I woke up early today half-way between excitement and anxiety. I’m thinking a lot about what this day means to people. How we have simultaneously made it about love but twisted how that love is shown; like the only way to show someone you love them is to go into massive debt or something. Or that commercial consumption is the norm when there are people who don’t have food on the table. I’m guilty of this as well—I’ve been waiting for my son to really experience “Santa” for so long that I know I gave into my old ideas of what things needed to look like (presents under the tree, lots of lights, and lots of food etc.). I wanted to give him that magic in a year where he is finally able to understand and in a year that has been so challenging. But I see how much of that is just me and my ego. As I wrote on Christmas Eve, I really do want him to experience the magic, but I also want to show him how important the real meaning of this day is. So I want to start reframing as early as possible.
Today, no matter where you are, no matter how (or if) you celebrate, this is about love. This is about remembering the miracle that is life and pausing to relish in it. This day isn’t about who has the best or the most of anything—that is rooted in ego. This day is about letting go of anything we’ve held on to and finding that innate hope in who we are and sharing that with others who may struggle to find that at this time of year.
My wish for everyone is a profound sense of coming to ourselves. A dawning realization of who we are. It is only in finding that root that we can heal enough to find that love within ourselves. To find that inexhaustible source of hope and power to let go of what we thought we knew to be true and to accept that we have been living in an illusion of our own creation. An illusion we’ve held onto so tightly that we never considered others may be hurt by it. An illusion so real and so deeply ingrained in people that we never questioned whether or not life could be done any other way. An illusion so forcefully pushed on us that it bordered on delusion.
My wish is that we normalize caring enough for ourselves to take care of those who can’t. That we remember we are NOT machines and we start living our lives in a way that honors our humanity. That we ease into being driven by love and peace and understand the power that comes from decisions made with care for others rather than domination.
My wish is that we all do better. Better for ourselves and better for each other. I wish that we would all understand the responsibility we have for ourselves as well as to each other. It doesn’t take much to see how our actions impact other people. If we flourished as seemingly well as we did with treating each other like crap, imagine how well we would ALL do if we treated each other well. That isn’t to say we all have the same heart, the same goal (I’m not totally naïve), but even seeing how good it feels when people treat us well should be motivation enough to return the favor. If you can’t treat people well, at least do them no harm. (I’m paraphrasing that last line from the Dalai Lama).
My last wish (for now) is that we all become healthier. Healthier in mind, body, and spirit. We all carry a lot of negative crap with us. We hold on so tightly to both our mistakes and how others have wronged us. We carry it like a badge of honor and we hide how we really feel with food, sex, alcohol, drugs, too much TV—too much anything. In waking up to who we are, to our humanity, to seeing how we have to do better—we will become healthier. In becoming softer in our hearts we flow better with the reality of this world. In letting go of control we dance with what is. Being here, right now, breathing in this moment, there is nothing else we need.