It's here again: Christmas! The most wonderful time of the year! Well, for some people anyway. Not everyone. So many-- maybe you? --have trouble getting into the spirit of the holiday, to put it lightly! You want nothing more than to show up, satisfy whatever social requirements are asked of you, then go back to sleep as quickly as you can.
So what, you say. Who cares, you ask. And why should conversation have anything to do with any of this anyway?
Amidst all of the craziness and fun...or "fun" of the holidays, conversation becomes the one place of solace for us all. If we allow it to slow us down, conversation is like a sacred space of serenity behind a waterfall, where nothing else matters but that singular moment in time. Everything else stops, and it's just two souls communicating. Whether you're someone who loves Christmas, or you could take it or leave it, conversation is a way to just focus on what really matters: being there for each other.
Maybe what makes you happy is to sing Jingle Bells in a Santa cap while dancing around the whole house, trying to get others to join you. Or maybe what makes you happy is to tune out, detach from everything and everyone around you, and just watch TV, or close your eyes and dream of a happier time when the holidays are finally over. No matter which of these you prefer, or something in between, we all need to listen to one another, and really respect each other's head space.
Living a sacred life means listening to each person's story as they present themselves to us, not just going on and on about your own struggle or story. AND it also means telling people your truth, how you really feel in a respectful, loving, and honest way, without just listening and nodding as someone else speaks. Conversation is the place where ego pauses and our higher self emerges. It's the place in space and time where we are truly present for the person next to us, and they are (hopefully) truly present for us.
How's school? How's your job? How's your house/car/sleigh? Whatever we decide should be discussed with another person becomes the sacred elements of that conversation. And whether or not one of us then puts on the Santa cap and sings Jingle Bells, or slides back deeper into the sofa for some shuteye, the moment of connection will hopefully lift us both up higher than before. It will elevate us out of the holiday party and into the Moment with a capital M.
So seek out those waterfall spaces of serenity with another person, with as many people as you can, and don't let the holiday fun--whether you love it or not--keep you from the sacred act of meaningful conversation.
Merry Christmas! (...now where did I put that Santa cap?)
Sean Patrick Brennan is the author of Heaven, Hell, and the Planet In Between, available for purchase on Amazon at: http://www.amazon.com/Heaven-Hell-Planet-In-Between/dp/1484090187 and through online bookstores everywhere. An accomplished writer with a unique background and history that's hard to match, Sean is also a former monk, a Publishers Clearing House deputy, and a social activist on a national and international level. His love of faith and spirituality is evidenced in his passionate writing and thought-provoking essays.