As another year draws to a close, we look back at the past twelve months and ask ourselves what we have accomplished. Some will look at personal achievements; others will look at how the world has changed (or remained the same). From deep within our hearts and minds, a part of us will be looking at this past twelve months with sorrow, for 2006 has been a year of death, chaos, and poverty peppered with only intermittent rains of life, peace, love, and contentment. War has dominated our lives in one form or another, creating a landscape of emotional, spiritual, and physical poverty in the lives of far too many.
But, for many of us, we'll be looking at the past twelve months with joy, for this has been a year in which the struggle to create peace has become more pronounced than ever before. For as much as it has cost in lives (and economics), the war in Iraq has driven home the need to stop the fighting and try to work out differences.
Because of the war in Iraq, people's eyes have been opened wider than ever before to the need to find a better way to live.
In a mere seven days, we will have the opportunity to start over. We will have a chance to wipe our personal life slate clean and start over. We will have a chance to make peace within ourselves, with our friends and family who have hurt us, and who we have hurt. But, why wait that long? Why not start making peace now?
It is with only love that I offer this Christmas message to you:
* Love is not jealous, or greedy, or uncompassionate. It is giving and understanding - and it begins within each and every one of us. Strive to manifest love within, and love will spread outwardly.
* War of any kind achieves nothing positive. It is but a means to establish control over another, at the price of human lives and hearts. Peace accepts and appreciates all differences, and does not require control over others; difference is what makes humanity unique. Strive to be more accepting of differences from within, and peace will begin to spread outwardly.
* Whether by circumstance or by choice, poverty of any kind is unnecessary. Strive to enrich your lives by serving others, and love will spread its healing power to a world in pain.
* Words have power. When spoken with the intensity of anger, what is wished for at that moment may come to pass. Be careful what you wish for; you just might get it.
* Love with all your heart. Waste not one moment of your life on negative emotions such as anger, greed, jealousy, or hate.
* Finally, listen to your heart and let your spirit guide you in the direction it wants you to go. If you do this - even when it means going against the dictates of society - you will discover true and lasting happiness, for Spirit leads us only in positive directions, never negative directions. If you would be truly happy, no matter what your physical circumstances, follow your spirit. This is the meaning of the adage, “To thine own self be true.”
From me and my family to you and yours, may the present and the future bestow upon you love, peace, and true and lasting happiness.