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“The Two Christmases and the Two Easters,” by Andrew J. Schatkin

There has occurred and developed in the United States and many Western countries a parallel understanding and view of Christmas and Easter. Christmas has been co-opted by the commercial business sector with the object of making money. Christmas in its secular interpretation is concerned with children, laughing, and joyful exchange of gifts and a general atmosphere of love and happiness. This Christmas has been widely adopted by many faiths and many of the carols we hear have no connection with Christ. This general Christmas of good-will also involves Christmas trees and decorations and it is possible that these have pagan origins.

But there is a second Christmas, which is the real Christmas – this is celebrated by a thinner and thinner minority in our society. This minority concerns itself with the birth of Christ and God revealing himself in human form. It is a joy and wonder that God took on humanity and entered human history. The true meaning of Christmas is not the glitter and noise but the act of God in taking human form to bring about salvation and eternal life. The real purpose of Christmas and Christ is the repair of our broken natures, and, if you will, our sinful natures. The secular Christmas, we must recognize, has no truth and serves to mislead people from the true Christmas. The true Christmas is Christ offering to humanity new life and the conquest of death. The Christmas which is based on commerce and money certainly has little truth. Perhaps the reason the world does not recognize the Christian Christmas is because it does not recognize the problem and its solution in Christ. Christmas is God’s way of providing a way out from sin and death. It is certainly not the Christmas that has taken over our world.

I would also like to talk about the two Easters. The secular or commercial Easter has come to dominate the entire celebration and holiday. It involves sometimes the Easter bunny and sometimes an Easter egg-hunt. Once again, the festival has been co-opted by the business and commercial sector and that takeover is misleading to the real meaning of Easter and its significance. Easter completely and solely is concerned with the risen Christ and his conquest of death. It certainly has nothing to do with the things I just mentioned. Easter is the resurrection and the offer by Christ to share in his eternal life and love. In fact, it has come to the point when both in the commercial Christmas and commercial Easter, Jesus is left out of the picture. I have to say that I am in somewhat disagreement with these business takeovers of what are essentially religious festivals and events. A child which comes to think of Christmas as trees, decorations, and gifts is being misled and misinformed. The Easter bunny has little connection with the offer of eternal life and love in the risen Christ. I have no objection to these secular interpretations of these events, but I for one do not choose to agree with them or be convinced by them. I do not think the government or secular society is obligated to observe these religious festivals but it is my position that the true nature of these events should be made clear. In short, the commercial interpretation of these religious festivals is a lie. 

Educational and Business Consultant, Writer, Speaker, and Teacher. He is the author of five book chapter in the areas of Evidence, Criminal Law, and Family Law.

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My client knocked at my door, totally dejected and like the metaphorically worlds problems were their fault and problems to solve all alone. They walked in looking like thunder and Cruella DeVille, grunted yes to a cup of tea and splurged on 3 conversations at once as they tried to deviate from the moment we would actually talk about what was making them so p***ed off.

They knew as well I did that it would take some work and honesty to find solutions, but that we always did, but it didn’t stop this person walking in like a dinosaur with a boil on its butt the size of Lithuania pulsating away destroying any chance of real thought and happiness.

I could practically feel their despondency, despair and lack of passion for anything. It was like a tangible thing trying to eradicate the happiness from the room. Black and oppressive. The person I knew seemed consumed by? Well? Crap, life, too much stuff and a sense of complete overwhelm.

This client is not alone in bringing me their despair and despondency and from the years of helping people to stay on track, achieve more and feel damn good about it, I know a lot of things that really work to get you back to happiness and away from hell.

Here’s a quick read guide to 3 things that could make today better (and probably help you steer clear of some crap too);

Got it sussed!

It’s tough to look at your life and be honest and say “Mmm, things aren’t good, are they?” to be fair that’s a pretty bland quote, usually it’s more along the lines of “If I don’t sort my Sh*t out I don’t know what’s going to happen” or something similar.

The ironic thing is that as a coach and someone that people naturally talk to (my children are always complaining I talk to everyone and can always find a commonality to have a chat over!) I know that my clients are not alone. The amount of times I’ve shared a Facebook Live and then been inundated with people saying “thank you for your honesty Mandie, My life has been plagued with this” or “I thought I was the only person that feels like this!”

