Approaching the Holidays With Pure Love Energy
Christmas Shopping and the Energy of Obligation
Working in retail during the holiday season at the bookstore this year has been particularly eye-opening. As is true of any job if it is treated a certain way, working in retail can be deeply spiritual and revealing of one's innermost feelings and traits. During my time at the bookstore, I have discovered a rebellious streak within myself and came to recognize my aversion to (some) authority and obligation. The topic of authority is probably a blog on its own, but I’ll talk about the sense of obligation here, especially in regards to Christmas.
I can’t tell you how many people since Black Friday have bustled through the line to my register, slapped down gift cards or merchandise, and grumbled something like, “Thank God that’s done.” I couldn’t help but smile to myself when a woman put down eight gift cards and deliberated as she stood at the cash register (with a long line of people behind her) whether $30 on each was too much. Finally, she decided, “That’s fine. They all deserve that much.” While I found it humorous to practically watch the gears of that lady’s mind clicking behind her eyes as she calculated how much everyone “deserved,” I am sure there was good intention behind it. I know a lot of people might approach Christmas gift-giving this way, especially if they’re buying for people they don’t know well. I, too, have had the “thank God that’s done” mentality before. Seeing it so much while at my job has made me think differently.
Grinch-like, or Authentic?
On the surface, I may seem like a grinch this year because I’ve decided not to put up my Christmas tree (yet) or buy for anyone except close family members. I love Christmas. I always have and always will, but I haven’t had much free time lately and decided I don’t want to spend it decorating. I’d rather spend it relaxing, writing, or playing music. Nothing against Christmas or the tree, but I feel it ruins the spirit of things when you do them purely from a sense of obligation. Similarly, I would rather only buy gifts for people I know very well because I know exactly what they like and I enjoy selecting gifts the most when I truly feel that someone will love what I pick out for them. This decision has nothing to do with a need to be frugal with money, but it has everything to do with how a person may receive my gift. I don’t make it a mission to buy for X number of people or spend X number of dollars; I want to enjoy the process and don’t feel like it is as free-flowing (or honest, or loving) when it is all planned and budgeted. There are times that I want to buy for people who do not seem to want that gesture, so I refrain from doing anything. I don’t see it as loving to force things on people.
Love is Energy
This holiday season, I am keeping in mind that love isn’t attention, nor is it obligation, nor is it what Hallmark or other major retailers make it out to be. Maybe I won’t get a single message from some of the people I love the most, and maybe I won’t send them one either, at least not physically. Love isn’t just an emotion. It’s an energy.
As a fun and meditative holiday exercise, and to illustrate the above point, try sending love to someone you have a difficult relationship with. When you send the love, try not to focus on any begrudging feelings or what is difficult in the relationship. Just focus on the love you feel for that person. Can you visualize that love? If you could see the energy, what would it look like? Write or draw it out in vivid detail. Once you have a clear image in your mind of what that love looks like and its infinite and unconditional nature, picture it going out to that person. You can see it go into their aura or their heart. Finish the meditation knowing that they have received it, even if you receive no physical indication of this.
When pure love energy is put behind everything everything we do (and even things we don’t do), life gets better in every way.
© 2018 Holley Hyler