Over the years my view of the meaning of Christmas has shifted a lot. Raised Christian, I understood it was a celebration of the birth of Jesus, but really, as far as I was concerned, it was all about the presents! My family was of pretty modest means but my parents got serious about Christmas and I loved it. I was so excited that for a stretch of several years, when both parents were off at work I would carefully remove my gifts from under the little tree, unwrap them, play with them a bit and then rewrap them before my parents got home. They were none the wiser until many years later when I confessed my powerlessness over curiosity and anticipation.
As a young adult, I learned that the Christmas holiday had been placed in winter in an effort to drain some of the energy from the pagan celebrations around Winter Solstice. Although an unfortunate attempt by one culture to blot out another, there was nice symmetry between the two stories. On the one hand, seekers following the light of the Christmas star to witness a miracle. On the other, nature-oriented folks celebrating making it through the longest night of the year and moving once again toward light and warmth.
More recently my interpretation of Christmas has deepened. The power in this observance is not just celebrating the physical birth of an extraordinary human being or taking note of the turning of the seasons; the true power is in the opportunity for rebirth of Christ consciousness within. This is the part of us that remembers we are much more than bodies, the part that remembers our inextricable connection to the Creator, the Source of all life.
I was raised believing Jesus and Christ are synonyms. They aren’t. Christ is a state of consciousness available to all of us. Jesus was a human being who became fully aware of his innate Christ consciousness. I was also raised to believe that Jesus preached it had to be his way or the highway, but I now understand he was a way-shower, trying to guide others back to a living awareness of our inner Christ, the indwelling presence of God.
This time of year we cover our homes, businesses and churches with lights in celebration of Christmas and as a way to brighten the longest nights of the year. We mount electric representations of the star of Bethlehem and light candles in acts of reverence. This is all beautiful but the light that really matters isn’t a star in the sky or lengthening days, it’s the growing illumination of who we each truly are — magnificent, divine beings having a wild human ride.
Christmas is a special time indeed. It’s an opportunity to review where we are spiritually, to feel the rebirth of our inner awareness of Source, and to resolve to let our own glorious light shine as a beacon of love, peace and hope for others. That is the greatest gift of all.
#cylviahayes #empowerment #InnerChristmas