Holiday Greetings from Your LUT!
(Licensed Unity Teacher, in case you’re wondering!)
I am writing this on Halloween, after a surprise blizzard struck Missoula two days ago. I keep insisting I’m not ready for it to be winter, but, somehow, Old Man Winter didn’t seem to get the message. So, I suppose, I might as well start thinking about all the celebrations that will be happening in the next eight weeks.
We begin this month of November with a special forgiveness/release ceremony on the first Sunday. Roger Harvey and I have been talking about how important it is to hold a formal recognition of the work we have all been doing to let go of past hurts and misunderstandings. Since the spiritual power for the month is traditionally release/renunciation, it seemed like the perfect time to conduct this ceremony. I hope you are/were able to join us.
November also brings us Election Day, Veterans’ Day, and, of course, Thanksgiving. It is a powerful experience for me to move through the emotions that often accompany all three of these. The first question is whether I can let go of the judgment and negative behavior that sometimes arises during election season. It is a sobering experience to realize how deeply attached I still am to wanting a particular candidate to win. Can I recognize the Christ presence in that other person even when they have a totally opposite opinion than mine? I am still working on this, thus the ceremony of release.
Then comes Veterans’ Day. This has always been a relatively minor observance for me, in spite of having been an Air Force wife during my first marriage (eons ago). So the day conjures up gratitude in me for all the people who have made sacrifices to serve our country in the military, and in multitudes of other ways as well. It also brings up some guilt because I have never had to serve. And guilt because I have been totally opposed to war, and angry at those who choose to serve when they have felt called to do so. Is this another opportunity for forgiveness and release? I think so.
Next we reach Thanksgiving Day, the traditional time for gratitude, feasting, and the gathering of friends and families. Of course, this day also offers mixed emotions when you think of friends and others who are separated from their loved ones. Or if you get into the state of martyrdom, when you are the only one who keeps the whole feast together! Did I mention the presence of guilt? Sometimes it seems like I haven’t learned anything in all my years of working with Unity principles!
I haven’t even mentioned the dance of feelings that occurs in December, with the busyness of gift shopping, wrapping, mailing, Christmas cards and letters, more food and parties, etc., etc. We begin with decorating our church and putting up our own trees, etc. at home. We add choir practice into our schedules. We have Christmas potlucks and Christmas Eve services. Then we get to finish the year out with a Unity service of writing a “Letter of Intention” (or to God, in the old tradition). Have we made any progress this past year? Or do we have another opportunity to let go of the feeling of inadequecy? Need I mention the g-word again?
It is so amazing to me how we create so much holiday chaos just so we can avoid connecting with our Spirit within. We just don’t have time! So this year, I invite you to join with me in carving out the space necessary to spend quality time (it doesn’t have to be a lot) in meditation and prayer, remembering the purpose of all these events. Let us remember our overall desire is to know the love, the joy, the peace that is ours when we connect in Spirit. Let us pause and breath into our heart space, and remember that we are the Light, right where we are!
In love and blessings of the season,
Linda Andrus, your Licensed Unity Teacher