How many of us experience the pain of loss, loneliness, and sadness as the festive season builds all around us? We are flooded with pictures that portray the excitement and anticipation of the perfect Christmas, the perfect family get-togethers, and the perfect holiday season. Each picture projects images of loving families, perfect gifts, and an abundance of happiness and togetherness. And each picture feels like one more stab in the heart of people who are grieving, recovering from traumas that kicked their feet out from under them, or experiencing a seemingly less-than-picture-perfect physical reality.
If you are someone who aches with pain and grief in this season that proclaims glad tidings and joy, know that I see you and recognize your pain because I experience it too. It seems that the whole Christmas season has been a dichotomy of joy and pain for many years, ever since my marriage ended and my version of our “perfect” family imploded. It seems that every year I measure my experience against the version of happy, loving family Christmases that are played and replayed by mainstream and social media, and every year, I end up feeling ripped apart inside when I perceive that my version doesn’t measure up. As I watch people share photos and posts of their preparations for their families’ perfect Christmases, I allow myself to fall into the old, familiar pain of feeling “less than,” of feeling “on the outside looking in” at all that everyone else gets to experience and I don’t.
This weekend, I learned that my son won’t be coming home for Christmas. I had anticipated this because of the circumstances in his life, and I thought I was prepared for it. I wasn’t. Not having my son home for Christmas didn’t fit with my hopes and dreams for my happy family celebration. No matter how often I have tried to reason that it doesn’t matter and that it is just a day, my heart hasn’t listened. I took my emotions and experience to Holy Spirit this afternoon, and I want to share with you what came through in my writing with the prayer that you may find truth and solace as I did.
Observe your feelings and let them go. They are not you. They come from the story you have told yourself about how things should be — the perfect family, the perfect Christmas, the perfect day filled with love and joy. It’s all a story that you set yourself up to create. You don’t have to create perfect love and joy. It is what you are. It is the creative Divine force that made you and flows through you when you open to it. You feel pain because you are still identifying with ego’s story of separation — separate individuals, separate families, separate celebrations — when the real message of Christmas is one family — God’s family — and you are an essential part of it. You are an expression of universal consciousness, the Divine. You don’t need to create or find love and joy. You ARE love and joy. All you need to do is open to it.
Love is who you are every single minute of every single hour of every single day. Love is who you are within time and outside of time. It is your true identity. Be the awareness that perceives how easily you get caught up in the idea of separation. Observe it and let it go. Child of God, how easily you forget your truth. How easily you get caught up in stories about how life should be and look. Every story is born of the ego and while it professes to speak of good will to man and peace on earth, of love and glad tidings to all, it perpetuates separation in the vision of what Christmas looks like for the “haves” and “have-nots.” You feed into the story because you identify as a “have-not” and yearn to be one of the “haves.” You buy into the story when you aspire to an imposed standard of the perfect family Christmas.
The truth is the universal love that connects you to every other sentient being. I tell you that you are all that you yearn for. It cannot be found outside of yourself. It is within you — it is who you are. In truth, you are one with everyone — all connected as expressions of Divine love — all magnificent, beautiful beings of light. There is no lack, no fear, no separation — only unconditional love and acceptance of all.
Let your stories go. Just as you observe your pain rise from within you, observe the stories and see them for what they are. They are expressions of ego and only serve to perpetuate the illusion of separation. They cannot come close to the truth of who you are and your connection to your only true family — all beings everywhere.
So what is the gift wrapped within the pain you may be experiencing in this build-up to Christmas? The gift is your awareness as you observe the pain and recognize the story that is creating and perpetuating it. The gift is realizing the truth of who you are — as God’s own, loved unconditionally and eternally — and releasing the painful stories and experiences that you have created as you have accepted the manipulations of ego. Unwrap your gift by opening into what is truth. Feel the presence of God even when you are in your darkest moments. You are never alone — never, ever. It is only our stories that tell us that, and another gift that we don’t always appreciate is that we have the choice to believe our stories or to let them go and open into the truth of our beings that lies within us.
My dear sisters and brothers, you are in my prayers today and always. I pray that you can find the gift contained within any emotional pain that you are experiencing. You are not your pain or your stories. You are all incredible spiritual beings who are joined with me eternally. We are all connected as individual threads on this grand tapestry of physical life. As threads, we may feel alone even as we perceive the existence of other threads, but together, we create a magnificent expression of Divine love — ever changing, ever evolving — all of us united because we share the same source and the same inner identity — the Divine. Let us open to the love that we are for that is, and always will be, the perfect gift. Namaste, my dears.