Estranged At Christmas? Love The One You’re With

And if you cant be with the one you love,
Love the one you’re with.”

~Crosby Stills and Nash

Yes, you’re estranged from family members. Yes, it can be especially difficult to manage separation during the festive season. Yes, you may find yourself preoccupied with thoughts and feelings about the people you are estranged from. What’s an estranged person to do?

Love the one you’re with.

Seek out the people who gladden your heart and make you smile. Love who is available, with all your heart. Share your holiday, joyfully, with your immediate family and friends. Widen the circle by inviting someone you feel may be alone or lonely over the holidays to join you. If you receive an invite, consider it!

If you find yourself alone on the holidays, love yourself the way you’d like to be loved. Give yourself a gift. Plan a lovely meal. Light a candle, play some carols, watch a comedy. Then, when you have done a little or a lot of self loving,  get out of the house and go volunteer to spread some joy. Help out in a shelter, or a soup kitchen. Walk some puppies at your local animal shelter. Visit the elderly in the nursing homes or hospitals. Get out of your story, visit someone else’s.

Family estrangement does not shrink your heart. If anything, it touches it with deeper awareness about the essential, universal, human need for connection and belonging. Other people may have hearts the size of the Grinch’s – but not yours, no siree!

Get out there and LOVE.

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2 Responses to Estranged At Christmas? Love The One You’re With

  1. scapegoatqueen says:

    Agreed, if living with family estrangement does not give you empathy for others, nothing will! I cannot stand to see someone sitting alone in church, in a school program, anywhere I am. That’s just my thing. I know how many times I was sitting alone and wished someone would have asked me if the seat next to me was taken. You never know who you are going to meet (that’s how we met our foster grandmother at church for my kids, she also is estranged from her only child). I once sat totally alone at a high school sports banquet, I couldn’t wait to leave! I made my son sit with his friends, and put on a brave face, but really it broke my heart. So if I can help it wherever I am I make sure that it doesn’t happen to someone else. Love the volunteer suggestion also.

    • Fiona says:

      Hi SGQ :)

      You are so right about family estrangement building our capacity for empathy. It doesn’t always work out that way for everyone, sadly – but we have some very clear choices we can make that take us to empathy! I’m a big fan of giving to others as a means of filling our hearts up!

      I hope your holiday season will be merry and bright xx

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