“If you learn to really sit with loneliness and embrace it for the gift that it is…an opportunity to get to know YOU, to learn how strong you really are, to depend on no one but YOU for your happiness…you will realize that a little loneliness goes a LONG way in creating a richer, deeper, more vibrant and colorful YOU” ~Mandy Hale

As the holidays approach, we can get so “busy” with gifts and parties and “cheer-making” that we can actually feel pretty lonely.  Even though the holidays are a special time when we stop and think about others and our own families, they can also be very difficult.  When we have lost close members of our family, or are separated by distance, the holidays can seem more like a difficult burden that we hope to get through as quickly as possible.  Missing our loved ones is the greatest pain.

Somehow, though, if we can learn to “be” with the loneliness, we can use this difficult time to connect more deeply with ourselves.  We can turn the pain into something useful, something that will enrich our own personalities, something that will give us more empathy and true connection to our fellow human beings.

I’m not talking about taking our loneliness and turning it into more busy-ness by volunteering and giving.  I’m talking about turning our loneliness into a deep introspection and acceptance of the full experience of the holidays throughout our entire lives.  The holidays are a full-emotion, full-ride experience.  We can’t stop in the middle when we no longer want to be on the ride.  We are strapped in and moving.  The best that we can do is hold on and enjoy the rest of the ride as much as we can.

We can take our holiday loneliness as a gift, a gift to realize who we are are and whether or not we like ourselves.  If we are so wrapped up in trying to stay busy so that we don’t think about how lonely we are, we’re missing a great opportunity to live a full and rewarding life, a life where we are okay to be with ourselves.

May you learn to enjoy the holidays this year in whatever way they arrive, and with all that they have to offer.