- Thoughts for inspired living

The Christmas Spirit - Grasshopper

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, there is something observable called "Christmas Spirit" that goes deeper than religion, gift giving, and sharing a cup of cheer.

Christmas Spirit is love. It's one of the rare times for some people when they experience this invisible force that floods their feelings.

I will be eternally grateful to Jerry Stocking for his definition of love. He says love is inclusion. I have yet to find a better definition.

The hard part of accepting Jerry's definition is the realization, that to get maximum benefit, you have to include everybody. That means you have to love everyone. You don't have to like their actions or hang out with them, or send them Christmas cards, but you gotta include them to feel abundant love.

Isn't this what happens around Christmas? Reminds me of a story . . .

Everyone knows of a busy street in their area congested with traffic. In North Providence, Rhode Island, there is a street called Mineral Spring Avenue. It's dotted with merchants, banks, restaurants, and the like. Getting out of the parking lot from one of these places and into the flow of traffic is not for the faint of heart.

People pretend they don't see you attempting to get into the flow and keep on driving. You have to literally inch your way into harm's way and then floor the gas pedal when there is just an iota of daylight. It's a learned skill.

If I had been in hibernation and suddenly found myself behind the wheel, and didn't know what season it was, I would know it was Christmas time in North Providence. Someone would let me into traffic on Mineral Spring Avenue.

The spirit of inclusion comes out to play at Christmas time.

Inclusion means including reality into your world view. If you don't, you'll pay the price of resistance and feel love less often.

The reality is there is an energy force that inhabits and animates all of us. We're all propelled by the same source. Think of each one of us as being a ray of sunlight coming from the same cause. It's the recognition of this oneness that causes us to include, to love.

That other person is really me in a different suit of clothes with different human conditioning. It's this realization that allows the spirit to flow more easily. To not include them is not including a part of yourself, keeping love at arm's length. Everyone suffers.

When we take the time to consider the plight of our neighbor and do something to ease their burden, we witness and sense the feelings of love. It seems to come easier at Christmas time.

How many people never give anything all year long, but voluntarily reach in their pocket and put money in the Salvation Army kettle on street corners and outside of supermarkets at Christmas? This is inclusion. This is love. This is Christmas Spirit.

So how do we have that feeling more often?

We take the time to notice when we aren't including. Just this slight interruption of our normal way of doing things causes us to include more.

The more often we include, the more often we feel love. The best news is we don't have to wait until December to feel the spirit of Christmas.

 All the best and Happy Holidays!


Hear the recorded version here.

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