Several months ago, I sat at the kitchen table willing myself to fill out a card I had just picked up from the grocery store.
The situation was such a tender one, I had no idea what to even say, much less how to even start.
Despite having a gift of encouragement and years of training dealing with extremely difficult situations both professionally and personally, I couldn’t come up with a single comforting word.
There is no script or playbook for life-altering events.
Each situation is as unique as the people they impact and more times than not, the ripple effects from the fallout last for decades.
I’m almost embarrassed to say, I held off sending the card for so many weeks it started to feel uncomfortable.
The usual casseroles and cakes, flowers and plants, and self-care gift baskets were not appropriate. Phone calls seemed to be a bother, text messages an annoyance and this was not a subject you would want to talk about on a coffee date.
Still, the situation wasn’t something to be ignored either and time was of the essence.
I finally sat back at the kitchen table, opened the card, and offered the only words that came to mind. I reminded the recipients of who they are.
As we head into the holiday season, it felt important to share a similar message with you.
I know some of you will be walking into homes and events filled with boundless love. You’ll be greeted at the door with hugs that smell like cookies and more kisses than your cheeks can hold.
Soak up every ounce of this joy-filled magic you possibly can – those moments are a true gift – meant to be cherished and savored.
For those of you who have trouble even opening the car door to walk inside because the situation already feels anxiety laced and overwhelming, or you look around the table see empty chairs and experience the loss all over again, or have taken the high road so many times it’s starting to feel lonely, or are hosting for the first time while scrolling Instagram and feeling like you’re not enough, I want you to take these words to heart as I remind you who you are.
*called by name
*not defined by the labels others place on you
*more than the numbers in your bank account, your zip code, your social media profiles, or your scale
*capable of great things
*an influence to those people who have been placed on your path
*stronger than you know
*not confined to your current circumstances
*more than your past choices
*allowed to build a family with people not biologically related to you and to start your own holiday traditions too
*created for a purpose
*filled with special gifts and talents
*1 in 7.9 billion
As we welcome people into our homes and into the intimate parts of our lives, I want us to remember our words have the power to lift people up or to tear them down.
You never know what people are really going through, so choose your words wisely.
If you’re lucky enough to be spending the holidays with people you love, you’re already richly blessed. Don’t forget to pass that love onto others.
After all, they just might need to be reminded of who they are this holiday season.