Some of the response I received on my last post, "The tough job of being joyful," has gotten me to examining my world view and my mission to spread joy. As I rev up for my 9th or so year of wearing my Santa Hat during the holidays, I'm standing here, fingering my freshly cleaned, ruby red Hat, wondering.
Am I being false and deluded donning this Santa Hat, year after year, seeking to sprinkle sparkle in an often dark world? Am I failing to value the darkness by shining light? Am I taking an easier path by focusing, when I can, on that light?
I say no. (Hey, at least I asked the questions :)).
Here's what I'm thinking: We each have something unique and wonderful that we alone can offer the world, that we need to offer the world. As much as we can, we've got to try to figure out what the heck that is and bring it.
Sometimes things go swimmingly and sometimes stuff gets in the way. Distracts, deters, drains and, sometimes, defeats us. Other folks moving down their paths alongside us have their own cool, resplendent selves that they're developing, and, ideally, contributing to the ever-evolving cosmic stew.
Something I personally love to and can foster is a sense of joy and beauty. And by beauty, I don't mean merely the pretty, because ugliness can glitter in its own magical way. So, if I can, I will try to scatter some spangles into the universe as I stumble, crawl, gambol, leap, slink, fall, get up and try to get going again on my path.
I hear from many fellow travelers that they appreciate this, that it helps them on their own ride. Whether it's my wearing my Santa Hat or giving voice to my love of dance and creativity or my gallows humor. It makes them smile or feel hopeful, inspired or joyful. Excellent.
Some days it takes more effort than others for me to do this. Some days, the ride is so bumpy that I can't even say sparkle let alone embody it.
But if I possibly can, as I steer like crazy navigating this wild ride, I will continue to work the joy. I will take the time to notice and appreciate the souls I meet in my daily round, the cashiers and the dental staff and the person next to me in the grocery line. I will go out of my way to support and say thank you. I will wish a lovely Thanksgiving to as many as I can and make an extra batch of cookies for folks I don't know and find ways to connect to people.
I see and feel the darkness, sure. I just want to be aware that if I'm giving my energy to that, it's the result of a conscious choice, not an unconscious reflex. And when I possibly can, I'm adding sparkle to the mix; 'makes the world taste richer, more complex and ideally happier. I expect others add a limitless array of other gifts and I value that.
So, heck yeah, as I'm sitting here at the computer, I just put on my Santa Hat, fluffier than ever (thank you cleaners!). I crank up Beyonce, and start dancing in my robe amidst the remnants of the morning. The bad news mixed with the laughter, the dirty dishes, the sunshine, the difficult phone call. And I'm shouting LOVE!!