For Your Tender Heart at Christmas


I must concede that Christmas is indeed the most magical time of the year. Between the cheery lights, the upbeat snap in the air and the bright faces of excited children, there’s an inescapable wonder to it all. Whether you believe or not, even the elegant mystery of the Nativity can stir the most cynical spirit. It is the season of joy and possibility: the ultimate celebration.

But Christmas can also break your heart.

The holiday, with its relentless merriment, can exacerbate the ache of your hardship; it can deepen the pit of your loneliness or throw screaming light on your difficulties, be they fiscal, physical or personal. You sometimes feel like you’re watching from the sidelines. While others are seemingly infused with exhilaration and delight, your longing only intensifies. Every star, every carol and every gently tinkling bell is a reminder of something missing. You quicken your pace, hopeful to stay a beat ahead of the despair that dogs you. And despite the fantastical narrative that we perpetuate year after year, there will be no benevolent angels arriving at midnight to ease your burdens or save your weary soul.

You have to save yourself.

Even if you’re broke and alone, or sick or in exile at Christmas, all is not lost. Even if you’ve fucked up miserably, grace still holds you in her orbit. The Nativity is about finding home against all odds. Your enduring dignity and quiet perseverance are the miracles. And eventually, the laws of impermanence will work in your favor. There is connection for you someplace. You are needed somewhere. This pain will fade away, as pain always ultimately does.

So make this your day and night. Settle in for the magnificent view, the one you may have momentarily forgotten. Roam wherever you need to. But take exquisite care of your tender heart. Our extraordinary human capacity for brilliance is your gift. Your superpower is your ability to transcend – to rise above everything that hurts you and move forward in uncertainty and love.