There are times when I love so much that it hurts to breathe. More often are the times I want to give that love, to sing it out, to shout it out. Christmas seems like the perfect time to give it all, to release the pent up love without constraint, to bring a smile to a worry-creased brow and a light to a dulled and tired eye.
But, retreat is what I do. It's a melancholic, pensive sadness that I feel as I experience the various emotions that others unknowingly radiate and project. Too often, what touches me is far more instances of loneliness, sorrow and fear than joy and happiness. It's a heavy weight, and I retreat further so that what I feel doesn't add to what others may feel.
There are many alone in their loneliness. The elderly, the single, the orphaned, the bereaved. The lines are long at food banks and for free meals. Cupboards are bare and homes colder, teeth chatter and stomachs growl. Hope is thinning. Hope for tomorrow may be all that's left.
My retreat is temporary. It's not right to deny giving, sharing, being there for others. No bright colored wrapping, no bows or glitter; just me. All of me.
There is a peaceful calm that comes from returning naked to the true nature of giving. May you share your love in the same way.
*Image: "Maitreya 2" by Nicholas Roerich.