I’m lying in bed under a couple of blankets listening to Jim Brickman play a simple “Silent Night” over the sound of rain falling outside my window. I’ve been awake since before 5 a.m. and contemplating the day before me. I had hoped to sleep in a little; I suppose it’s just as well seeing that I have to be back at work tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. to prepare for the post-holiday madness of returned gifts and clearance sales.
I’m still feeling no emotional connection to the day. No ‘warm fuzzies’. No memories of Christmas past or hopes for Christmas future to spark some dying ember in my soul. Christmas present feels like any other day on my calendar. Last night I spent the evening with four generations of my mom’s side of my family and this afternoon I’ll spend it with three generations of my dad’s side of my family. As much as I love seeing everyone, I’m still feeling disconnected from Christmas.
As I scroll through my Facebook newsfeed, I read countless well-wishes from friends and family for a happy holiday. Many have been up for a good part of the night preparing for children excited by the arrival of Santa. Their exhaustion is lessened by their own anticipation of those same young ones, eager to take part in their children’s joy. Others are looking forward to family meals and reconnecting with loved ones who have traveled far to be with them.
Perhaps that’s what I’m missing this season.
Meaningful conversations with people. Intimacy. Time spent with friends and family that doesn’t feel rushed and quite so planned that there is little room for something real to happen. The opportunity to participate in someone else’s joys and dreams and hopes. The privilege of sharing their grief and their lonely moments. Those times have been far too rare for me this year.
Job schedules and the busyness of everyday life always seem to get in the way. There’s laundry to be done and groceries to buy and errands to run and bills to pay and it’s time to go to bed to get up and do it all over again and…
Love gets lost in the shuffle.
But It doesn’t have to. Like a flower growing through a crack in the pavement, Love finds a way. And if we are mindful and aware we will see It. If we listen closely, It’s there whispering to us amidst the noise. If we open our hearts, It finds Its way in. Or out.
Many of the traditions of the holiday don’t resonate with my soul the way they used to. I desire new rituals that speak of my beliefs about the Divine Incarnate and of the connection we share, to let Love find new ways to express Itself in me and through me in ways that are authentic to me. I know they will be revealed in their own time. I only need to watch and listen and remain open. For now, I’m content to let it be what it is.
Whatever your traditions are, I pray you discover Love’s presence. I hope you experience the Joy of Life. My wish for you is that you connect with your Higher Self and know the Goodness that resides at the core of every one of us. Connect with each other in a very real way. Love better than you think you’ve been loved. Show mercy. Practice forgiveness. Give without expectation. Be gracious. Walk humbly. In this way the Christ is born anew in you and as in you, so it is in the world.
I pray you and I make some time for sacred connection – with Self, with one another, with Love, with Life – over the coming year.
As for today, I gratefully receive it as the Gift it is. It’s time for me to get up, make some tea, and prepare to see family later today.
Have a wonderful day of connection.
Love & Peace ~