Orin J.Hahn has some advice on gifts this holiday.
Some gifts don’t seem like gifts for a long stretch.
I didn’t think when my marriage fell apart a little over a decade ago it was a gift.
As I lost family members through my 30’s until all that remained of my childhood circle was myself, it was anything but a gift. If anything it certainly felt like I was cursed at the time.
As I found myself 5 years ago about now in the middle of a pancreatic attack that ripped me apart and landed me in a hospital for weeks I felt only loss.
All of these became a string of gifts.
The divorce forced me to tune into questions and let feeling take more of a place in my life than trying to fulfill roles.
The deaths let me feel alone. To begin to sense the emptiness that underlies all fears and mistrusts. To see it rather than be driven by it. To hold it within myself and others so it can be cared for rather than flared up and cast as a weapon.
The hospital stay let me know how to be compromised, to feel limited as a body and how much simple spirit alone has the power to impact others.
I remember thanking the various nurses and trading stories. Listening to them.
One bonded with me over loosing her husband in a similar way that I had just lost my brother, and we sat in quiet for a spell after she changed my IV.
Another told me how he’s always tried many paths. How he just finished nursing school after spending time as a navy seal. How he wondered if he’d ever “become” one thing.
I got the gift in that hospital stay of just taking people in and feeling them, there was nowhere and nothing else to do in that compromised state besides that or feel sad for myself.
We never know what’s a gift. Until we do. I’m glad for the ones I’ve received, even if its belatedly so.
Photo: Distant Horizon/author’s own