The fact is that you are doing your best and while that doesn’t always feel like enough trust me when I say you are doing fine. If you can be bothered to read an article about being happy and achieving more you are not going to fail in the long term. When I first wrote Fight the fear, I would have some people come up after a speaking engagement and say “I thought I was fearless” (to which I would usually sigh) only for them to admit that they had the very fear I’d been talking about. We are all human. Remember that.

It means that we don’t learn a new algorithm and never slip back. It means that we don’t have it all sussed and only by being honest will we be able to. You don’t’ have to know everything, just remember, most people don’t have the same solutions you are looking for either, reassuring isn’t it! (Unless of course, you employ a coach, then “magically” you seem to have it sussed.)

What a beautiful life!

It is an intriguing state of affairs that a client can be honest and divulge their deepest darkest dooms and yet they have never considered that they are not alone in feeling like this. The crucial point to always remember about social media is people only share what they want you to know. They may have taken 30 photos to get the one that makes them look like they are sat at the infinity pool on their own and there is not some annoying kid splashing everyone that is trying to swim leisurely admiring the rainforest around them.

None
No really, I was the only person on this beach. (And I’m not telling you where it is. I share that beach with seabirds, mammals and my family!)

We assume that everyone else has a perfect life. No cat sick, no broken phones, no shrivelled plants that you hide out of shot, no stroppy kids, no partners leaving their dirty washing on the floor, no bank accounts that make you sweat because you are too close to being red hot for all the wrong reasons. Trust me as a coach, people come to me when they are desperate. And they are so often people that look like life is perfect. I was taught from a young age, that a flashy car and big house does not negate riches. (Real or spiritual) I alas have been at the door of a business associate that has had the bailiffs arrive and everyone was shocked for weeks that this could happen to XXX. Which leads us nicely too….

Look what I’ve got!

We can spend our life planning for the future, looking over our shoulder and wishing for more. We are in an age where we believe we can do great things, change the world and still read our children bedtime stories, and have the energy to whisper sweet nothings into our loved ones ears and go to sleep on a blissful bed of passion and contentment. While all of that is true, it takes more than just dedication, passion and determination. It takes a lot of work, and not everyone on this planet is made to work 24/7. That doesn’t make you a bad person. And if you can eat a 12 hour day before lunch, then go you. The point is that we are individuals and you need to appreciate you.

Really really love who you are and what you have. We are a society that is intent on achieving more, creating big goals and going for it, however never forget what you already have.

Sometimes even I have fallen foul of this. I remember at my book launch I sighed and said “Next door to the Savoy but not quite there”

“Oh no, I’m only next door to the Savoy!”

My husband pointed out that my book launch was with the UK’s leading non-fiction publisher in a building next door to the Savoy on the 10th floor, overlooking the Thames with panoramic views of London (It made for some awesome PR!) Not bad for your first book Mandie I had to remind myself. You see we can all forget how far we’ve come and how much we have. Take a moment to look around and really notice what you have got. It does tons for your motivation, happiness, determination and action’s results!

If one was single and they were to meet someone who showed a lot of interest in them, they could find that they end up being drawn to them. And what might also play a part here is that one may be physically attracted to them.

Through being in this person’s presence, one could start to experience a lot of positive feelings. In a way, it could be as if this person is a breath of fresh air; with them being someone who has come into their life to make it better.

A Fast Build Up

After the first encounter, it might not be long until the other person is acting in a ways or talking about things that wouldn’t usually take place or be mentioned for quite some time. It will be clear that the other person doesn’t want to take their time and to allow everything to develop organically.

It will be like starting in first gear and going straight into the last gear; instead of starting in first and gradually moving through each gear. At this point, one could have put their thinking brain to one side and be completely caught up in what is going on.

For Example

So after one has had their first encounter with this person, their phone could constantly go off. This can be a time when this person will message and call them, telling them how much they like them, how special they are and the type of things that they want to do with them, for instance.

