Many of us will be travelling to see relatives this Christmas perhaps with a slight sense of trepidation. Being back in the house we grew up in we may feel those old, painful patterns re-emerging, see the replaying of those same old dramas, feel ourself being related to as someone we once were and not who we now are.
We may regret that our families don’t understand us, that they are still hopelessly lost in the dream and unable to meet us where we are, unable to connect on a deeper level. But when we make such judgements it is really us who are deluded, us who are lost in the dream—the dream of being spiritually ‘awake’, of being somehow special, better and beyond these ‘lowly’ kinds of interactions.
It can be a disturbing truth to face—that all our supposed spiritual superiority is actually serving to separate us further off from rather than reconnect us back to life.
It’s no one else’s job to understand us. However we imagine we’d like others to be is our own fantasy, that keeps us from embracing them as they are, that keeps us from the possibility of truly meeting.
So what if when we return home we are simple and open hearted? What if when our father asks which route we took and how much the petrol was per litre, and our mother asks us if we’re eating properly we recognise that they are really saying, “I love you.” She grew us inside her, felt us kicking in her belly, gave birth to us; they watched us growing up, poured their affection into us and then watched us walk away. That connection is unbreakable.
Without all our spiritual baggage, when we are truly honest and laid bare, only then can we really meet one another. That’s when our Christmas can transform from a feeling of trepidation to a joyous celebration of love.