We're now well into January and have left the Christmas festivities behind for another year.
Like most adults, we tend to feel less and less "Christmasy" as we get older, and the excitement of our childhood becomes a distant memory.
Quietly reminiscing one day, I realized how the recognition of our true nature, or rather the realization that we are not a person, is very similar to the day we learn there is no Santa Claus.
Until (fill in what age you were here), we firmly believed in Santa Claus: that he was a person who existed.
We thought he brought us presents each year via the chimney, but only if we had been good, written a letter, and left him a biscuit and a glass of milk.
Then one day, our parents informed us, directly or indirectly, that he was not real!
In my case: One Christmas Eve, as I was putting the glass of milk on the mantelpiece before bed, my Dad said, "Did you know Santa prefers whisky?"...then it clicked.
In that instant, I realized that Santa didn't exist, never did exist, and, perpetuated by society, was just a figment of my imagination.
In other words: just a thought.
Then, there was a second realization that from now on, no matter how often I heard about Santa or met others who believed in him, I would never be able to believe in him again.
Of course, I could pretend to for the sake of societal norms; but for me, there was no going back.
As with Santa, so with ourselves.
There is no separate person: (Insert your name here) is just a figment of your imagination.
Who tells us this?
It reveals itself in its divine timing, and when it does, there's no going back.
During what is known as the integration period, we can feel adrift as the understanding of our true nature is still very fresh. In my case: there was also a strange feeling of melancholy as I recalled the innocence of not knowing who I was. However, that is to see only one side and to view the past through rose-colored spectacles. There is tremendous suffering that goes along with identifying as a person, also known as ignorance of our true nature.
As a friend said to me the other day, "Being awake is better than thinking you live and die!".
Why?...because we are free!
Free from identification with thought.
Free from the suffering that brings.
Free to just be.
This is the freedom we desire. It is our true nature calling us home. It was always there; we just forgot.
So, say goodbye, but don't grieve for Santa. He was a necessary part of your story.
Double down on your new path, and embrace life fully. When dealing with others, be compassionate, generous, and patient.
But most of all, be a beacon of love.