This person could also say that they should move in together and go into what their future will be like. Additionally, one may find that this person sends them gifts while they are at work and they could come across love notes and letters from them.

The Next Stage

After they have seen each other a few times or only known each other for a matter of weeks, the other person could ask them if they are now in a relationship. They could even go one step further than this by talking about how much they love them.

And if they do end up moving in together after such a short period of time, one could spend even less time with others. In fact, ones whole life could end up revolving around their partner - someone they have only just met.

On Top Of the World

At this point one could feel as though they are on cloud nine, with them basking in positive feelings and the loving behaviour of their partner. Nonetheless, it might not be long until their partner starts to change.

Now that this person has pulled one in, they could end up trying to control how they live their life. If one doesn’t do what they want, they might find that their partner leaves or that it is not possible to get hold of them.

Hot and Cold

This person will have done everything that they could to warm them up in the beginning and, how that they have them in the palm of their hands, so to speak, they will take advantage of them. Due to their fear of losing their partner and being rejected and/or abandoned, one can have the need to do whatever their partner wants them to do.

If this means no longer seeing their friends and family, putting their interests to one side and/or neglecting their own health, for instance, they will do it to try to regain their ‘love’. Ultimately, one will have become hooked on their partner’s attention or the dopamine that they trigger inside them, which is why they won’t feel good when their attention is no longer there.

Drawing the Line

One could then do what their partner wants and before long, they could pull away again. They might turn up in a few days or it could be a number of months before they reappear.

Clearly, having this person in their life is not doing them any good, and the sooner they cut their ties with them the better. There are a number of things that they can do to gradually get back on their feet and to regain their energy.

A Few Steps

Firstly, it will be a good idea for one to no longer speak to this person in person, over a screen, or over the phone. If this person won’t accept this, one may need to get in touch with the police.

Secondly, it will be good for them to get back in touch with family and friends, so that they can go over what took place and gain their support. Thirdly, taking time to do what they enjoy will make it easier for them to take their mind of this person, and, fourthly, they may need to reach out for the assistance of a therapist or a healer, for instance.

Stepping Back

It could be said that just about anyone could be love bombed, yet there are going to be things that will make one more susceptible to this type of behaviour. And if one has gone through this experience on more than one occasion, it is likely to show they need to take a deeper look into why this keeps taking place.

However, this is not about one blaming or shaming themselves for what has taken place; it is simply about them taking a step back and looking into what they might need to do to prevent this from taking place again. This is about awareness as if one can see that there is a reason why this keeps taking place; they can do something about it.

A Closer Look

If they were to do this, what might become clear is that they don’t feel good about themselves. Therefore, as soon as someone comes along and gives them so much positive feedback, they drink it all up.

Said another way, they are in a position where they desperately want someone to love them. Consciously or unconsciously, a love bomber realises this and ends up exploiting their weakness.

An Easy Target

If one did value themselves, they wouldn’t need as much from another person, and this would enable them to be more discerning when it comes to who they allow into their life. And as opposed to feeling good when another person comes on strong right at the start, they might end up feeling as though something isn’t right.

They might realise that as this person knows very little about them, it probably shows that they are trying to manipulate them. The love that they have for themselves will also allow them to have strong boundaries.

Additional Points

Furthermore, through valuing who they are, they would most likely have a number of close friends who they can share their life with. These people would then be there to give them feedback and to support them.

Another part of this is that one would also do things that they enjoy and this would strengthen them and fill their life with meaning. They would value themselves enough not to neglect themselves.

The Reason

If one was to find that they don’t value themselves, it could show that their early years were not very nurturing. This may have been a time in their life when they were abused and/or neglected.

Thanks to how they were treated, they would have come to believe that they were worthless and they may carry the pain of being rejected and abandoned. Being treated badly is then going to be something that feels comfortable at a deeper level.

Awareness

If one can relate to this, and they want to embrace their inherent value, they may need to reach out for external support. This is something that can be provided by the assistance of a therapist or a healer.

​There will be the negative beliefs that that they need to question and replace, and there will be the emotional wounds that they need to heal. The main thing is that one does what they need to do and doesn’t give up on themselves. 

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