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Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Crazy Season...


We have officially entered the crazy season…  You know – that time of year when human kind reverts to its animal nature and competes against each other for the best deals, the best gift, who gives the most - even though they say it’s the thought that counts – and when evidently we love the sport of fighting each other over ipads, and iphones, and toaster ovens – camping out overnight in front of retail big box stores to catch the “best buy.”  Really!?  Seems we are regressing…  I could not in good conscience give a gift that I had to fight someone else for. 

It’s not my favorite time of year, as you may have gathered.  Being a sensitive soul I find the “Holiday Spirit” a bit taxing – over taxing.   Just call me Mrs. Scrooge.  I expect to be visited at any moment by the spirit of Christmas showing me the error of my attitude.  But – this year DH has been working steadily for the last 9+ months so I am not re-gifting but actually *buying.*

I ventured out on my first shopping excursion this week to buy for my nearly 90 year old mother-in-law, whom we have not seen in several years, as she lives with her daughter and son-in-law out of state – with whom we are hardly speaking.  Long story – never mind.  Ho-Ho-Ho… Tis the season. J  I took off in the sleigh – uh, car – and arrived at “mecca” - aka – “the mall” and entered with trepidation expecting to see wall to wall elves shopping.  Thankfully most people had already shopped Black Friday, Small Business Saturday, and Cyber Monday on line, so I was delightfully surprised to find that I – and my pet reindeer - could maneuver through the store with ease.  I wandered down the main isle of the store I had chosen, followed it around and ended up in the Women’s Dept.  I had my “order” from my sister-in-law about what gift to get.  Right before my eyes was a beautifully soft, cuddly floral printed jacket-like zipper top.  I mean it couldn’t have been more perfect – and in her size too!  Wow – how did that happen!  But I was supposed to buy a “sweater.”  So I continued to look around and found a very soft cardigan *sweater.*  Bingo!  I had another OMG moment.  I bought both J and was in and out of the store in less 45 minutes – and no waiting at the cashier!  Unheard of.

I then decided to be brave and try another store, at another mall.  It was nearly empty!  How is that possible…  My kind of shopping. J I don’t buy on-line as I like to actually *see* the product I am buying.

Next week I take the sleigh out again and venture out with my sister to buy – yes – a Toaster Oven for my mother. J  Since my sister does most of the cooking I needed her to pick it out.  It was supposed to be a gift for her too, but she is very particular about what she wants, and I didn’t want to get the “wrong” one.  Who knew that buying for some could be such an ordeal!  But we don’t want any pouty faces on Christmas morning do we now…  No we want those faces to light up with joy and pleasure getting just exactly what they *wanted*!  Yeay – the true spirit of giving – right?

Oh, but there could still be a problem because we’ll be able to give more this year because we can for the first time in a long while, and that will upset them.   My mother will feel guilty that *she* didn’t give more… And I will hear:  “This is too much.”  “You shouldn’t have.”   “I feel badly that I couldn’t give more this year.”  Comparison - the other true spirit of giving...  What happened to a simple thank you...

Is there something wrong with this picture, or is it just me… 

I know – I know - it’s all a matter of perspective J - and remembering to keep coming back to the *awareness* of the True Spirit of giving behind the façade of the Holidays; giving what is *needed*, from the Heart, all year long, that which is not attached to dollar signs: OurSelves…



10 comments:

  1. No wonder your head is spinning, speaking of which - nice image;~) These things go through my mind too, you always have your beautiful words to fall back on - Dec - 2010. x

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    1. Thanks Sue. I had to go back to the Dec. 2010 post! :) I think you are referring to the poem "Liberation" ? :) Well, some years I'm more inspired than others, and I think that was written for the Solstice... The true reason for the season :)

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  2. what a weird (unusual for this time of year) shopping trip!

    i actually dislike when people say scrooge, because they're not listening to what i'm against. not xmas (well, not much, lol), but the craziness around it, the fakeness, the secular-made holiday that is really about STUFF, people stressing out, going into debt. can't stand any of it. it really is nuts.

    i'm lucky to have married into an orthodox family (their xmas is Jan 7th, after the nuttiness is over), in that gifts are really for the kids. we don't do gifts for adults and that is an ENORMOUS weight off our shoulders.

    the one thing i do enjoy, is that in the city, or even small village get-togethers, there does gather a certain fab energy. the xmas spirit people might say. but i do feel it. there is, under the stress and consumerism, an energy of generosity and 'peace to all'. wonderful to feel it on such a large scale.

