Thanksgiving is behind us and we are getting ready for Christmas. This year, I realized that not everyone enjoys or even celebrates the holidays.
Perhaps it can be challenging for some who have lost a job or a loved one, are going through a difficult separation or divorce, are emotionally estranged from their family, are dealing with an unexpected illness or injury, are separated by miles or they may be single, lonely or hurt. There are a multitude of reasons that can get out of their control, but whatever the reasons, the holidays can be hard for some, and some may even want to close their eyes and wake up when the holidays are over.
I’m sure you may even know some who feel this way, lost in the wilderness or desert trying to find their way. I know I do because I have met people in my life recently who experience each of these scenarios. How do we reach them, encourage them and guide them through difficult and dark days?
In the fifth grade, my mother took me to the eye doctor because I was squinting and had trouble reading the board. The ophthalmologist found that I was nearsighted and needed glasses. When I left the doctor’s office with my new set of glasses, I was amazed at how well I could see far away. Things looked much clearer and not blurry at all. Isn’t it crazy how differently you can see and experience the world simply by having the right lens?
For 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 pass, you will notice something unusual and unique. If you look closely into the eyes of a horse, you will see that it is blind. The horse’s owner chose not to put it down and found some creative ways for the horse to have a somewhat normal life.
When you are close to the horse and listen, you will hear the sound of a bell. And you start to wonder where the sound is coming from… then you realize the sound is coming from a much smaller horse in the field. Attached to her head is a small bell that lets her blind friend know where she is so he can follow her.
As you sit and watch these two friends, you will see how she constantly checks on him and he will listen to her bell and then slowly walk towards 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, making sure he isn’t too far behind to hear the bell. Isn’t it amazing how much we need each other?
Have we become blind to truth, hope, peace, and joy, or do we live each day in a fog, seeing the world, culture, circumstances, and ourselves as a blurry mess, but not knowing any better once our eyes are opened?
There have been many times in my life when I felt like I was the blind horse. Instead of seeking the wisdom of good friends or family, I was blinded by my surroundings and there were many holidays I wished I could wake up to when they were over. But choosing to find gratitude in even the smallest things has restored my hope and filled my heart with peace and joy. I could clearly see and hear the blessings (the 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’s why I value and cherish good friends, you don’t always see them, but you know they’re 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 signing a book in “The Shoppe” at the Three Forks Christmas Stroll from 4:30 – 6:00 p.m.