I am SUPER sentimental. There … I admitted it. I have been sentimental all my life. But for many years I tried to suppress it. You see, sentimental feelings made me uncomfortable. I interpreted them as weakness and vulnerability. The dictionary defines sentimental as “resulting from feeling rather than from reason or thought.” And since I prided myself on being a rational person and a deep thinker, I didn’t want to be sentimental
But as I have grown older, I have learned that the best things in life are feelings: love, joy, hope, excitement, peace. We are all searching for happiness. Happiness is a feeling. It grows out of a deep sense of connection. Connection to the past, to God, to self, to humanity. Whenever I feel sentimental, I am experiencing this type of connection.
Our lives are interwoven into each other’s lives and into the very fabric of the universe. We are part of something much larger than ourselves. We belong. Although we have individual agency to act, we do not act in a vacuum. Our thoughts, words and actions reverberate throughout the universe. Without reference to time or space, we are all connected. I am reminded of this truth whenever the pulsations of sentimentality touch my soul.
There is nothing like Christmas to bring out sentimental feelings. It is a time when nearly every one in our culture embraces sentimentality. Like Charles Dickens wrote,
I have always thought of Christmas time as a good time; a kind, forgiving, charitable time; the only time I know of, in the long calendar year, when men and women seem by one consent to open their shut-up hearts freely, and to think of people below them as if they really were fellow passengers to the grave, and not another race of creatures bound on other journeys.
Everything about Christmas, the sights, smells, tastes, and sounds evoke feelings of connection. They connect us to the beautiful memories of childhood, to the love of family and friends, to the deepest desires of our hearts, to our devotion to God and to his affection for us.
I am getting so excited to see Christmas lights on the houses and trees and wreaths on the doors. I get the chills and even tear up at the thought of Christmas approaching. So if you see me acting a little mushy, just know that I have decided to embrace sentimentality.