Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Presence and presents

Yesterday we gave a combined Christmas party and birthday party for Larry, my partner – a wonderful afternoon filled with fun, friends, and laughter, and our first time doing this as a couple.  I had the very precious gift of friends who took over kitchen duties, making extra pies, being sure that people were served, and letting me go be with the rest of the party. A dear friend had come over the day before to help us decorate - she was an incredible blessing. Today we are tired, happy, sated with loving and being loved.
Our friends and family are precious gifts that we are coming to enjoy even more as time goes on, and Christmas is the ideal time for sharing that love. We are blessed. However, not everyone feels that way. In their heart of hearts, they don’t feel as special as the holiday hype says they ought to. They feel unloved, lonely, disappointed. It is not a trivial matter for those who feel this way, but perhaps the solution is simpler than the symptoms.
Mindy Audlin, originator of the fabulous What If Up! Club, asks:  “What if your presence is the greatest gift of all?” Its a great question. She’s not only talking about how we are loved by others; she asks us to look at what it means to be fully present, here, in the moment.  If you live in the moment, the past no longer matters, and expectations of the future disappear. You live with what is, here and now. And when you open to that realness, it is easier to connect with your true identity, that Christ Spirit within you that is your true essence and your strength.
I’m not making light of this. The solution is quickly said, but takes practice to accomplish, practice that must live beyond the Christmas season. And it is worth the effort. After all, the present is what you have, what you are. It’s a gift to yourself to acknowledge the present as your reality! You can’t change the past, except for your perception of it, so let it go! For that matter, you can’t change the present, either, except as you perceive it - and the future isn’t even here yet! As Eckhart Tolle says, “The present is the field on which the game of life is played.” It’s the only place you can be. Live it. Be here now.
What a great gift to yourself and your loved ones!

Merry Christmas from us to you and yours,

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