The most central theme of the holiday season is connection. This is the time of year when we make the most effort to reconnect with family and friends to celebrate joy, wonder, and hope. It’s the perfect opportunity to invest in and strengthen these relationships.
The trouble is, we often get caught up in the whirlwind of expectation that surrounds holiday preparation. We put our focus on creating the perfect gathering to impress our friends, or the perfect gift to surprise someone—and don’t get me wrong, these things are wonderful, but not when they cause us to miss out on actually cultivating our relationships.
I don’t think it’s any secret that the holiday season is one of the busiest, most stressful seasons of the year. On top of the normal stressors we deal with: work, traffic, housekeeping, etc., come the additional factors of managing time, expectations, relationships, schedules, and holiday planning. It can quickly become overwhelming.
Studies have shown that the leading cause of holiday stress is holding unrealistic expectations. When we hold ourselves to these often-impossible standards, we find ourselves drained of energy, time, and sometimes even joy. If we want to truly make the most of this holiday season, it’s vital that we allow our souls to breathe.
We talk often of choosing happiness. Countless blog articles, podcasts, and other resources exist on the subject, but what does choosing happiness really look like? How can you actually do it?
It sounds so easy: Just choose to be happy! Just choose. That’s it. No further explanation—as if merely deciding to be happy is all it takes. It’s no wonder we get frustrated when it doesn’t work out like that—at least, not for long.
Nobody wants to be influenced by negative people. People obsessed with offense, complaining, and griping are just not fun to be around—not to mention the block this negativity puts on the flow of Wonder and creativity.
When we dwell in a negative mindset, surrounded by negative people, the things we create lose their power. After all, the purpose of creativity is to bring hope where there is hopelessness, and beauty where there are ashes. The purpose is to have a positive impact—but how can we create that in a world so enveloped in negativity?
The pursuit of Wonder is not for cowards. It’s a journey deep into the Perilous Realm of life, curiosity, and—ultimately—truth. To follow after Wonder is one of the most daring things a person can do in a world bent on the security of small living.
If we want to live truly incandescent lives, we must pursue Wonder. We must heed the call and gather our courage: courage to see beyond, to go where others will not; to seek truth and beauty and share it with the world. This is a call for heroes.
We’ve discussed the purpose of Wonder. Now it’s time to talk about the power of Wonder. Its presence is all around us, every day, stirring us; demanding to be felt. Without it, our souls would be parched, unable to create.
The power of Wonder is magnetic, yet somehow intimidating. It’s magical, and yet to fully embrace it—to allow it to carry you into the Perilous Realm—is terrifying, because if you are going to dare to wonder, you must also be ready to let go. After all, this is the call of something wild.
I want to take a little while to make a study of Wonder. What is its purpose? The purpose of reaching out to the fringes of your mind and searching for answers to questions that whisper in the silence? Why this grand adventure?
We were made to wonder; made for awe, for inspiration. Indeed, we were created to create—to explore, to discover, and to make an attempt at understanding and communicating the depth and the richness of our magnificent world. Yet the value—the purpose of Wonder goes much deeper than we imagine.