It’s the most wonderful time of the year… I hope you all read that in a sing-song manner! Yes, Christmas is upon us, a time of merriment and joy and love, of family and friends and gifts, of delicious food and festive decorations. Christmas may mean something slightly different to everyone, but there’s little escaping its presence. Edinburgh now is a mass of sparkling lights, bringing a festive atmosphere to the city. Everywhere you look, there is something sparkling, twinkling, glimmering, or shining.
But these lights are material objects. All they can do is shine when we turn them on, and the beautiful displays they create, while stunning, are man-made and often commercial. So where do we find natural shine? Where is the organic sparkle that humans are capable of possessing? By this, what I mean is that some people walk around full of light and shine, glowing with emotions, be it happiness, love, confidence, or merriment. Especially at this time of year, some people just seem to ‘light up’ at the mere mention of Christmas, which clearly carries positive memories and connotations for them. This isn’t just limited to Christmas of course; we talk of blushing brides or the pregnancy glow, as people seem to radiate their happiness.
But what about the people who can’t seem to find their sparkle? We obviously can’t all be beacons of light and positivity all the time; everyone has their bad days, and everyone experiences negative emotions sometimes. Some people might even be shining less at Christmas time, perhaps because of the stress it can bring, or from bad memories, or because Christmas is a time that can make people feel lonelier or more aware of the things they don’t have (money, family etc) – also a stark reminder to the rest of us to be grateful if we do have those things!
Some people though, seem to have no sparkle at all, at any time. People who are wrapped up in their own darkness, through no fault of their own, consumed by negative emotions that have stripped them of their ability to shine. What about those people? We are not light bulbs. We cannot just switch on our happiness and make ourselves sparkle. Human emotions are a far more complex spectrum than simply good and bad, on and off. Happiness is a choice, yes; we can choose to pursue and find the things that bring us happiness, we can choose to be content and grateful for what we have instead of always wanting more. But even someone with everything won’t be shining all of the time. And some people cannot choose happiness, because illness has robbed them of that choice.
So what do we do? How do we shine more, and help others shine too? We focus on the positives in our lives. We are grateful for what we have. We find what makes us happy. We give to others a much as we can, whether that is physical things, or positive vibes. We look out for one another. We ask for help and we give it. We are selfless and kind and generous. We love.
Inspired by the prompt ‘Sparkle‘ on The Daily Post