By Wendy Ford
It seems Thanksgiving never even happened. It seems to have been ignored. There wasn’t any build up to it leading to the anticipation as in years past. Personally, disappointment is a term never before associated nor experienced with Thanksgiving Day. The true highlight of Thanksgiving was that my husband was home and off the road for two whole weeks. That was a personal Thanksgiving that lasted for two weeks and was our cherished blessing. Normally the weeks leading up to Thanksgiving are filled with the anticipation and preparation for the day. This year there was something distinctly different about it but figuring out the whys may take some time.
Part of it must have to do with the fact that the Christmas displays have been in the stores since before Halloween. Finding Thanksgiving paper plates was a failure this year. A full two weeks before Thanksgiving there were none to be found in the local grocery as all the Christmas, Chanukah and New Years items were already on the displays and shelves. When a store clerk was asked where they might have the Thanksgiving items the reply came with a shake of her head, “I guess they just skipped Thanksgiving this year.” Plates with bunches of purple grapes on them were substituted with at least the theme of harvest. The search for napkins to match was quickly abandoned and instead a solid color from the birthday aisle was chosen. It just seemed Thanksgiving never even happened.
It’s starting to feel like Christmas has “already been”, too. One can’t pick up a magazine, look in a store window, open e-mails, or turn on the radio or TV without being assaulted by ads and sales.
Could be just my perception of time being so compressed right now but it just seems particularly this year the merchants have really been pushing and pushing very, very hard the sales earlier than usual. It seems paradoxical that at a time when many families are so stretched financially that they face the very real threat of home foreclosure the merchants seem to be more in your face this year than ever.
“Buy! Buy! Buy!” the ads flash, the signs proclaim and actors manically shout and pitch. It is the same every year: the perception that the more things that are given and the more money that is spent equate with how much you care or love someone. It just appears to be brighter, louder and more offensive this year.
This theme is not unique to Christmas. There was a program on the local NPR station on which a minister and a rabbi were speaking of the meaning of the two Holy Days seasons of Christmas and Chanukah. Evidently the concern about commercialization has been going on since the 1700’s.
Joy and Beauty and Love are all reflective in the spirit of Christmas and the emotions can, indeed be infective. There is also a flip side to all of this, for the Law of Polarity dictates there be a negative to balance the positive even at this time of year. For many, this time of year is very introspective and private, a time of inner searching and reflection.
Everyone seems to be frantically running hither in a dither. Evidently the idea is to search for the perfect gift for just about anyone they have ever come in contact with from loved ones to the door man to the letter carrier to the office cleaning staff to the vet to the baseball coach to the teacher to, well, you get the idea. Showing appreciation by writing a note is evidently unacceptable. Surely the work and service of others around you is only to be acknowledged on one very specific day of the year and there are even etiquette rules that govern this. Everyone is searching. What is everyone really searching for?
Could it be that at this time of year, when the darkest night of the year comes on December 21st that we are seeking to fill and soothe that aching void deep within us that is hurting in response to our separation from our connection with our Source?
Are we searching through all the frivolity, festivities, and frantic rushing about to fill that void and soothe the ache? Are we so influenced by the Sophistry based philosophy of consumerism that we have come to truly believe the busier we are and the more money we spend the happier we must be? Oh, and if we go to a midnight religious service on December 24th we will be spiritually medicated and soothed as well.
Could it be that those are the very activities that continue to foster the separation? If we were to instead quiet ourselves enough to turn our eyes, ears and attention inward could we experience the opposite effect? Might we be able to begin to bridge the gap between “us” and our Source? Yes. Dr. Strickler has taught us that Meditation is the key. True meditation is not contemplation or visualization or deep breathing or contemplating our navel while standing on one leg. We don’t have to “do” or “go” anywhere. True meditation is merely sitting alone in a quiet place for twenty minutes a day, allowing one’s mind to quiet enabling the participation in the greatest meditation of all: the Meditation of the Source.
The Meditation of the Source is why any thing and any one exists in the first place: we and everything in manifestation are being “thought” into existence. The present tense has been intentionally used because every moment of the “now” is the result of that meditation. Creation didn’t stop. It is an ongoing process that is the result of that Meditation. Should the Source cease meditating…..poof. No more Manifestation.
As the word meditation has been mistyped to “mediation” more than once in the writing of this article it has brought my attention to the two words. It is striking to realize that Meditation is a form of mediation. Also, it is merely one letter, the letter “T”, the Hebrew letter Tau, that makes the distinction between the two words. Key 21 in the Tarot is “The World”. Interesting: Mediation between Manifestation and the Source by participating in Its Meditation.
“Give! Give! Give!” flash, the signs proclaim and actors manically shout and pitch. The more we give the better must we feel, and the better we feel the more alive we are and the more we love. Right? Not necessarily.
In the Western world we are taught from childhood that it is better to give than to receive. What is left out is the part about that the giving needs to be genuine, and given from the heart out of Love. Most of us don’t know ourselves well enough to have a genuine connection with our own hearts in order to give out of Love.
Most of us have never been taught that unless we first come to know ourselves it is impossible to truly give to others.
Knowing ourselves is the hardest and most painful thing any of us will ever have to learn or discover, for to truly know ourselves is to be willing to know and accept every facet of our being: the good, the bad, and the ugly facets. Once we start that process of learning to accept every facet of ourselves we begin to truly love ourselves. Until we reach a point where we have at least SOME love of self the “giving to others” is merely an illusion we have concocted, a salve that soothes our own pain, an act that gives us the feeling of having filled our own emptiness and blinds us to the looking inward. Once again we if we look inward and with honesty we discover we are merely medicating ourselves with illusions and delusions.
"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.." (John 8:12 ~ KJV) and notice it says I AM the LIGHT not ‘Light Bearer’. Through his life became manifest that Christ Consciousness was anchored and made available in earth plane.
There is something quite magical about the first light of Christmas Morning, a tradition of observance taught to me by Rev. Strickler. If you can be in a position to actually see that first flash from the sun as it comes up over the horizon or from behind the dip in the mountains or hills or just over top of the city buildings there is an indescribable momentary glimpse of and feeling of connectedness. Because we are limited by the concepts of time and space it seems to only last for that flash but it can be your connection and fuel, your lifeline, for the upcoming year. Your Soul knows that connection and for the physical vehicle to experience even the briefest of connections is the true gift of Christmas.
So this Christmas don’t forget to give something to yourself. Take that leap and dare to really look in the mirror and find out something about yourself. This is a personal gift you don’t have to share with anyone. Give yourself twenty minutes a day to sit and be quiet and to participate in the Meditation of the Source, your Source. Go outside and find that ‘First Light’ on Christmas Morning. This could be your greatest gift of all for it can sustain you through the coming year.
May the Lord of Life empower you to grab hold and use Its Will as It bestows Its many blessings upon you: the Courage to honestly look deep within yourself; the Compassion to accept yourself in all your complicated facets; Grace in the application of forgiveness with yourself for your faults and failings; the Patience to persevere in your quest to know yourself for it is a lifelong process; the ability to Laugh at yourself as you stumble and err for that is just a part of the human condition, imperfection. You don’t need to grovel and beg for all these are already yours. Just let the Light in.
Be Open to Discover that which is True and Genuine,