The Grinch Left Out Every Who down in Who-ville Liked Christmas a lot. But the Grinch, Who lived just north of Who-ville, Did NOT!

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1 The Grinch Left Out Every Who down in Who-ville Liked Christmas a lot. But the Grinch, Who lived just north of Who-ville, Did NOT! The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season! Now, please don t ask why. No one quite knows the reason. It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight. But I think that the most likely reason of all May have been that his heart was two sizes too small. But whatever the reason, His heart or his shoes, He stood there on Christmas Eve, hating the Whos, Staring down from his cave with a sour, Grinchy frown At the warm lighted windows below in their town. For he knew every Who down in Who-ville beneath Was busy now, hanging a mistletoe wreath. And they re hanging their stockings! he snarled with a sneer, Tomorrow is Christmas! It s practically here! Then he growled, with his Grinch fingers nervously drumming, I must find some way to stop Christmas from coming! For tomorrow he knew All the Who girls and boys would wake bright and early. They d rush for their toys! And then! Oh the noise! On, the Noise! Noise! Noise! Noise! That s one thing he hated! The NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! Then the Whos, young and old, would sit down to a feast, And they d feast! And they d feast! And they d FEAST! FEAST! FEAST! FEAST! They would feast on Who-pudding, and rare Who-roast-beast, which was something the Grinch couldn t stand in the least! And THEN they d do something He liked least of all! Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small, Would stand close together, with Christmas bells ringing, They d stand hand-in-hand. And the Whos would start singing! They d sing! And they d sing! AND they d SING! SING! SING! SING! And the more the Grinch though of this Who-Christmas-Sing, the more the Grinch thought, I must stop this whole thing! Why for fifty-three years I ve put up with it now! I MUST stop this Christmas from coming! But How? Then he got an idea! An awful idea! THE GRINCH GOT A WONDERFUL, AWFUL IDEA! 1

2 I know just what to do! The Grinch laughed in his throat. And he made a quick Santy Claus hat and a coat. And he chuckled and clucked, What a great Grinchy trick! With this coat and this hat, I look just like Saint Nick! All I need is a reindeer The Grinch looked around. But, since reindeer are scarce, there was none to be found. Did that stop the old Grinch? No! The Grinch simply said, If I can t find a reindeer, I ll make one instead. So he called his dog, Max. Then he took some red thread and he tied a big horn on the top of his head. THEN he loaded some bags and some old empty sacks on a ramshackle sleigh and he hitched up old Max. Then the Grinch said, Giddap! And the sleigh started down toward the homes where the Whos lay a snooze in their town. All the windows were dark. Quiet snow filled the air. All the Whos were all dreaming sweet dreams without care, When he came to the first little house on the square. Ah, the Grinch. Dr Seuss is really a brilliant writer although most of his actual career was as an illustrator. His grandparents were all German, but Theodor Seuss Geisel was born in Springfield, Massachusetts in How the Grinch Stole Christmas was written in 1957, the same year he wrote The Cat in the Hat. You may notice I ve used his stories before. And I love the metaphysics of ordinary stories we find in literature. It demonstrates both the wisdom found in stories of all sorts and the meaning we can find when we dig a little deeper. We learn surprisingly early in this story what the Grinch s problem might be: his heart is two sizes too small! Now we can make adjustments if our shoes are too tight or our shorts are bunched up or we ve tightened our belt just a notch too much. What could make a heart too small and how could we remedy that? I confess this sermon is shaped by two loves that I share with Charles Fillmore: metaphysics and science. Science and spirituality are not mutually exclusive and my delight is finding the intersections and synergy. If we look at the story, what does the Grinch focus on? It is simple and readily apparent; he focuses on what he hates! He hates Christmas, the whole Christmas season. He hates the noise of the toys and the laughter and the singing. He hates the Who s down in Whoville and the way they join together. Perhaps it is just my imagination but does anyone else think we all have become a little too focused on what we hate? The list of what we don t like is not small. Everyone has their own list. 2

