Don’t get me wrong. I know evil exists. I saw photos of Black Friday:) Some people will do anything for a sale. And I will do anything for some peace of mind, especially this month. Christmas is not for everyone. My husband does not care for it, particularly the commercial aspects. He does like my homemade cookies, however.
Social media memes have people in uproars small and large about the word “Christmas” and using “Merry Christmas” as a greeting. Traditional thinking is that “Christmas” belongs to Christians and only Christians. Well, I don’t believe that. I think that’s like believing that ONLY Kleenex is tissue. ONLY Xerox is a copy machine. Christmas, to me, has become a secular term. And what it really means when I say “Merry Christmas” is “Peace to you.” This is the season to put love first. Only love.
I tweeted a mantra the other day “Only Love Is Real” and have been repeating it to myself every time I have a negative thought. Negative thoughts are so not me, but I’ve been having mountains of them lately. Extreme measures were called for, and those extreme measures may well have me labelled a crack pot by some of my friends. Never mind. Only love is real.
Yet I said at the top of this post that I realize evil exists. I watch the news. I see war and death and hate every single day. So now how can I say “only love exists” which is the exact opposite? I am holding two opposing thoughts, one in each hand, and seeing the truth in each. And seeing value in “only love is real.” Let me explain with a random example from my fraught life.
Last week I was showing a short film clip in class. The room was dark. It took me a minute (maybe thirty seconds, but whatever) to get the media working and find the spot I wanted in the film. During those seconds three students walked out of the room. They didn’t come back. As the clip rolled, I started making up all sorts of stories in my head. “I’m a bad teacher.” “This lesson isn’t working.” “They are so rude!” “They really hate me.” “They’ve missed the lesson attached to the film clip and won’t understand their final project.” “Not my problem.” And so on.
I would say that I make up these negative thought sequences a dozen times a day. No words are said, some action is taken, I put my own spin on it, and spin it out of control. This is not good. So, I decided that when I start to do that, I’m just going to drop the story spin and repeat (silently, see crack pot remark above) “Only love is real.” Someone failed to return a text? “Only love is real.” Someone ignored me on Facebook? “Only love is real.” Someone didn’t smile back at me? “Only love is real.” Someone didn’t respond when I said hello? “Only love is real.” Someone walked out of my classroom? “Only love is real.”
We can never know why people act the way they do unless they tell us. If we start making shit up, it doesn’t do anybody any good. Not them, not us. In my little universe of one, there should be no “them” and “us” and especially not during this season of love and hope, the season some of us call Christmas. Honestly, if I didn’t believe that, I think I would be really depressed.
Are you depressed? Angry? Upset? That happens to so many people this time of year. Money’s low, spending’s high. Time is so short, to-do lists are so long. Extra ribbons and bows and all that glittery crap hurts the eyes. Makes you want to scream or take a pill or have another glass of holiday cheer. Makes you want to say “fuck off.” Or you can try this. You can stop making up stories about stuff that doesn’t matter and think to yourself “only love is real.”
Because if that’s what’s in your heart, shallow as you say it or deep where the real kingdom lies, then it’s the truth. Your truth in that moment. And the present moment is all we have. Namaste.