does Father Christmas exist?

belief future Christmas
When I was a child I believed in Father Christmas.

In part because my parents told the tale and I believed in them. I trusted them as parents. As adults.

In part also because it served me well. I was rewarded. Brightly wrapped presents, sweets and other childhood delights were bestowed upon my compliance. My letter to Santa, brought me gifts.

In part also because everyone else in my child world believed too. I was fitting in by believing, rather than being outside the group.

*Spoiler alert* I don’t believe in Father Christmas now; although I perpetuated the myth with my own children when they were small.

Our beliefs about the world change over time. So too our beliefs about ourselves.

What I believed about work when I was 12 was quite different to what I believed twenty years later at 32. What I believed about the value of money has shifted again in the last twenty years. Certainly my beliefs about girls were very different at 12 to those I held at 22. My beliefs at 40 about human beings, compassion, possibilities are quite different to those my sixteen year old self held. My beliefs about what is important have shifted too. So too my beliefs about my abilities. And much more.

The point here is that our beliefs change over time.

I wonder how would it be if we set an intent to shift a belief in advance? Rather than it shifting simply through the ageing process and maturity, as a result of situation, life experience, context. What if we decided now, what we wanted to believe in say a decade?

What do I want to believe in ten years about money, about fun, about time, about learning, about being healthy, about happiness, about relaxing, about pleasure, about society, about religions, about conflict, about equality, about difference, about humanity?

Can I in some way change my future if I set out, now, to have a different belief about these things in my own future?

Maybe different gifts are possible? Not those delivered by Father Christmas, but by increasing my awareness of myself and by setting out to believe different things about me and the world I live in… what might be?

Now that, might be worth wrapping with a bow.

if the very ground I stand on isn’t there, what then?

believe in yourself
There are times in our lives when the world around us seems to be a given, outside of our influence but a structure we can rely upon. It is physical, emotional, social, psychological, spiritual. It seems an uncontrollable force. An influence we are subservient to, because it is bigger, stronger than our fragile unique humanity. It is a rock on which we are built. A grounding platform on which we stand and from which we can step forward, grow. It gives us context. It is the picture that gives us, as individual brush strokes, meaning. It is a defining play in which we are but puppets, actors. It gives us assurance, confidence. We come to trust it. It keeps us safe.

Recent events in Paris are a sobering reminder of how the structures we rely on, almost take for granted, can be questioned, break down even. Then what happens? We feel vulnerable. We seek to strengthen other foundations in our world, such as our way of life, our freedoms. To compensate. To replace one piece of ground with another, so that we might not fall.

This quote might remind us of something else though…

A bird sitting in a tree is never afraid of the branch breaking, because her trust is not in the branch but is in her own wings. Always believe in yourself.

It might remind us to trust ourselves and to believe in ourselves.

Humanity is greater than the actions on one or more ‘human beings’.
Humanity is greater than the world around us; the world created, shaped, destroyed by human beings.
Humanity is within.