What Do You Live For?

What Do You Live For?

’Tis the season for sending and receiving holiday cards, gift giving, texting and emailing pics of happy families. ’Tis the season for joy and merriment. ’Tis the season of triggers, especially for those of us with challenged family circumstances.

Many of us who have not been blessed with an intact family can nevertheless find happiness if we look inside to our heart and spirit. That is where we can find meaning, joy and love. We can choose to trust that we’re ok, that our life has meaning and to relax and let the invisible hands of gods and angels guide us.

Many years ago, when I was interning for my degree in Music Therapy, I met Mr White, a middle aged man who had been struck down by a mysterious virus that left him paralyzed from the neck down. One afternoon, I entered his hospital room, which he had occupied for over two years. When he saw me come in, he smiled from ear to ear and said “Merry Christmas, my dear girl!” I took out my guitar and we started to sing “Joy to the World.” Mr White stopped singing at one point, and with tears in his eyes, said, ”I’m so happy. I’m so blessed. Thank-you for coming to see me.”  We talked for a while and he shared that, even though he’d lost the use of his body, he was happy. He told me that happiness comes from inside, no matter what the circumstance and that it is always a choice. Then he asked me, “What do you live for?” I remember giving some pat answer because I was young and clueless.

So now I ask myself that question and I know the answer: I live to love, I live to grow, to answer my soul’s call of the wild, to express who I am and to honor the gifts bestowed upon me. I live to create and to allow and encourage others to do the same. And I live to heal my heart and as I do so, to help others heal their own brokenness.

This Christmas I wish to ignite the light inside me that has flickered too dimly for too long. I wish to love myself, my true, essential, authentic, beautiful self, perhaps for the first time in my life. 

Merry Christmas to you, Mr White, wherever your spirit has transported you. Thank-you for teaching me about happiness and choices. Know that you have lived in my heart all these years and will evermore.