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    1. Yes, you describe it well! One year we tried *not* doing a gift *exchange* between us adults, and my mother pouted the whole time! It is soooo ingrained that Christmas is about the gifts. I enjoy the lights at this time of year, which I see as keeping in line with the real symbolism of the Season - the return of the Light - which of course started with the celebration of the Winter Solstice...

      I just imagine that England is magical at this time of year! :)

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  3. We were just in the city for a few days and went to small theatre production of "A Christmas Carol", a bit early for me but these are season's tix to a small theatre and this was their chosen production. It was really well done and stressed the ideas of generosity of spirit and open heartedness, kindness, so a lovely reminder that those are the true essence of the season.

    But the consumer machine rings pretty hollow in all that "stuff" everywhere. I'm glad I don't have to see it on a regular basis. Ah, the joys of living in the country!

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    1. We love to watch the movie, "A Christmas Carol", each year as a reminder that this is what it is *supposed* to be about :) Well actually, isn't this what *life* is supposed to be about all year long! And how unfortunate that we have forgotten the true essence of giving of ourselves! I mean people are actually fighting with each other to get what they want in the stores! Yes, be thankful you live in the 100 Acre Woods! lol

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  4. it is a complicated time of year. i both love it and get a gentle case of hives from it, the hives my own fault for not staying firmly in who i am.

    i was talking with james yesterday and coming to some realization about who and how we are. (i like what your husband says. it is illuminating and i will refer to it often to understand others, however i try to stay away from others a great deal, this being complicated too as i believe in the importance of community but we so naturally spring into conflict.) i was thinking that we each have two identities. we have the strictly human identity steeped in ego (where all of these problems you refer to spring from) and we have our second identity which is the infinite residing inside of us and asking us to move beyond our human foibles. i strive, as simone weil suggests, to move beyond the self. it is a practice that i fail at daily but perhaps succeed at incrementally, if often unnoticed. when we move beyond our selves all of the other ego driven bunk is instantly deflated. (ha! remind me of this as i sit and scratch my self-imposed rashes this holiday season! i've already had to breathe through ego driven circumstances. if anything, this is certainly a time to grow.)))

    xo
    erin

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    1. Thank you erin! Yes, it does *seem* like there are "two identities" doesn't it... I have heard "spiritual teachers" explain that it is the mind that identifies with the ego as what is real. And that the "switch" comes when we re-identify our identity as the Infinite that we really are - that which sees *through* the mask of the ego - not seeing it as either/or, but seeing the ego as a mask that becomes more transparent as we identify more with the Infinite Self that we truly are. I obviously haven't made the "switch" completely - :) have not shifted the identification from surface to background - as I am still apparently caught in the ego-mind, still seeing life from the ego perspective that is reacting to all this stuff. It really is about becoming more aware of the Infinite Self, and not identifying with the personality that has issues with everything. So I keep bringing my focus, my awareness, back to the space of the Infinite within. I have also understood from "teachers" that one cannot "get rid of" the ego, and is futile to even try. But that when we embrace the ego-self as part of the Infinite Self, it then melts back into the Ocean of The Infinite - naturally - as it was never separate in the first place. The Wave and the Ocean are famous metaphors used by "spiritual teachers" - the wave (ego) melting back into the Ocean (the Infinite). The wave, in truth, is the same as the Ocean. In other words, the wave (ego) is *not* a separate identity - never was. Was always the Ocean itself, manifesting Itself as a wave.

      It is the *belief* in a *separate* self that falls away as we realize that there is in fact not two separate identities, but only the Infinite exists - as us. As Ramana Maharshi said - only the Self IS. Once this belief falls away we are freed from the tyranny of duality - the tyranny of separate *thinking*. And how easily I forget that and start thinking dualistically again! ugh...

      Have you heard of a guy by the name of Leo Hartong from the Netherlands? He has a wonderful book called: "Awakening To The Dream" that was most helpful to me. You might like it. Leo's book website is: http://www.awakeningtothedream.com/

      And actually writing this response to you has helped me to remember! So I thank you for your in depth comment, because it helped me to reach deeper once again :)

      Keep breathing through :) lol

      Heart Hugs - Christine

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  5. It's an amazing season - it bring a lot of things to the surface. I think we are all sincerely looking for something of real value but, especially at this time of year, we get tangled up in material attractions and forget what we were looking for.

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    1. Yes, there is so much family baggage involved - layers of conditioning that keeps us from really *seeing* the essence of each other. And "things", as a friend of mine recently said, become the substitute for the love we cannot easily express. And what I find so interesting is how one is expected to go along. And the subtleties of expectation and obligation to give in *exchange* for other "things" - which seems a little inauthentic to me.

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