concerns for looking good or the pressure of too many obligations and expectations. And let’s not forget about New Year’s Eve, an artificially inflated reason to party beyond reason for so many. Or, even worse, December can bring with it an expectation of being alone and feeling that you don’t matter.
Yet there is another view of December that offers the promise of something different, something unexpected. For you see, in the Judeo-Christian traditions, December is also a month associated with miracles. Hanukkah celebrates the phenomenon that one day’s worth of olive oil miraculously lighted the holy temple for eight days and, of course, Christmas celebrates the miracle of the immaculate conception.
So what is a miracle? It is when something seemingly impossible happens; oil lasts for eight days and a child is conceived without male intervention. Miracles happen all the time but we aren’t always paying attention, or we pass things off as coincidence. Many years ago I was divorcing the father of my children. We were scheduled to meet at 12:00 to finalize some of the details of the divorce. It was about 10:30 in the morning and I was at work paying bills at my desk when suddenly I literally heard these words silently in my head, “Go home.” It was odd and I ignored it. Then I heard, “Go home NOW!” A bit confused and committed to getting my bills paid, I ignored this as well. Then I heard, “Anne, put the pen down and GO HOME NOW!” I am not making this up. With those words, I looked out my window at my car and thought, “Okay then, I guess I’m going home.”
As I drove towards my house everything looked normal and quiet and so I kept going, my unpaid bills dancing in my head. But, as I passed the house to go back to work I heard, “Open the garage.” Curious, I put the car in reverse and used my remote control. As the garage door slowly lifted, dense, white smoke came pouring out and the vision of my ex’s car with a hose connecting the tailpipe to the front seat was before me. I ran in, opened the door and his limp body slumped out of the car. He was still alive. In listening to that voice in my head, I saved his life.
That truly was a miracle. Where did that voice come from? For me, it matters less about the origin of the voice than the fact that I paid attention to it; that there was a truth associated with it. It didn’t matter that I didn’t understand it. It didn’t matter that I didn’t ask for it. I tried to ignore it yet its urgency somehow prevailed and, in my paying attention to it, I saved a life.
Most of us get these messages from time to time. Many of us ignore these thoughts and/or feelings as random or unimportant. The trick is to pay attention and learn to discern thoughts that are coming from you and thoughts that have “downloaded” from some unknown source. Whether that source is Divine, I shall leave to you, dear reader. Regardless of its origin, learn to listen to this inner wisdom.
When you can truly appreciate that miracles can and do happen, there is a level of hope; there is the possibility that this year the holidays – and maybe even life – can bring a different experience for you. Some say that a miracle is a shift in perception from one of fear to one of love. (Here’s a wonderful article from The Huffington Post on the subject.) A change in how you perceive the things that happen can lead to miracles. Think about it like this: You have dear, dear friends whom you have loved for decades. Then you find out they voted for “the other candidate” and you are horrified. How can this be? How can I still love this person when their values are so different from mine? I have faced this situation and the answer for me was clear; I LOVE my friends and that is much more important than the fears associated with any political opinions they may have. Love prevails. Compassion triumphs. Think about the story of The Phantom of the Opera… that scene near the end in the watery tunnels when the beast has her lover’s life at the end of a tight rope… in that moment Christine understands this man has never known kindness and her response to his murderous rage is to show him the ultimate expression of love with a deep and compassionate kiss. His response? His rage literally melts out of him and he lets the lovers go free.
During this month of rushing to get things done, appearing at gatherings, trying to buy the right gifts or just getting through the day, think about seeing all of this through the lens of love instead of worry or fear or stress. Love the sales clerks. Love the slow internet connection. Love your in-laws! Love the experience – whatever it may be – and commit to seeing more and more opportunities to be a vessel from which loves freely flows in, through and out into the world. When you can embrace this, you become the miracle of the season.
Be a Savvy Senior. Know miracles happen. Listen to your inner guidance and look for ways to love and be loved. May you be blessed with an abundance of love this holiday season and may you always have reasons to smile.
Anne Goldberg, The Savvy Senor, is a motivational speaker and longevity coach for seniors. She has a mission to help seniors know they are old enough to have a past and young enough to have a future – at any age! Anne helps seniors live into a happier, healthier and hopefully, longer life with: Smart phone/Tablet/Computer instruction; Decluttering and organizing; Legacy video and book production to preserve the stories of
your life; and Keynote Speaker on her original lecture series, The Art of Living Longer™.
www.SavvySeniorServices.com ~ Anne@SavvySeniorServices.com ~ 954-536-8008