Thanksgiving is behind us, and we are gearing up for Christmas. This year, I have realized that not everyone enjoys or even celebrates the holidays.
Perhaps, it may be challenging for some who may have lost their job or a loved one, are going through a difficult separation or divorce, are emotionally distant from their family, are dealing with an unexpected illness or injury, are separated by miles, or they may be lonely, single, or hurting. There is a myriad of reasons that may be out of their control, but whatever the reasons, holidays can be tough for some, and some may even wish they could close their eyes and wake up when the holidays are over.
I am sure you may even know some who feel that way, lost in the wilderness or desert, trying to find their way. I know I do, as I have encountered people recently in my life experiencing each of those scenarios. How do we reach out to them and encourage and guide them through difficult and dark days?
In the fifth grade, my mom took me to the eye doctor because I was squinting and had difficulty reading the chalkboard. The eye doctor found that I was near-sighted and needed glasses. As we left the doctor's office with my new set of eyewear, I was amazed at how much better I could see in the distance. Things looked so much clearer and not fuzzy. Isn't it crazy how differently you can see and experience the world simply by having the right lens?
For just a moment, I want you to imagine a field with two horses. From a distance, each horse looks like any other horse. But, as you walk by, you will notice something unusual and unique. If you look closely into the eyes of one horse, you will see that he is blind. The horse owner has chosen not to put him down and has discovered some creative ways in which the horse can have somewhat of a normal life.
When you are close to the horse and listening, you will hear the sound of a bell. And you begin to wonder where the sound is coming from...you then realize the sound is coming from a much smaller horse in the field. Attached to her halter is a small bell which lets her blind friend know where she is so that he can follow her.
While you stand and watch these two friends, you'll see how she is constantly checking on him and that he will listen for her bell and then slowly walk to where she is, trusting that she will not lead him astray.
When she returns to the barn stall each evening, she occasionally stops and looks back for her friend, ensuring he isn't too far behind to hear the bell. Isn't it amazing how much we truly need each other?
Have we become blind to the truth, hope, peace, and joy, or do we live each day in a fog, seeing the world, culture, circumstances, and ourselves as a fuzzy mess but not knowing any better once our eyes are open?
There have been many times during my life when I have felt I was the blind horse. Instead of seeking out the wisdom of good friends or family, I was blinded by my surroundings, and there were many holidays where I wished I could wake up when they were over. But choosing to find gratitude in even the most minor things restored my hope and filled my heart with peace and joy. I could clearly see and hear the blessings (bell) that were right in front of me.
Sometimes you are the blind horse being guided by the little ringing bell, and other times, you are the guide horse, helping others see the way. That is why I value & cherish good friends, you don't always see them, but you know they are there guiding you.
"The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched. They must be felt with the heart," ~Helen Keller.
To connect with Ellie, FB @coachelliewest http://www.coachinghearttoheart.com
Ellie will be doing a book signing in "The Shoppe" at the Three Forks Christmas Stroll from 4:30 - 6:00 pm.