Anybody else wake up after Christmas holding their head and asking themselves “What happened?” It was like a blur of frantic errands, wrapping paper, shopping lists, menu plans and decorations…and of course shopping and more SHOPPING. I must have heard the comment about a dozen times “Recession? What recession?” as countless people stood in line to dutifully give their hard earned bucks over for another gadget, gizmo, golf shirt, designer something or other…fill in the blank. Myself included. At one point, while standing in line with all the other stressed out looking souls , I thought “Who’s got the gun to my head? Who said I’ve got to do this or else?” Does my religion tell me to do this? No. Quite the contrary. Actually the supposed point of Christmas is to celebrate the arrival into the world of the Savior of all mankind – a man (yet God) who lived a life of perfect selfless love, peace, truth, humility, bravery and obedience to his Father. How do we reconcile that message with macing people in Walmart over a DVD player? This is extreme of course but what about just the simple acts of spending more than one can really afford, going into debt even, running around like a madman or woman, going through the motions of ‘goodwill to others’ but truly all the activity is a culture-based guilt-trip that sends most people into a panicky end-of-year tizzy, designed to line the coffers of the retail industry. Is that what God had in mind for a commemoration of his unimaginable gift? That’s a rhetorical question of course because nobody in their right mind would actually answer yes. This isn’t to put down all of the Christmas traditions. It’s a great opportunity to spend time with family and some of my fondest memories are associated with Christmas. It’s about drawing the line between authentic emotion and mindless consumerism. This may sound really strange coming from an online retailer, right? But I feel so utterly compelled to say this. And obviously, I’m not saying anything novel or profound here. I know these sentiments occur to most people as they go through this season every year. But this year in particular really hit me like a ton of bricks. In fact, I really was upset with myself for going right along with the excessiveness of it all, yet once again. And in doing a quick browse around the internet I found quite a few articles and blogs echoing the same sentiments. Perhaps, there’s a collective consciousness going on and we’re all starting to get the message: ‘What are we doing here??’ And Christmas is just one event, one example of probably a lot of things we could start to question with ‘What are we doing here??’ It’s always good to take a pause and do an analysis of our motives. I think we’d all be surprised at the level of ‘autopilot’ going on…things we do just because….because what? We’re told it’s important…important to whom and why? Society breeds conformity. That’s harsh but it’s true. You’re born, go to school, get good grades so you can go to a good college, get the high-paying job, so you can be a consumer, make a name for yourself, then have your own kids, tell them to get the good grades, send them to college….and on it goes. And maybe that’s not your particular program…but for the most part, everybody’s got one…a program that is…a set of expectations that we don’t question. Are any of these activities evil?? Of course not! But I would contend that undue importance is placed on most of the possessions, activities and goals we spend the bulk of our waking life pursuing. Without perspective, they can all become soul-crushing distractions. And the way we’re collectively (as a species) doing things at the moment, doesn’t seem to bode well for our future. We all will leave this 3D plane and I guarantee the college we went to or the salary we earned won’t matter in the least when it comes to where we’re going next. Did we stop for one second in that busy whirlwind to contemplate the real reason for our existence? Did our Creator put us here just to get churned up in the rat race and chase all that cheese? What life, what fulfillment could we have had if instead of listening to our conditioning, we listened to the source of all life itself – the one who knows us better than we know ourselves. This is not to denigrate success…we all have to make a living and find our place in this material existence. But the only thing of real worth, the only thing we come into this world with and the only thing we’ll leave with, is our soul. If you’ve ever had the feeling, no matter how fleeting or subtle, but had it nonetheless, that perhaps there is more? That, my friend, is the still small voice of our Creator…beckoning us to find him…to discover the treasure of our soul, of divinity, of true and infinite love, peace and happiness. He offers it to all but forces it on none.
So having said all that – we hope everybody had a truly Merry Christmas, filled with quality family time. And may you all have a wonderfully blessed New Year!