I have spent many holidays alone since moving to Nashville eight years ago. I have found that there is a distinct loneliness in doing that but at the same time it allows me to reflect on what I like or dislike about my life. It enables me to see more clearly what I have to be grateful for and often what I want to change. I will admit I would love to be with family or have a significant other to celebrate the holiday with but I believe this is an opportunity for me to think deeply during these quiet times and discover what is truly important. Last night (Christmas Eve) I went to a church service alone and knew no one. In the brief time there I was moved by some of the simplest things. I witnessed a grandfather sitting in front of me holding his grandchild. I watched her look lovingly and admiringly into his eyes, her small hands wrapped softly around his neck and I felt the presence of love as he kissed her cheek repeatedly. I saw another small child in her grandmothers arms staring with amazement at the candle light with a smile that would make the coldest of hearts melt. I witnessed the sound or people singing, smiling and laughing. I saw people hugging, kissing and holding hands, their eyes showed true sparkles of love as they looked at each other throughout the night all in honor of the birth of Christ. It reminded me once again how important love is in our lives and how simple it is to give and receive yet so often we don’t allow ourselves to experience it because we get so caught up in the busyness of our days. As the last song was being sung I slipped out the back feeling overwhelmed with emotion not wanting to make eye contact with anyone.
I sat in the parking lot as my eyed filled with tears and tried to figure out exactly what I was feeling, it was not necessary sadness because a part of me was so happy to have witnessed love all around me. As I drove home I thought how different my night might be if I had still been in the relationship with my last partner or if I had decided to drive down to Florida to be with my family. Then I thought about Todd and how only a year ago I was grieving his death. I couldn’t help but take a right turn off my path home to drive by the house he had lived in and passed away in. I couldn’t help but break down emotionally as I neared the house. At that moment through teary eyes I was moved by what I saw and what I realized. There was a Christmas tree in the living room window, the lights were on in many of the rooms and the house seemed to have a life to it. As I turned the corner I saw in the light of the kitchen a very small child with a huge smile on his/her face and a memory came to mind of Todd holding me there more than a year and a half ago. Through the tears in that instant I realized how amazing life is, how much can change in a moment and how brief our time is here on this earth. Seeing life in that house where only a year before there was none moved me in a way that can’t be expressed in words it can only be felt. More and more I am realizing that life is about feeling things not just going through the motions.
As I sit here tonight writing these words alone on Christmas I can say I am ready to live because for the first time in a long time I am feeling life again. Even feeling sad on occasion and lonely at times I realize as long as I turn those feelings into something positive I know what lies ahead is better than anything I could have ever have experienced in my past. The reason is that with all the lessons of my past I take only the good, I forgive and I move forward believing there are better things out there for me as I become a better person through each lesson.
This year I have come to realize that like myself there are people out there struggling right now-feeling lost, lonely and unsure of what their future holds. We are never, EVER alone! Many people have lost jobs, lost homes, lost saving, lost relationships and lives have been stripped down like never before. We are at a place where fear has taken hold and people seem to be sad or angry over their current state of affairs. Yes it is a time of uncertainty, that has been proven over and over in the media. I choose to believe that maybe….just maybe this is an opportunity like never before to be who we are truly supposed to be. That the “stripping down”? is an amazing opportunity to look within ourselves in order to discover a treasure that each of us has to offer, something of ourselves, unselfishly to those around us, to love and to feel. Maybe this is supposed to bring us together rather than separate us with the materialistic world we have grown to want. To realize a materialistic lifestyle distances us as individuals because in order to live that life style we stop feeling due to the busyness it creates. Life is supposed to be felt, not covered up, not numbed but felt. I have always believed that the deeper the hurt the greater the joy on the other side as long as you believe. Love is what we all need because we are human and it is so easy to give. Regardless of how my holiday was spent it was absolutely perfect. Although I felt somewhat lonely I realize that love is the answer to everything. Happy holidays my friends and thank you for reading!