Many people give themselves permission at Christmas time to express Love more than at other times. They share and care, give and receive and come together in the Spirit of unity and harmony.
But every moment, in every day, in every week, in ever year, in every lifetime is the greatest opportunity to Love. A moment without some awareness of Love, without the seeds of loving intention is a wasted moment. When barren moments lacking in the Spirit of Love become hours, days, weeks, months and years, there is a total waste of a life. Life has no meaning without Love. It is empty and filled with fear and suffering.
Every opportunity in Life, whether pleasant or uncomfortable, sad or happy, blissful or excruciating is itself a gift of Divine Love. What matters is how we receive this gift and how we use it. Do we grow from it? Are we grateful? Do we express Love or something else? Do we remember that in this very temporary existence that nothing can be taken for granted? Do we realize that the Love we feel is our greatest opportunity always?
We have a choice whether to take care of ourselves alone or take care of others and ourselves happily. We can choose to remember that everything we think, say and do has repercussions for all. We can remember to take responsibility for ourselves in the whole scheme of things. We can choose to consider how we affect others by what we say, think and do.
At times like Christmas, Thanksgiving and many major festivities throughout the world, there is an increasing momentum in the material world to immerse into an indulgence of the senses. We drink and eat more than necessary or wise amidst the hilarity, parties and festivities which usually have little to do with the meaning of the celebration.
It is our responsibility to be aware of our actions and our intentions. To do our best for all concerned whatever we feel, even in relation to eating. There is a glut of animal slaughter in the material world at these times to meet the needs of all the extended socialising. There are also usually tremendous wastage of food. Vegetarianism is not always an option or even preferred. But whether we eat animal flesh or not, we can at least choose to be grateful and honour what we eat and eat more mindfully. We can be more conscious of what we eat, why and when. We can choose to take personal responsibility to eat animals that are looked after well, have a good life and are killed humanely. We can choose to not waste precious food, whether animal or vegetable.
In the same vein, we can choose to not support on any level the hunting and killing of creatures just for fun. We can choose to not support on any level the killing of animals which are becoming extinct or otherwise because it is believed that say, we can have a better sex life through eating a now rare, tigers penis. As human beings do we really need ivory carvings at the expense of the mutilation and killing of rare beautiful animals? Can killing any being created from Divine Love purely for the enjoyment of it, ever be morally justified? These are questions one can only ask oneself. The answers are within. But surely one’s intention and personal responsibility are crucial in our interactions with self and others for peace and harmony in our world.
The Upanishads (Ancient Scriptures) say,
You are what your deep, driving desire is. As your deep, driving desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.
This makes perfect sense. If one’s deep driving desire is to share Love. True Love. That is, Compassion, Metta, then one will honor and respect all beings through every word, deed and thought.
The ancient Greeks believed that when the Gods wished to punish us, they granted us desires. But desires also give us the opportunity of choice and responsibility. I believe that our deepest driving desire is to know unity with Divine Love and to not just satisfy our small self in any way we wish. The longing is deep within us and it does not go away until eventually we become Love itself. This is the Divine Journey to Love and unity.
Jesus Christ was a messenger of Pure Love. Hindu and Buddhist mystics tell us that the reason we are born is to fulfill or live out unresolved desires and hopefully find ultimate wisdom, peace and love. Sathya Sai Baba asked us to desire to cultivate desire for God and God alone: He places the matter in perfect perspective when he said,
Start the Day with Love;
Spend the Day with Love;
Fill the Day with Love;
End the Day with Love;
This is the way to God.
God is Love and we can choose to be here in this precious plane of life to share Love rather than continue to delve into the fathomless depths of gratifying desires on the most mundane, base and unconscious level. Surely we are becoming bored with merely acquiring and satisfying our small selves only; with the arguments, the high and low dramas, grasping for elusive, temporary fixes?
Life is Love. Life is the opportunity to feel Love, to share Love and to receive Love. Life is the sweetest opportunity to experience gratitude and devotion. This is the most precious fruit of a human birth. It is a rare fruit that no other existence can materialize. You have it in your grasp and you can partake of its nectar.
Whatever our spiritual preferences, whatever our religion, whatever we believe or disbelieve, we can surely believe in Love. Let us celebrate the purity and generosity of Love during every sacred festival. Let us celebrate these wonderful opportunities. In December this is the true Christmas Spirit.
May any merit from this article be used for the benefit of all beings:
May all Beings on all levels,
May all Beings on all levels
recognize and claim the causes of happiness.
May all beings on all levels,
be free from the suffering of mind
and body attachments.
May all beings on all levels, have equanimity.
That is, may our minds
not be too attached or too repulsed with anyone or anything,
May all beings on all levels
not hold some dear in their hearts
and push others away.
May all beings on all levels,
live believing in the interdependence,
equality and unity of all in Creation
Let there be Peace, Peace, Peace.
Metta Prayer adapted by Mynavati