Christmas is coming up and it makes me wonder what I want from Santa. People keep reminding me that Christmas is nine days away, eight days away, one week away… but for some reason, the actual day of opening presents doesn’t mean as much to me as it used to. A lot of my loved ones are far away this season, and I know that packages tied up with bows won’t fill the hole in my heart.
I recently talked to my counselor about caring for the people in my life. Our conversation made me think about how grateful I am to have people to love, despite the sadness and longing I feel when thinking of them. I’m so blessed to be able to love after everything I’ve been through. I have a freakish capacity to love–and it opens my heart to feel freakish amounts of pain. I can count on one hand the people I know who love as deeply as I do. It’s a gift and a curse.
So although Santa can’t bring my friends and family home, this Christmas I love and am loved. That’s the best gift I could never ask for. I can be courageous, compassionate, and connected. I can live a wholehearted life–we all can. Even though it’s scary to open my heart, I won’t give up on love. Love makes us human; love makes us immortal. As Toulouse screams from the rafters, “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”