Being alone is a challenge for many people. This challenge may loom especially large during the holidays if you are single or newly divorced and without family around you. Holidays are a time to share love, and many people end up feeling depressed when they do not have people around with whom to show their love. If you are in this situation, what can you do to make the holidays joyous rather than depressing?
The key phrase here is SHARE LOVE.
They don't realize that it is the act of giving their love that is so very fulfilling.
Amanda had grown up very lonely in an emotionally distant family, with parents who did not freely give their love and relatives who were also cold and distant. She had married an emotionally distant man, and after 13 years of more loneliness, had decided to leave him. This was her first holiday season alone.
Amanda decided that she was not going to be alone and lonely again this holiday season. She did some research on service agencies that needed volunteers and discovered a women's shelter in her area for women and their children who were hiding from physically abusive husbands. The shelter was badly in need of funds for food, which Amanda didn't have. What she did have was the time to help gather food. Each day, after her job as a secretary, Amanda went around to the markets in her area until she found some willing to donate Christmas dinners for the mothers and their children. Then, on Christmas Day, she spent her time at the shelter cooking, decorating, serving, and having Christmas dinner with these brave women who had left their abusive husbands to save themselves and their children. It was the best Christmas she ever had! By choosing to share her love with people who needed her, instead of feeling alone and lonely, she felt filled with love.
Edward was in a similar situation to Amanda. He was single, had been an only child to parents who were no longer alive, and had no close relatives. His janitorial business did not give him much opportunity to make friends. Edward had spent many lonely holidays feeling isolated and depressed, and decided a few years ago to do something about it.
Edward loved animals. As a child, his dog had been his main connection with love. After some research, Edward discovered that there was a wonderful animal shelter within a half-hour of his home - a shelter that loved and cared for animals and didn't euthanize them. Edward started to volunteer one day a week on the weekends - cleaning, feeding, playing with puppies and kittens, helping to interview people who wanted to adopt a pet, and getting to know the other volunteers. He found that he really connected with the people who volunteered there. Many of them were loving people who were deeply devoted to caring for animals. As his friendships developed, he found he had a new sense of family centered around the shelter. Thanksgiving and Christmas were now sometimes spent with the other volunteers who did not have families, and sometimes with the families of some of the volunteers. Edward's life had become full and fulfilling. The last I heard, he was dating a woman who also volunteered at the animal shelter.
No matter what your life situation is, you can always share your love with others. Instead of feeling alone and lonely this holiday season, open your heart to giving. There are many people and animals out there who would welcome your love.
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