For a long time, we could keep them separate. Then a babe in a manger moved us along to seeing both spirit and flesh, wrapped up together in swaddling clothes. Being both human and divine, Jesus invited us to embrace our frailties, but to also discover the Sacred within. What a great image to bring us back home to wholeness.
If we never exert our independence (eat from the forbidden tree), we never take the journey. And if we do not take the journey, we lose out on struggling through to individual and collective wholeness.
Until we glimpse the world’s problems in us, we blame something other. Surely a snake, a woman or an authoritative figure took our innocence, and then banished us from our perfect gardens. Deep inside, though, we know that naïveté is for the young; and we are meant to develop beyond compliance, so we can willingly give back to the whole.
Will we acquiesce, demanding that others do the same, or fully live? Once we partake of the fruit (exert independence), we can choose shame or embrace our humanness.
In refusing humanness, we fight, dumb ourselves down or weep unremittingly over our failures. And as long as we deny our sacredness, we fluctuate back and forth between false humility and inflated pride, projecting on anyone who challenges us.
By accepting both spirit and flesh, in ourselves, we destroy childish illusions and create room for new life. Whether or not we physically leave a place to grow into our truer selves, if we have any hope of being whole, we must take the journey.
People may nurture, or fight, us along the way; however, the path to genuineness is only wide enough for one. In this sense, each of us walks alone, with the exception of the many who walked before us.
If we are fortunate, we quickly learn that focusing on our own transformation leaves little margin to judge other people and their journeys. So, will we politely comply, giving our power away, fight or embrace both spirit and flesh, in ourselves and other people?
This Christmas season, consider how you can extend a sincere blessing to those on a different place in the journey.