Memorial Day, for many it is an opportunity to enjoy in a long weekend. Retailers use it for an occasion for sales. It marks the onset of summer and we take time to play and socialize. I am one who likes any chance to relax, enjoy myself and cannot resist a bargain.
Yet, Memorial Day did not begin with this intention. It was originally known as Decoration Day and it began an occasion to honor Union soldiers who had died during the Civil War. After World War I, it was extended to include all men and women.
For many of us war and loss are part of reality. We raise the flag and visit our loved ones at the cemetery. I have been traveling lately and when I get off the plane I see the USO greeting these young soldiers and the surrounding travelers clapping and thanking those who serve. I feel an upwelling of gratitude and awe at the courage it takes to serve our country.
On Monday, take a few moments and reflect on the cost of war. This is not a political statement but a human experience of love, gratitude and inner peace.
Let me know in the comments below about your Memorial Day thoughts.
You’ve got to get up every morning with a smile on your face, and show the world all the love in your heart. Carol King
This lyric from the song has great deal of meaning in its simplicity. As we enter February, we see many commercials and items to celebrate love. It begins with ourselves. It is important to fill yourself up so you have something to give.
We all have problems to deal with and it is easier to shut ourselves down. Even something as simple as a smile at another or a kind word can bring on an upwelling of loving feelings.
Showing love can be a decision, rather than a feeling.
I find when I teach at the Cancer Center, no matter how I am feeling when I walk in, my spirits are uplifted when I am able to give from an open- hearted space. I watch others fill up, leaving feeling calm and centered.
When you wake up tomorrow, cultivate a feeling of showing love and kindness. You will feel more content from the inside- out.
Let me know in the comments below how focusing on love works for you. Were you able to show care and kindness to yourself? Was it easier to show it to others?
When traveling by plane, one of the first instructions you are given is to put the oxygen mask on yourself first, before putting it on the person next to you needing help.
This is very true of caregiving. Our lives center around the patient and before long, we neglect our needs. We do not take time to eat properly, exercise and participate in the activities we used to enjoy. We grow frustrated, angry and depleted. We feel guilty for feeling this way when our loved one is suffering, which perpetuates the spiral.
We cannot give what we do not have.
It is vital to remember to take care of ourselves. Each day we need to take time to fill up which will help both you and your loved one. When we do, we are more centered, more efficient and have more stamina. We can fill up so we can give with the same love and compassion we show ourselves.
Let me know in the comments below how you might be able to take better care of yourself.