This black and white sketch was drawn for us by Dev, a new friend in India. I love it. For Christians, it represents one of the most important events in history—the birth of the Christ child. But whether you are Christian or not the painting embodies the tender love of family—the sweet innocence and radiance of a newborn child; the pride and gentle affection of a mother; the strength and encircling protection of a father. Love is the magnet which magically draws them together.
Of course, such moments of tenderness, though precious, are somewhat rare, interrupted by the hurriedness of our lives, our confused priorities, even our ego-based insecurities and resentments. We look forward to the holidays and then overlook or even insulate our hearts from what is most important.
So how about if this holiday season we slow down, quiet our minds, soften our hearts, let go of a little pride (our tendency to judge and take offense, our desire to be right, our need to suffer or hold onto grudges) so we can be present with our loved ones in a way that allows the most natural and deepest yearning of our hearts to pull us into connection, unity, at-one-ment.
Perhaps we do this as we make our primary aim that of caring for another’s happiness or well-being. We choose to be wholly present with the person directly before us. We pause the monologue going on in our own heads. We look into their eyes. We hear what they are saying, not just the words but the feelings and meaning behind those words. We give up our need for them to be different. And we communicate, not so much by what we say but by the gift of our conscious presence, our respect, honor, and love.
Many call this season holy because of what happened millennia ago. Perhaps it is also holy because of what can happen in our hearts today.
I thank Dev for his beautiful gift, for his reminder of what is most important this Christmas season.
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