Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Spirit of Christmas Present

“I will honour Christmas in my heart, and try to keep it all the year. I will live in the Past, the Present, and the Future. The Spirits of all Three shall strive within me. I will not shut out the lessons that they teach!” 
 Charles Dickens, A Christmas Carol

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!  

I believe the holidays provide us with a unique opportunity to connect with Spirit.  We are surrounded by reminders of the Light within us this time of year because, everywhere we look,  there are symbols of that Light, as well as symbols of the gifts God extends to all creation – love, peace, joy and life itself. 

A truth I invite you to consider this year is that the Christmas you are experiencing is exactly as it should be.   As Ebenezer Scrooge in Dickens’ Christmas Carol points out in the quote above, the Past, the Present and the Future all live within us at this moment.  Many of us suffer from the need to make this holiday please the “spirit of Christmas past”, or we judge the present Christmas against a romanticized ideal Christmas in the future – you know the one - when everything finally lines up perfectly and we can relax and  be happy.  What happened to the spiritual wisdom of living in the moment?  In the power of now?  What would that even look like in practical terms, especially in December?

We are free to enjoy Christmas 2015 exactly like it is.  When we look at life from a spiritual perspective, we know that we are surrounded by the people with whom we are supposed to spend this holiday.   We know that we are always in our right and perfect place, having the exact experiences we have drawn to ourselves this year.  There will never be another Christmas just like this one – ever.   The food may be unique this year, the presents under the tree may be more plentiful, or from new people, or non-existent.   Whatever is here, is here for us to experience on purpose.  There is no reason to compare this year to any other year – past or future.  We are here right now, and if we are mindful in this moment, we can find the special gifts that are available to us.  When we do these things we are enjoying the spirit of Christmas Present.

Gratitude is the most powerful state of mind, for when we are in gratitude we know that all is well and we are fully present in the NOW.  Look around you this year and consciously move into a grateful heart for everything you have co-created with the Divine.   Spirit is all around you, in every person, every circumstance, every element just awaiting your recognition.  Everything is a gift. 

If you are alone this year, lean into the gift of silence and serenity and know that you are surrounded by a Universe of Love and Light.  If you are facing a challenge of any sort, be cognizant of the gift of Strength and know that challenges come and go and that your holiday season is unfolding as it should be.   If you are not around the people you long for, acknowledge the gift of those who do grace you with their presence.   If you find that it wouldn’t be wise to spend your resources in ways you have in the past, relish the gift of receiving and exchanging pure love and appreciation.  Allow Christmas 2015 to be different and perfect, exactly like it is and find all of the gifts hiding in the circumstances.   They are there.

Always remember the wisdom – “This too shall pass.”   That wisdom applies to the situations and people and circumstances that we cling to and cherish, but also to any challenges we may face and wish would disappear immediately.  We can never recapture the joys or the pains of yesteryear.  So, whatever is going on in 2015 won’t be the same next year, or ever again.  Each moment stands alone.

A dear friend of mine is spending this Christmas very differently than any holiday in the past.  This gorgeous man is one of the most generous people I know.  He is so thoughtful and kind and loving.   He takes great delight in gifting his friends with wonderful things and experiences.  Realizing that this year he would have to do things differently, my friend felt it necessary to apologize for not participating in the traditional way.  The conversation that we had about holiday traditions inspired this spiritual stretch.

We are each called to create a new tradition.  This new tradition for the holidays is about living in the now, allowing Spirit to surprise and delight us in unexpected ways each year.  It calls for us to keep creating and recreating the divine idea of expressing the holidays with one another in new ways.  It calls for embracing the unique and changing face of the “Christmas Present”, allowing all things new.

And, of course, this stretch is not just a holiday stretch.   And it certainly applies to all holidays of all faiths, not just Christmas.  We must make this our tradition any day of the year – even way down at the bottom of December.  We must honor the Spirit in the present Christmas.

Let’s actually gift ourselves the freedom to enjoy this moment!  Merry Christmas!

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