I just coached a woman who feels alienated in her Christianity and struggling with Christmas as it approaches. The decorations, the presents, the outward display of religiosity isn't working for her, not this year.
Instead of making her feel connected, it's causing her to feel alienation from her religion at a time when she needs it most - navigating through a tumultuous divorce, struggling with loneliness, longing to know her life's calling - she wants Christ Consciousness not a commercialized Christmas.
What we spoke about was reframing the way she looks at this holiday (as I have to believe Jesus would do), and not judging others on their journey. Others are usually doing the best they can with what they have. This is the way they know how to express their religiosity. The tree decorated with tinsel is someone else's attempt to connect. The house done up with lights is another family's way of trying to illuminate the darkness. And giving presents is often someone's effort to express love, to show up and be "present," and elevate this moment imparting upon it a greater degree of consciousness.
So, she committed to living with Christ Consciousness and not waiting to wake up to it magically beneath the Christmas tree. She would give the gift of compassion to all she met and in return will receive the connection she so desperately craves. That, my friends, is what this holiday season is all about.
"Merry Consciousness," I said to her as we hung up the phone, "and Happy Mindfulness," she said to me right back.
Merry Consciousness & Happy Mindfulness to all of you too.