Sunday, 25 December 2016

Significance of Christmas : A lesson in simplicity

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
“And the Word became flesh.
~John 1:1 and 14:

This verse sums up the entire purpose of the festival of Christmas!


A celebration of the birth of the incarnation of God himself!

An incarnation who was fully god and fully man both at the same time.

A celebration of the Lord stepping out of eternity into time to become a man of flesh and blood, in the form of Jesus.

Jesus- the Savior, who had come to redeem his children of their sins and to bestow upon them his purest love.

The birth of Jesus was no ordinary birth. Yet, the birth that was prophesized hundred of years before he was born, happened in the womb of a virgin mother and in a lowly stable.
THAT, is the very essence of the festival!

The birth in a manger.

Effacing in simplicity.
Bathed in humility.

These are probably the two very qualities that every religion links to spirituality. Years have rolled by, sages and come and saints have gone and yet their basic teachings remain the same. Be simple. Be humble.

That is what the birth of Christ symbolizes too. Simplicity in thoughts and living. Humility in behavior.  The spiritual awakening comes to the seeker, who is perfectly humble and simple.

The birth happening of a virgin mother.

If Simplicity is in the intention, purity is in the affection; simplicity turns to God; purity unites with and enjoys him. ~ Thomas A Kempis.

The human heart hungers for constancy- constancy in thoughts and actions, constancy in behavior and constancy in relationships. It is this purity or virginity of thought which leads us to the birth of goodness.

The birth happening in the darkest corner of a stable.

Jesus was God's child, and he could have chosen to be born in a palace. But he chose to be born in the darkest corner of a stable. Was he trying to tell us something? Perhaps he was.
The Christ spirit or the spirit of being one with the Lord takes birth in the deep and dark recesses of the human mind, corrupted by ignorance, superstition, greed, hatred and hypocrisy. When we look inward with total self-effacement or self-abnegation, it leads us to light or self-awareness.

How profound, isn’t it? 

Let me leave you with these thoughts to contemplate on.

Merry Christmas.

Saturday, 24 December 2016

Forgiving in the spirit of Yuletide.

“Be tolerant with one another and forgive one another whenever anyone of you has a complaint against someone else. You must forgive one another just as the lord as forgiven you.”
~ Colossians 3:13

The bible is full of verses that preach forgiveness. Verses that ask you not to judge others, verses that ask you to be empathetic, verses that ask you make allowance for the faults of others, and verses that tell you it is more peaceful to forgive than to carry the burden of hurt in your hearts. Most religious scriptures preach forgiveness too. It is not just scriptures, but psychologists would tell you the same thing too!

Many people would argue that forgiving is an act of cowardice, it is a sign of weakness, or it is an acceptance of someone’s misdeeds. They would say, it encourages them to keep doing what they do and hurt more people because we choose to forgive them. Shouldn’t we rather teach them a lesson? Aren’t they to be punished?

Unfortunately, neither the teacher nor the therapist seem to concur.

If the saints thinks forgiveness is an act of spirituality, the psychologists agrees that forgiveness is the most powerful thing you can do for your own self physiologically and psychologically. So should you really let go of your resentments and forgive the person who caused you hurt and misery?

Decide that for yourself after you read this post.

Forgiving is not a sign of weakness.
Many people think that forgiving means accepting defeat and thus it is a sign of weakness. On the contrary, forgiving is an act of strength. It is a way of saying, I am strong enough not to be cowed down by your behaviour. I am strong enough to forgive you in spite of the hurt. It doesn’t mean you welcome that person back into your life, but it does means that you are ready to let go of your pain and the person who caused it and have made peace with yourself.

“The weak can never forgive. Forgiveness is the attribute of the strong."
~M.K. Gandhi

Forgiving is empowering-
Forgiving makes you realise that the power to control your emotions is in your own hands and not with the world outside. When you forgive, you transfer the emotional baggage back to the other person and in the process you free your mind. Forgiveness does not mean you excuse the crime, it just means that you are no longer willing to be the victim. Forgiveness does not make the other person right, it makes you free.

“Forgiveness is unlocking the door to set someone free… and realising you were the prisoner!” ~ Max Lucado

Forgiving helps you to move on.
The burden of hurt that we continue to carry in our hearts not just impairs our growth but also makes us revengeful and thus difficult to move on. It festers negative thoughts and creates stereotypical associations in our other relationships. Just because one man broke your heart, you start rationalising that all men are the same. Just because one friend cheated you, you start viewing everyone else with suspicion. But when you forgive, it helps you to move on and leave the past behind. You are able to accept other relationships with an open mind.

“When you haven’t forgiven those you have hurt you, you turn your back against your future. When you do forgive, you start walking forward”. ~Tyler Perry

Forgiving heals better than anger or hate.
When you decide to consciously forgive past hurts, you will begin to heal. Even psychologists agree that anger causes negative physiological effects in our body while forgiveness releases feel good hormones that makes you feel instantly better.Bitterness can make us physically sick. Healing our self is in our hands entirely.

“When we allow hate in our hearts, it consumes us. It leaves no room for love. It doesn’t feel good at all. Release it.” ~ Penny Lee.

Experience is a teacher. This moment of hurt is an experience too. Let it teach you to strengthen your boundaries and equip you to take better care of yourself in the future. Accept the reality of what happened so that you can find a way to deal with it. You don’t have to necessarily tell the person that you have forgiven them, just do it for yourself.

So this festive season, let the spirit of Yuletide fill your hearts with forgiveness; forgiveness to set your self free; forgiveness so that you may get well and move on. You owe yourself that peace, don’t you?