Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A day for letting go

 To be born twice is no more strange 
than to be born once.

— Voltaire

Whether or not you celebrate Christmas as a religious holiday -- I don't -- it seems to me anyone of any faith or lack of faith can use the occasion to contemplate the mystery of birth, physical and (if one chooses) spiritual.

"Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting," Wordsworth wrote: we forget our prior life or lives. They need to be let go of so we can have a more or less blank screen on which the experiences and lessons of our present existence can be viewed without distraction.

I think a temporary sleep and forgetting are the key to being reborn within this life. They are even tougher than physical birth, which don't (as far as we know) involve much mental struggle. Maybe it is easier, albeit still not easy, if we drop the struggle, don't think of it as effort.

On this day when much of the world recognizes what it believes to have been a divine birth -- or, for that matter, any day -- we can try to let go, if only for an hour, a minute.

Let go of collected resentments.

Let go of righteous anger.

Forgo plans, wishes, even hopes. Close the door on philosophy and theology for a few moments; yes, even your ideas about Christmas.

Put aside noise, distractions, appetites. Hard to do if you are celebrating with kin or friends, but it's possible to find a brief, quiet parenthesis sometime amid the festivity.

Let it all go. Drop out of time. Just be.

Maybe something new will be born in you.

1 comment:

Stogie said...

I love Christmas,but I too do not attach religious belief to it. Like you, I see it as a day of reflection.

Lately I have been making a conscious effort to drop all past resentments, to "let go and let God." It has helped my peace of mind a lot. I also use this technique to stop worrying about some future outcome. I tell God,"I place it in your hands to resolve as you see fit."

Merry Christmas, Rick.