I am so lucky. So many people share their hearts and time and kindness with me. I had a beautiful Christmas Day with kind friends who opened their home and hearts to me and fed me with love. What could have been an incredibly difficult day was not. Yes, I missed Jane, our son and Aotearoa. But I was surrounded by love and had several walks on stunning landscapes with gentle kindness as my side.

When you share love, of any kind, it benefits you and the person you are sharing it with and the ripples of positive energy are far and wide. My wonderful whanau share their live and kindness with our son, nurturing him through this difficult time. He shares his sadness with them more freely than with me at the moment as he is worried that I am more broken and lost than I am and so does not want to burden me. He does not yet understand that sadness shared does not have to increase the sadness of others.

I choose to respond to shared sadness simply with holding space and then either asking what I can do to help or offering up specific distractions depending the person.

For some people that is sharing photos, or food, for others it is walking in nature, for others it’s a long video chat and others a long strong hug (if they are already in your covid bubble). I ache to walk on the beach barefoot with my son, easing him into his warm laughter as he relaxes into knowing he still has one mother who loves him unconditionally.

The photo is from one of my Christmas walks. Over the rest of this holiday period, whether or not you celebrate anything, be kind to yourself. Be honest about what it would be helpful to share with others or what they could share with you that would help. Ask if you can, offer if you can. If this is too hard in person or on the phone, text or message. It might make all the difference to someone who is stuck in a difficult emotional place. If we all reach out, whether sharing or offering to care, the world will change for the better.

As we approach 2021, let’s all live the lessons we have learnt from covid. Love each other and the planet. Be kind and patient. Share your hearts.