Stigma of solitude: Christmas blessing–alone and yet not

When all seems to be a blizzard of chaos, it is time to rejoice. The first Christmas was not nice and settled with cheery decorations and festivities. The stable birthplace was not a sought-after destination. It was an hardly ideal setting to give birth.

They were an holy family, though, and they did not bemoan the circumstances. Their priority was fulfilling duty and preserving life, not looking for presents and worldly acclaim.

What should it matter to me then if Christmas is a time of utter solitude? I had animals around for a bit, and I was able to ride. It was a lovely ride, really, and I was able to repeat the mantra, “In the Name of Jesus Christ, peace be still, peace be still, peace be still, peace be still” as a way to bring peace to Earth while on a Splendid High.

In meditation, I had really felt the Holy Child in the manger of my heart. He was truly there and I felt His peace.

I did not have any face-to-face contact with another human being that day and I did not have to, either, to be alright. I heard no other person’s voice at all. It was not planned that way, but that was how it worked out. And I did not despair. Although Church was off-limits for me because I just become nearly non-functional after attending, I survived. I had the best Christmas ever, really. He was safe in my heart and no one could harm Him there.

He could remain an innocent Manchild without being abused or made to be a source of income. My place was not prepared. It was and remains a disaster of epic proportions. It is and was filled with hours and hours of prayers, though, because that is what it takes to keep me safe in recovery each day and to have a stable enough heart to receive Him.

He was present and He is and was the only Present needed. And He is more than enough. He is the best Gift ever. Why would I even need another present at Christmas? I didn’t and I don’t. And that was the best blessing of all.

A counselor once said that the aged residents she visited at the nursing home were often in despair, that no one visited them. She told our group that we ought to learn how to be alright by ourselves, to prepare to be able to cope with that possibility.

I have learned that lesson. And I am at peace with that reality in my life. Nothing is open on Christmas in the small rural town I live except bars. I have not the slightest interest in them, in general.

People are with friends and family and they have their special get-togethers. In truth, I really did want to fast on bread and water that day and spend most of the day praying. I had a real chance to become closer to Him and for much of the day, I had to pray my way through the heavy weight upon me. But the blessing came in meditation and later while at the stable, with a Splendid High, also known as Mel. He enjoyed his bran mash with applesauce and molasses and he greeted me with a nicker.

All was well in my world, as well as his. We prayed the rosary together, as we do each day. And we celebrated the birth of our Saviour in a barn, as I dredged out his manger from the dusty remains he does not like to inhale. And we could both breathe freely in the sacred space of the stable. As is said, “the world needs a stable influence” and I agree. The most important part, though, is a stable heart, where there is room enough for Him. Then there is peace there and with it comes joy to dispel all gloom of not being part of whatever others are doing in eating, drinking and making merry…What a blessed lesson to learn!

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