What a heart we have – we beings on this tiny planet who call ourselves human – such a small world amongst the trillions of planets, stars and galaxies – but what a large heart! And Christmas certainly seems a time for expanding that large-heartedness in all sorts of ways; and through some strange process of artificiality – making it more real.
No wonder we stress and strain toward the day – considering what’s at stake. I believe we have very little idea of what’s really at stake; all we know is what we expect from the experience – and more importantly from ourselves. And of course much of this expectation gets projected into what we expect of other people. But when we manage to touch base, we all instinctively know the truth – it’s only about ourselves really.
So we ask ourselves: how will my heart match up to this mysterious call for extraordinary largeness, for unconditional giving, and for strength? How will I fare in this amazing time of goodwill – little old me who feels so small and helpless in all of this huge machinery that somehow manages to drive us all to act in ways we would not ordinarily behave?
Yes, the very nature of Christmas demands of each of us something extra-ordinary – something many of us feel we haven’t got, even after prolonged inner search. And yet somehow the extraordinary is demanded of us – so what can we do – for Christ’s sake?
Maybe in this paradox lies the true magic of Christmas . For it’s only in the struggle and strain through and beyond the ordinary that greatness is eventually realised – not by any planned and contrived state of ‘how we decide it’s going to be’ – but rather, through simply letting go to the wonder of the heart, which is the magic of Christmas . And what is ‘greatness’ in respect to the depths of the heart? Greatness in such context is nothing more than the experience of the extraordinary in the midst of the ordinary – a true heart of love in the centre of the everyday moment by moment comings and goings of thoughts, feelings, and emotions that we believe to be less than love.
I say what we believe to be less than love – but are these thoughts and feelings really less than love? Are we actually failing Love when, for example we don’t fully appreciate our gifts, when we don’t quite consider others as much as we think they need to be considered, when we can’t quite give as much as we’d like to give; when we don’t quite love as much as we’d like to love?
Maybe the truth we don’t yet understand is: that Love itself has no such concept of ideals and standards. The simple truth is: Love demands nothing of us whatsoever. Love is happy with who we are – exactly as we are, with all our mistakes, faults, misgivings and our own perceived lack of love. No, love cannot be pinned to any high ideal, as the thing about Love is this:
Love Is – purely and simply – Love just Is.
And if Love were to ask anything at all of us it would be just that – to Be like Love itself – simply to just Be who You Are. No – Love does not judge anything of who we are or who we aren’t – it’s only we ourselves who do so.
And so, amongst all the trappings of superficiality and artificiality of Christmas, we somehow manage to process ourselves incrementally, one annual step at a time, toward the fullness of a heart of love – a love that expects nothing, either of self or of others – and therefore has plenty to give.
But even in this there lies a paradox, as it seems that ‘here we go again setting ourselves a standard!’ But no – this is not something we could ever achieve, (as if there is some merit in such achievement, as if there were low and high standards of achievement) – No! But rather this fullness of a loving heart is just the simple magic of Christmas (birth of Christ consciousness) – and the maybe the result of allowing ourselves to feel so incredibly fragile – and still be okay with it.
So – here’s wishing You a Just-be-Happy-with-Yourself kind of New Year!