Merry Merriment

Marcie packaged homemade cookies as gifts for her family.

Enjoy the day, y’all, wherever you are, whatever you’re doing.

As much as this time of year often seems to be ‘about’ spending time with friends and family, lately I’ve noticed in myself a strong urge to be alone.

It could be because I’d grown so accustomed to accompanying my own self through the days in Spain.  Now that I’m settled in San Francisco, levels of social stimulation have skyrocketed.

And it’s not that I’m feeling irritated, necessarily, or claustrophobic.  It’s more like an active, positive desire to spend time with myself, immersed in some silence and solitude, and see what happens.

Whatever I find, whether beautiful or harrowing, helps me to bring my best self to others.

A great example of this solitary/social link is Marcie (pictured), a friend from the Faithful Fools.  Her courageous decision to enter a dual-diagnosis rehab program this year (talk about the ultimate solitude and self-reckoning), and her success in staying committed, have opened up space for her to connect more deeply with her family.

I’m not saying that relationship improvement should be the main motivator for choosing to spend time alone.  There are plenty of good reasons for solitude.  Even when it gets lonely, or frightening.  (To a point, of course.)  Silence and stillness are necessary conditions for certain kinds of insights too subtle to penetrate our typical mental autopilot, the white noise of everyday extroversion.

May these holiday weeks bring us strength to face and accept, with compassion, all parts of ourselves.

That’s the kind of Christmas Miracle I’m talking about.

One thought on “Merry Merriment

  1. Bethany December 26, 2009 / 1:27 am

    So nice to read YOU again! Thanks for your comment and for stopping by. It is delighting me to hear you are now settled in my lovely city o’ SF. Over the last 2 years it’s been growing on me. Delightful, busy, bustling, bursting SF. Hope you are well and enjoying your day with good peeps and in relationship with yourself too! Thank you for your posts, they make me smile/ think/ ponder/ reflect/ appreciate.

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