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Wednesday, 22 December 2010

The real meaning of Christmas

As this year comes to an end, one begins to reflect on what has passed during the previous twelve months and analyse, if that is the right word, what it means and what we have learnt from our experiences. When I look back on my year, it has been a year of great challenges but also great joy. The challenges have come as always, predominantly from the ego, and from listening to the gossip of others - certain people whom I work with are definately more negative than others, and I have found myself at times joining in the banter in an effort to bond and feel part of the team. The universe has conpired as always to keep away from those who seek whether they know it or not, to distract me from my path by changing their hours so that I rarely see them, at the same time it has brought me into closer contact with those who challenge in a different way, by reflecting back to me those things that I need to be aware of inside myself so that I can become more conscious of who I am and what I need to work on.

For me this has been a year of both challenges and surprises - and one of tremendous growth. It has seemed at times as if I were plodding laboriously uphill through treacle, so dense has been the energy, and there have been periods of almost complete exhaustion. The feeling around Christmas is though different this year - last year I felt upset and angry that I had just one day off while others in less important (perhaps not the right word to use) jobs than my own, had two weeks off with which to do as they pleased. But, one thing I have learnt and recognised this year is that my path is to serve, and so this year is does not feel like a chore, but an honour and a privilige to spend time with those who in many ways are more my family than my real one, for I spend more time with them than with those to whom I am connected by blood. In the end though, we are all one big family anyway regardless of skin colour, blood, or any of that, as science has now shown.

If there is a message re Christmas that I would like to pass on, it has to be the words of author Neale Donald Walsh. I have my Canadian friend Michele Doucet to thank for passing these words on to me. Michele who is also a writer, reminds me in many ways of myself when I was new to the writing scene and full of hope and aspirations.

What Neale has to say is this:

“The Christmas celebration itself has gotten so big, so almost out of hand, that it seems that a lot of different people have a lot of different ideas about what it's all about. It's about the birth of the savior, for sure, but only if the savior is born again right now. We have been told that there was a savior born in a manger many, many years ago. But here is something that we have not often been told - there has been a savior born every night and every day and every minute somewhere on this planet, from the beginning. What if each of us was intended to be a savior? What if we all were? What if every time someone is born, a savior is born? The only question then would be, whether we know it or not”.

Neale goes further to say that ... “There is something very special we are celebrating during the days and weeks ahead, and it feels to me that it's larger than any one person or any one religion or any one spiritual doctrine. There's a feeling that millions of people experience at this time of year - they experience it in common and they experience it together. I'm sorry if this sounds na├»ve, or even sappy, but I think that feeling can be put into one word - LOVE. If Love really is what we are celebrating here, it will not matter what kind of package it comes in, what kind of dogma it's wrapped in, or what kind of doctrine it's flavored with. It would only matter whether it was real and true, and present here and now - in our lives and in our world. And there is one way to guarantee that it is ... by putting it there. It is, in the end, up to us.

If we want humanity to receive the true gift of Christmas, and if we want to have it last the whole year through, we have to agree to become, each of us in our own way, the savior. Nothing that is going on during this special time will have any meaning until I give it meaning in my own life, and in the lives of others. All of us do, and if we will give ourselves permission to see it that way, and to see ourselves that way - as the person making the choice, as the person modeling the choice, as the person sharing the choice - we can save the day for humanity. The savior can be born again when we allow Love Unconditional to be born again in our hearts.

If you think of someone with love right now, as you are reading this, light a candle in your heart. Whether the person you are thinking of is in the body or has left their earthly body, it will not matter. He or she will feel it. And this is how it begins. Through simple acts such as this. I promise you. The love for another that you ignite in your heart is ignited in the heart of the other. The light may be dim at first, but it will never go out. It cannot, as long as you keep placing it there. That was the message of the man whose birth I celebrate at Christmas. So here's the gift you can give this season. Help me be that. And, for that matter, help everyone whose life you touch. Do it by loving them, simply, plainly, openly, without condition. Return them to themselves. Let's give it to each other, and to all people everywhere. Then, the savior is born .... in us. And then we can bring, we can truly bring, Joy to the World”.

And that sums up more than anything the reason we are all here, to be true to ourselves and in so doing be an example to all those whom we come into contact with by radiating that love that we feel for ourselves out into the world, and letting our own light shine. As Marianne Williamson also said, "It is our light, not our darkness that we are most afraid of". That is why I choose not to make New Year Resolutions, but simply to state that my goals for the year ahead are to continue to grow both spiritually and emotionally and to make a difference to the lives of those whom I serve. Nothing else matters and in the final analysis it is the reason we are all here - to remember who and what we are by serving and interacting with others.