Christmas time is one of the best times of the year for spiritual growth. Not only is there a great deal of attention on happiness, peace, and love, but it is also a time of year that will highlight what needs some attention in you. What you’ve been holding on to.
Many of us were raised with rather odd messages. For example, the Christian sacrifice, mixed in with Santa’s better be good. Throw in a dose of guilt and dashed expectations and you have the recipe for suffering. The lost child. Add in all the marketing hype and commercialization of Christmas for new expectations and entitlements and you have a focus to bring out our darker side.
If we continue down this road, Christmas can become a time we’d rather not remember nor celebrate. We will find ourselves in avoidance behavior or churning our troubles. This can take many forms:
– cocooning over the holidays, withdrawing
– throwing the whole ‘spiritual’ or Christmas thing out, perhaps blaming the ads
– thoughtless things like pointless gifts and guilt over same
– a lot of raw emotions and drama, reactivity
– excess spending – either as avoidance or attempts to compensate or make amends. Many relationships falter over money and Christmas can be the fulcrum of that.
– excess sacrifice, the need for the event to be perfect. I notice many boomers have largely stopped entertaining the way they used to.
– excess food and drink.
Of course, we can expect some excess and heightened emotions in celebration – that’s natural. But if it’s not about peace and light, then we’re bringing some past to the table.
In other words, its a very good time of year for emotional mindfulness. Feeling when we are resisting or holding back. Seeing the drama arising and doing the work necessary to fully see it, to allow the feelings to be expressed within so you can clear the decks as it were. To allow it so you can let it go.
Really, it all comes down to choice. Do you want this to be the best Christmas ever? Then you are dooming yourself to suffering. Would it not be better to do the work, open the heart, and find the peace they talk about so much this time of year? Just make it the Christmas that it is. You might be surprised what a load that takes off.
Peace be with you, as it already is. That is the way to Peace on Earth. As John said, if you want it.