In 2014 — there were two women living drastically different experiences as they entered the Christmas season.
Woman A was someone you would look at and think, “This poor girl. Her life is a mess.” She was a new mom who was financially struggling. She’d just transitioned out of a business and lost her income — and she was about to walk through her first Christmas in 37 years not in her family home. On top of all of that? It was her first Christmas without her father and her sister — and grief was surrounding her from all sides.
In every sense of the word, she was walking through darkness .
And then there was Woman B.
Woman B — also a brand new mom — was experiencing Christmas through her toddlers eyes while carrying her second child within her. She lived at the beach in her dream town and was surrounded by family and friends. She was living her life to the fullest — leaving a legacy for others by volunteering and giving back to her community in as many ways as possible. She was on the other side of addiction — walking life in freedom as a sober, healthy, and happy woman.
Before we go any further — do you want to know a secret?
These women? They’re the same person.
These women? They’re me.
I look back on 2014 and I remember every emotion, every thought, every feeling so vividly. I remember thinking that I should’ve been devastated and depressed — that I should have had the hardest or “worst” Christmas ever because of the circumstances surrounding that year.
But in all actuality — I had the most magical Christmas ever.
I was anticipating a Christmas season focust on heartbreak and depression as I grieved the loss of my father and sister.
I was expecting anxiety and stress over our finances.
I was setting myself up for life to be really, really hard.
And yet — seven years later, I look back on that Christmas with such fondness.
So — what’s the point?
The point is this: The story we tell ourselves matters.
Woman A could’ve wallowed. She could’ve thrown in the towel on the magic of Christmas or the hope that she knows it brings — and she could’ve sat deep and rooted in the pit of despair.
But then Woman B chimed in and reminded her of all the goodness there was. Woman B spoke uip. Woman B had a voice that was a little bit stronger, a little bit more convincing, and a whole lot louder.
And so instead of a dark, drab and dreary Christmas — 2014 Moira experienced one of the sweetest and memorable Christmases of her life.
Because our focus matters.
Because the thoughts we allow to take up real estate in our mind matters.
Because the stories we tell ourselves — especially in hard times — matter.
No matter what you’re going through this Christmas season — remember this: You can’t control your circumstances, but you can control the way you think about them.