How do you feel about this time of the year? I love Christmas. It’s what I know. I would probably love Hanukkah if I were Jewish or any other holiday centered around thoughts and actions of peace, joy, hope, love.
Why? They are Heart-values revealed in many traditions celebrated in this season. I want to make it clear that I am not very familiar with other traditions, and I want to make it extra clear that I do not believe christianity, especially institutionalized, westernized, organizational christianity, is superior to any other tradition. Please notice I said I enjoy the Heart-values; of course, I love the beauty, too, of the decorations and music and art and literature...
I am aware that a number of Christmas symbols and customs derive from more ancient, non-christian cultures: Yule log, holly and ivy, the date and time of year. Of course, commercialism has assembled its own little stories of warmth about the season. Whole books have been written about this, and this is not a history lesson. I even wrote this because I thought in all fairness, I should state my opinion about Jesus of Nazareth, since he probably wasn’t even born in the winter!
I believe Jesus of Nazareth was different from others because he lived Heart-Spirit-Being connection totally. I believe he indicated we have this possibility of power. He indicated his disciples then and those to come would do greater things than he did. I cannot reconcile it all, nor do I care to right now. What I know is that Jesus expressed the love and essence of the Spirit in beautiful ways, ways we are reminded of at this time of year, not only through Christmas, but other cultural celebrations; the heart values are no different.
I also believe so many buy into this holiday time of the year because we want to experience the qualities of eternal Spirit. So we enjoy the things that radiate love, light, and peace. We like the stories that show the shift from ego to Heart — A Christmas Carol — or that exemplify warm family gatherings and relationships and joyful celebrations as in Washington Irving’s Old Christmas: “Surely happiness is reflective, like the light of heaven; and every countenance, bright with smiles, and glowing with innocent enjoyment, is a mirror transmitting to others the rays of a supreme and ever-shining benevolence.”
This reflection, glimpse of eternal Spirit in humans shows why we enter so enthusiastically into the celebration: Each of us has Heart, the embodiment of Spirit in us. It’s why Jesus said we could live in miracles. It’s why we can walk in magic. Whether it’s Christmas, Hanukkah, Celtic winter solstice, Kwanzaa, Saturnalia, or Festivus (lol!), we crave the connection with the Universe being felt, known, and lived here. It’s proof of our basic spiritual nature.
In fact, it’s why so many wonder, including me, why we can’t live in the magic of love, goodwill, peace, kindness, and beauty all the time. Now, this is where the dichotomy of Ego and Heart come into play. Celebrations like these are times when our Heart uses qualities of the Spirit to speak to our minds and souls. Remember, we need to make a conscious decision to begin processing and filtering life with Heart rather than Ego if we are to experience these wonderful aspects of life.
However, many enjoy the near miss with Heart, feel good for awhile, and Ego convinces them to get real, get practical, get over it. However, we don’t have to be on vacation all the time in order to live spiritually. The beauties of these holidays can be known in our everyday work. Is kindness and the cultivation of good relationships not good for business? What about offering help to those in need in any context? So many things here are possible, but they aren’t realized when most folks don’t make that Heart operating system choice.
Those who do know those realities, though, because we meet Heart, the part of Spirit we embody, and as we work out our life Purpose, Vision, Mission, and Goals, we live in the light of the blessings of this season.
Alas, a predominantly Ego-driven world thinks it is all a fairy tale that can be briefly indulged but then it must be over. Why? Because it would be inconvenient for egoic leaders, governments, and the ego-energy created by the mass of individuals who don’t connect with Heart. Ego and Heart can’t run simultaneously without crashing the system, so if the status quo of Ego-life is to be maintained, we have to shake it all off and get back to reality.
What an awful reality for those who every year sentimentally taste a little bit of Heart and Spirit but don’t believe such can be the new status quo. Again, they’re not wrong; they’re oftentimes just sad or weary or burdened or depressed. It’s not necessary. For a full life, though, choosing to walk in fellowship with Heart is.
I will write more of this, I’m sure, but in the meantime, may your days be merry and bright!
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Questions to consider:
How many times have you asked yourself or simply thought about the following questions?
Who am I, really?
What is my truth?
How do my actions reveal what I really feel and believe?
What would I do with my life if I could do anything?
What is my passion?
Why am I here?
How can I discover answers to any of these questions?
If you have considered any of these questions, I hope that my experiences and writing will give you some guidance. Please read my blog and comment and share your thoughts. I would love to hear from you!