Since Thanksgiving I have been asked many times, “Are you ready for Christmas?” I have stumbled on answering because there is no simple response. If I say yes, I am not being truthful and if I say no, there will be more questions to follow and I really don’t want to go there. Being aware of my emotions, I feel like acknowledging in a tearful way that this does not feel like a season of joy. Instead it feels like a season of expectations and comparison. Wow, how would others react to that?
Am I ready for what? Putting up decorations by decking the halls with boughs of holly? Fa la la! Am I listening to carols exclaim what I am supposed to feel? Jack Frost nipping at your toes, well yes, I am feeling the winter blast of cold air chill me to the bone. Am I overwhelmed by trying to figure out what gifts to give that I can’t afford? Wish it was as simple as, “All I want for Christmas is my two front teeth.” But I stuff all of these thoughts because I sense that it is necessary to dance and prance with bells on my toes.
So how will I move forward? First I need to be aware that these are just thoughts. No one is to blame even if I try to justify why I feel this way. I may look to the past and analyze what it was like when I were a child. Another time that my mind has jumps to was when my children were young and seeing their excitement or disappointment in what they were expecting in their stockings or under the tree.
But what about now? I have a choice! Once I am aware that I am in charge of how I feel, I can look at this differently. ACIM (A Course in Miracles) Lesson 135 says, “If I defend myself, I am attacked.” I feel like I must protect myself from what is happening because it must contain what threatens me. Defense is frightening because it stems from fear. So why am I afraid of the upcoming holiday? As this lesson continues it declares that these are the thoughts in need of healing.
“A healed mind does not plan because it carries out the plans that it receives through listening to wisdom that is not its own.” I hear these words and the wall of resistance rises up to insist that I must be in charge. Well, I am in charge of which thought system I will follow. So will it be fear and expectation? Will I attempt to figure it out on my own as I push through until it is over and be miserable along the way? Or will I ASK my Higher Spirit for what is best and take a deep breath or two or ten and listen for guidance? If I choose the latter, I will enjoy the season with peace and calm in my heart. Now I get to decide, it’s as simple as that!
With Love, Norma Jean
ACIM Lesson 28 – Above all else I want to see things differently.
Reflection from NJ: I choose to see Christmas differently this year.