No, I’m not going to talk about the charming, yet completely over played song made popular by the movie Frozen. I’m going to talk about letting go of something that is holding us back from our best year yet. Something like a repeated behavior that doesn’t serve us well, yet we keep doing anyway. Something that we do even when we know better. That’s what we’ve been talking about on boy island. I mean, not that any of us have any unsavory characteristics. It’s just hypothetical of course. 🙂 Read with sarcasm. We all have plenty, but I figured we should each start with one. Believe it or not celebrating the Chinese Lantern Festival became just the right opportunity.
We have always loved learning about other cultures by studying and enjoying their holiday celebrations. The Chinese New Year has been a favorite for years, but the Lantern Festival is new to us. It takes place on the last day of the two-week new year celebration. I was reading that in Taiwan, people fly sky lanterns on the night of the moon festival. On the lanterns they write their wishes for a bright and happy New Year. They believe that the lanterns will rise to the god of heaven who will read their wish and grant it come true. I love symbolism so it got me thinking. We have things we need to let go of in order to have a bright and happy year. Not well wishes, but things that are holding us back. So we spent a day celebrating and learning about the Chinese customs. We made a meal, read some legends and talked about the way the people celebrate the Lantern Festival. Then we made it our own. We took the chance to go around the table and each share one behavior that we need to get rid of for a happier, brighter, year. The oldest shared that he needs to stop bullying his brothers. The next that he needs to not say mean things and then say they are jokes. My seven-year old said that he needs to use more self-control when he is angry. My youngest, as he often does, said the same as each of his brothers. 🙂 I agreed with each of them. Then they asked me. I wish I didn’t have anything to let go of, because that would mean I have it all worked out. But I don’t. So instead I told them the truth. I shared that I need to let go of some unforgiveness in my life. True story. Peter said it’s like a Best Year celebration instead of New Year, since we already celebrated New Years in January. I love it. Best Year sounds just right to me.
We got our lanterns ready and set them off in the night sky.
They were so beautiful and rose so high it truly did seem they would make it to heaven. I am so glad that we don’t really have to send our prayers to God on lanterns. I am so glad that as we sat around the table and prayed to give up the behaviors that keep us back, God was listening. Now we just have to get to the obeying. No magic in letting the lanterns go, but power in committing to letting go of stuff that’s keeping us from growing.
If you want to have your own lantern festival and let go of what ever is keeping you back you don’t have to wait until the Chinese New Year comes back around. It is always the right time to celebrate change and growth.