Christmas is my favourite holiday because as the saying goes "blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love". We celebrate the inspiring life of Jesus Christ and regardless of our religion we share His love with those around us. Christmas is a season of hope and generosity because all around the world, people think of those less fortunate and make the tangible effort to brighten their lives. Often one simple gift or gesture is all that is needed to turn an otherwise hopeless Christmas for a family in need into one of the most beautifully memorable. For a season, the interconnection of all people around the world comes into sharp focus as we seek to help those around the world who need it the most. We are reminded of all that we have to be grateful for and it really is quite awe inspiring all of the blessings that have been bestowed upon us. Universally, people are hopeful with regards to the New Year and dream of what fortunes are in store for them, after all only those who dare to dream can make a dream come true!
There is a quote that has been hanging on a plaque on my bedroom wall for several years, it is a quote by Joseph Campbell saying "We must be willing to get rid of the life we have planned so as to have the life that is waiting for us". As the years have gone by, not everything I planned for came to fruition in the way I wanted it to or sometimes it didn't come at all. But as I look back on my journey thus far, I can see how every experience is a small piece of the puzzle and I recognize that we aren't meant to see the completed picture all at once. It is the same Divine mind that created the universe that guides us to be at exactly the right place and with the right people to give us the opportunity to learn the life lessons we most need to at that time.
What could you not accept, if you but knew that everything that happens, all events, past, present and to come, are gently planned by One Whose only purpose is your good? Perhaps you have misunderstood his plan, for He would never offer pain to you. But your defenses did not let you see His loving blessing shine in every step you ever took. While you made plans for death, He led you gently to eternal life.
-A Course in Miracles
While taking responsibility for learning my life lessons, I have immense faith that the plan is unfolding just the way it needs to be. I am grateful for all the people and experiences in my life whether "good" or "bad" because they all have led me to who I am now and uniquely equip me to make a difference in the world that only I am able to make. If you take a moment to look back on your unique challenges, I know you will realize that if you never met that "horrible person" or underwent that "brutal" experience, you would have never developed the ability to touch someone's heart in a way that only surviving your trial allowed you. As Elizabeth Kubler Ross observed "beautiful people do not just happen", they have come through the dark night of the soul and emerged with a new-found compassion and enlightened understanding that allows their light to shine from within.
From that perspective, I hope that 2015 brings you just enough sadness and tears to help you cherish the indescribable joy that comes from touching someone's heart the way that only you can. From my family to yours, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year filled with love, joy, peace and happiness!