Then the car seemed to drive itself past the house where we celebrated baby's first Christmas. This house was the first place we had ever tried to buy. In the end, the deal didn't work out and, as I sat in my car across the street and admired their Christmas decorations, I remembered how heartsick I was to lose that house. Not such happy memories.
For some, returning home for the holidays brings up the best reminiscences. For others, it stirs up regret as long forgotten experiences surface. A few avoid going home altogether. Many brace themselves and push ahead. But there is a way to go home that can be healing, progressive and leave you in a better place afterward.
At Christmastime, we may find ourselves chasing after those shadows, or running away from them, unless we take to heart the spiritual lessons to be learned from our personal experiences, and move on in the light and fullness of the present good of God.
Eddy explained, "The heavenly intent of earth's shadows is to chasten the affections, to rebuke human consciousness and turn it gladly from a material, false sense of life and happiness, to spiritual joy and true estimate of being."
But the question naturally arises, how do we do it? How can we effectively let a material, false sense go and reclaim for ourselves spiritual joy and a true estimate of our lives?
- Don't get caught up in the "storytelling" - mental or verbal - that rehearses past errors. "Mere historic incidents and personal events are frivolous and of no moment, unless they illustrate the ethics of Truth. To this end, but only to this end, such narrations may be admissible and advisable..." (ibid.)
- If you do revisit your "story" remember that the only thing real or permanent in it is your spiritual growth in good, compassion and love. Yesterday is like a swimmer's wall - it's not a barrier or limit, but an excellent push off point, with momentum, in a good direction today.
- Let this trip home, even if it is more mental than physical, be progressive. Don't go back. Go forward to embrace your past. The only thing that counts about yesterday is the understanding, growth and love that you bring to it today.
It isn't always easy to go home, but it can be healing, to the extent that we are open to the spiritual lessons of divine Love waiting for us. Eddy wrote, understanding the difficulties, "The awakening from a false sense of life, substance, and mind in matter, is as yet imperfect; but for those lucid and enduring lessons of Love which tend to this result, I bless God." (ibid.)
Any experience can be a push off point to renew our love and love more - to experience afresh God's love. As John said, "There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear." (I John 4:18)
Let God's love lead you home this Christmas and take care of you while you are there.
Podcast available for this post!