As we are approaching Christmas, Christmas is the topic of this post.
Christmas is not only a yearly reminder of something that happened long ago, and it is not only a part of a religious tradition. From the psychological point of view, Christmas contains metaphors that are relevant in the context of our current lives.
So, today I’m talking about four psychological takeaways from Christmas.
According to the biblical tradition, Mary was engaged to Joseph when she became pregnant. Joseph knew that he wasn’t the father, because the couple hadn’t had sex yet. So – as you may guess – he got very upset and wanted to break up with Mary.
At the time Mary became pregnant, she stayed in Judea with her relative, Elisabeth, and lived there for several months. When she returned home and her pregnancy became visible to neighbours, it was difficult for her to explain how it happened. Everybody knew that she travelled to Elisabeth alone, without Joseph.
We can only imagine all the comments, gossip and judgements about her pregnancy in as tiny a town as Nazareth, where everybody knew everybody. Yet, Joseph finally decided to marry his fiancée, against all odds.
The first takeaway message here is: Don’t give a shit about what people say when it comes to love and to your private life. Your life and your love are your responsibility.
Shortly before the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary travelled to Bethlehem. Mary was heavily pregnant, so the trip was tough and risky. But the couple couldn’t afford basic comforts, such as renting a decent accommodation. When they arrived at the town, all budget guestrooms were already taken. A local landlord offered the couple his stable for free, although they were complete strangers. He couldn’t predict his stable was about to become one of the most famous places in human history, where a very special person would be born.
So, the second takeaway message form Christmas is: Be open to new ideas and new people. Make a space for them in your mind, in your heart and in your life – even if a humble one. If you let the novel in, who knows, this may give birth to something extraordinary.
According to tradition, Jesus was born in poverty and humility – in a stable, among domestic animals, without a proper bed, wrapped only in Mary’s cloth.
The third takeaway message from this event is: Don’t be a jerk. Don’t judge other people by their background, appearance or current circumstances. You never know who may be hiding behind a humble façade.
At the time Jesus was born, a new star appeared on the sky to signalize the arrival of the messiah. But only three foreign astrologers properly identified the sign and made it to Bethlehem.
So, the fourth message here is: Choose your guiding star wisely. We are constantly bombarded by marketing campaigns, ideologies and political ideas. They change all the time. They are not like stars; they are more like traffic lights. A star is a light that can’t be switched on or off by people.
The four takeaways from Christmas are:
1) Don’t give a shit about what others say
2) Be open and receptive
3) Don’t be a judgmental jerk
4) Choose your guiding star wisely
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.