This time of year is often one that is very difficult for people, for many different reasons. For me personally, it is the first Christmas that I am not spending with 3 of my children. For other people, this season may remind them of Christmases with their family members passed on or estranged, for whatever reason. It may remind people of failed relationships, or terrible events or of personal scars attained during the outer and inner growth processes. The difficulty of the season is in all actuality a challenge to us each to go within in order to process the emotions that it gives rise to. We are presented with an opportunity to examine our inner emotional baggage and either continue to glorify it by giving it power over our lives or we can process and integrate it, thereby refusing to empower it to the extent that it causes us emotional pain.
It is a difficult proposition no matter our chosen response. For me, missing my children is a constant. The pain of their daily absence in my life has not lessened since it occurred. Time and distance has a way of placing this odd sheen of blurred recollection between us and our memories, but our hearts can’t see in the same way and pain has a way of refreshing itself. We re-create trauma in our lives by dwelling on it, we define ourselves by our pain, we claim it and cherish it, making it an integral part of our self expression. Whether or not that is the correct way to deal with it, it is often a very human way to do so that transcends culture or ethnicity to become a part of the human condition that afflicts us all and that anyone can resonate to, anywhere in the world.
Remembering past injustices by friends or family members, Christmases spent in conflict or in love, holiday seasons of deprivation or of excess, the rise and fall, the ebb and flow of emotionalism as those feelings we felt then come back to haunt us now, contextualizing the moment, taking us out of the Now and back into the Past, effectively re-creating the emotional conditions of yesteryear in the crucible of the present.
It is always a choice.
A choice that can be made in each instance. A choice that we often do not recognize unless it is pointed out to us in some fashion. That each thought is a choice. That each action is a choice. That the future is totally up to us and is a result of all of the choices that we will ever make.
Exiting our memories and entering the present moment can lead to an encounter with fear as the option of releasing our past confronts us. Does letting go mean that I love any less? Does moving on mean that I am heartless? Does releasing memories mean that they are no longer important? Does embracing the Now mean that the past is meaningless?
Releasing the emotional detritus of the past effectively allows us to embrace the present moment fully, perhaps for the first time. Consciously living in the Now, not allowing the regrets of the past to intervene and ruin it creates new flows of memory, new associations, new neural networks created by neurons flowing along new pathways, creating new connections as synapses fire in different ways, allowing us to think in totally new patterns. It is possible for people to change their ways if they allow themselves to, if they, we, actively engage ourselves in the challenge of living each moment anew, without applying the values and conclusions of the past to current events and people, by allowing the Now to become new, to effectively choose a sort of Innocence as an expression o f a new commitment to life and to possibility.
Allowing the magic to re-enter into one’s life, much as Scrooge did in that old classic Christmas tale. When confronted with the inevitability of mortality we become apprised of the reality that we are not promised tomorrow and what we do with today is the most important decision that we can make. If we choose to make today all about yesterday then we engage in the very definition of insanity, by doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. If we choose to always be the same, then we are choosing the same results. We cannot expect our lives, our inner selves, our emotional bodies, to change, if we do not manage that change consciously ourselves, committing to the idea of living our lives and experiencing each day to the fullest.
Our love is eternal. Just because we have lost our loved ones in the Now, it does not mean that they have left us forever. Just because we are not with the ones we love right now, it does not mean we will never be with them again. Just because we are estranged now, it does not mean we will be estranged forever and just because we are hurting today, it does not mean we have to hurt tomorrow. It is our choice. The future is an open book. We write it with each decision that we undertake. Our intention is paramount. If we live with love, then love is our expression and can be felt by those whom we share it with, whether they are present with us or distant. We are entangled, we are One, as all of Creation is an expression of a Divine Thought made manifest and animated with individual consciousness, Awareness becoming Aware of, and Loving, its Self.
Enjoy the Season, enjoy the Now. Choosing to live, is choosing to Love. Choosing to Love is the fullest expression of Life Itself.
Happy Holidays to One and All, however you may express it.