It seems the holidays are a time when you just want to be in love...and be loved. Moms and Dads and siblings are wonderful. But as an adult, it seems nothing beats having your own loving partner to kiss in the kitchen, attend parties with, hold hands with under the table, snuggle up with on a chilly night. And just feeling that sense of belonging, intimacy, and excitement seems like the best way to have a memorable holiday.
When my first husband left, early fall was in the air. That meant Thanksgiving was around the corner. My first holiday without my husband.
It was strange, I must say. I had no one to plan a menu with; no one to call my own "family"; no holiday travel with my husband. Being alone still felt very, very new. Just 3 months prior we were husband and wife. And now we wouldn't even be in the same state on Thanksgiving Day.
But...the joy & peace that I have tried to describe to you all was vibrant and real at that time. I had let go of that need to be with a loving partner. Well, it was something I still hoped to have some day. But I had surrendered to my life without it - my beautiful life - just as it was. You see, I had a husband...and then he was gone. And I didn't die! haha. I was still alive! I was quite amazed, actually, that it really wasn't the end of the world. It became more and more clear to me that I did not need a husband to have a wonderful Thanksgiving...or a wonderful life. I didn't need anything, actually. Just myself. Just my heart. Just my own breath. That was enough. With that, I could have a purpose. I could be a good influence. I could find joy in all the beauty of life. And the most important part? I could work to align myself with all the virtues - - virtues that God embodies - - in order to taste real joy, the kind that is not dependent upon our circumstances. I previously wasn't so sure about God, you guys. But as I started to try to align with everything he stands for and make that my compass, my life changed completely. I truly became a different woman. And that's how I learned that God was legit. :)
And so, that first Thanksgiving alone was a good one. Some former Brooklyn friends now living in Westchester invited me to join them. And it just felt really good to be surrounded by some amazing people. It was amazing to be there solo and to still be happy. It was one of my most empowering moments in those early days.
So - to any dear ones who may be feeling alone this holiday - - may you be able to feel like you are enough - just you! Just as you are! Everything you need is already with you now. May you be able to hold your head high and feel like you have a purpose in this life - even if it's the most basic purpose (for me, that is to try and become a better person.)
And may you feel gratitude for every bit of love and sweetness that has ever come your way. There is so much to be grateful for.
Happy Thanksgiving to one and all!
Sending you our love & best wishes for a wonderful holiday,
Mara & Danny
P.S. My prayer for today.
P.P.S. Remember this tart? :) I just splurged and made it for the first time...it is perfection. I used coconut cream in place of heavy cream. I used gluten-free ginger snaps from Trader Joe's. And ghee instead of butter. Have you guys ever used ghee (it's clarified butter)? (My doctor said this was OK for me to eat and that it wouldn't cause reactions like dairy does. Yay for "butter"!
(image found here.)
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