3 We don t like people who are not like us. We don t like people with different opinions. We don t like conditions in the world. We hate the haters, trying not to notice it makes us haters. Sylvester Stewart or Sly and the Family Stone put it this way: There is a blue one, who can't accept the green one, for living with a fat one, trying to be a skinny one. There is a long hair, that doesn't like the short hair, for being such a rich one, that will not help the poor one. In the end, we are all everyday people. I want to ask you something very simple: What makes you angry? I suspect it narrows down to something we don t control. This can show up a lot of ways. We are angry when it is not our way. We are angry when we judge someone s actions as wrong. We get angry with ourselves so the actions we judge might be someone else s or our very own. We are angry when we feel threatened, which is really life out of our control. The illusion is both that we could somehow control the world and given that control, everything would be ok. And we are constantly angry because the world doesn t work that way. So with hate the focus of the Grinch and our current world, I want to look briefly at the physiology of anger. Remember I like science! What happens to our bodies when we are angry? From MentalHelp.net here is the cascade. Our muscles tense. Our amygdala triggers the release of catecholamine, which give us a burst of energy. Our heart rate increases, our blood pressure increases, and our breathing rate increases. Our face gets flush and turns red as blood goes out into our extremities through vessels constricting the blood away from our heart. Our attention focuses on the target of our anger until other thoughts are blocked. More hormones, adrenaline and noradrenaline, flow out to sustain our state of readiness to fight. With muscles tensed and vessels constricted, over and over again, can anyone guess how a heart might get to be two sizes too small? In our story, the Grinch has lived this way for 53 years. How often do we feel the flush of anger? How long have we lived this way? How long has anger been our response to life beyond our control? We speak in Unity about the thoughts we collect in our consciousness. So imagine your consciousness is a box and in the center of the box is a red balloon. Thoughts of hate are like big, smooth stones, piling up in the box. The more stones we put in, the less room there is for the red balloon. It gets smaller and smaller as we add more stones. Who creates the stones? We do. Who puts the stones into our consciousness box? We do. 3

4 We feel justified in holding onto the stones because we believe we know how life should be. We know what is right. We know how people should act. We know what people should believe. We add more stones. We keep them in consciousness even when we notice how little room there is for love, for peace, for faith, for happiness. We d like more love but we like being right. Don t you think the Grinch believes he is right? Could it ever be different? Emotions like anger are controlled by our amygdala but reason is controlled by our prefrontal cortex. Reason can override our emotional response. We can learn cognitive techniques to recognize symptoms and engage breath work to create a space for choice. When we breathe, we get more oxygen; we feel muscles relax and our chest is less constricted; our heart expands, our pressure goes down. It is possible to not live in anger but it requires us to make different choices. Do we have any motivation for making the change to stop living in anger? To let go of being right? First of all, allowing our lives to be so consumed in anger takes a toll on our health. Bone density, blood sugar, heart health, muscle tone and mental health all suffer as a result of the barrage of hormones from anger. The science of making our hearts too small does give us ways to bring it back to health! Secondly, although we may feel angry because we feel left out or not in control, the biology of anger moves us to say and do things that drive others away. Making us feel more left out. To break the cycle, we have to stop choosing anger. We have to stop filling the space in our consciousness with the stones of hate. Stones represent hardened and solidified thoughts and beliefs so metaphysically, we have to dissolve them by choosing compassion, empathy and love to allow our true nature to expand into the new space. How many of you could agree we live in a Universe of infinite possibilities? Infinite means without end. We live in a constantly evolving, renewing, creating Universe. A Universe seeking an equilibrium, a balance. So what if, in the infinite possibilities in our Universe, there were ways to establish balance we haven t thought of or seen yet? Think of all the things you fear and hate: injustice, killing, hunger, disease, climate change, homelessness and the national debt. So long as we continue to keep our focus there, that is what we continue to see. Now imagine harmony, compassion, and abundance for everyone. Can we keep that in our vision as the balance that is unfolding? In establishing balance some structures may be destroyed, something new may arise and it is all beyond our imagination. 4

5 If it is beyond our imagination, we have nothing to be right about. If the possibilities are still unfolding, there is nothing to judge as wrong because we don t know the end. If we can keep our consciousness in the flow of the Universe unfolding, we can t be left out. Does this mean we abandon our understanding of Truth principles? Does this mean justice and compassion aren t important? We should just sit back and let people mistreat us and others? Of course not. We live the Truth we know to the best of our ability. However, we let go of our belief that our understanding of the Truth we know is the only view there is. We speak up for justice with the zeal of our belief but without hating those who see things differently. Let your mind play with the idea of taking a stand for love and letting go of judging others and how life unfolds. We must begin to examine the stones in our consciousness. We see the effects of living with hearts that are two sizes too small. Which people, activities or circumstances create the greatest anger and hate in us? What judgment could we let go of, which would free us from the damaging effects of our anger? Every stone we remove creates more space for the red balloon to expand. Less hate, more love. Less judgment, more peace. The less we see everything as black and white, the more we make peace with a spectrum of shades. Less separation, more connection. The Grinch is not just a character in a children s story, he is a part of our consciousness. Because it s the holiday season, I ll be sharing the gift of affirmations during the series. We affirm our affirmations with faith in the possibilities of Spirit. Today: I let go of hate and connect with love. Once I let go of hate, I am free to connect with the Divine Love available in me and through me. Opening that flow of love within myself, I connect with others with love. In the flow, no one is left out. I let go of hate and connect with love! And so it is! 5

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