I don’t want to make anyone throw up, or roll their eyes or even attribute what I’m about to say to my (perhaps unhealthy) seasonal cheer.

Epiphanies, however, are difficult to ignore. One hits and for a moment it’s like all your synapses firing at once, like sparklers lighting a path through a tangle of thoughts–a few seconds of clarity before the lights dim again, but it’s enough to find your way out. Maybe you weren’t so lost, to begin with.

When you love someone–anyone, in any context; I might refer to the romantic kind of love but that often pales in comparison to complexity of familial or friendly or uncategorized, baffling relationships–when you love a person, you are a safe space for them. If they love you back, they are the same for you.

There can be no judgment where there is love present.

There can be no animosity.

The urge to wound someone, to make them hurt for a grievance, real or imagined, is something else. It is the blackest of human passions. Love does not enter there. It cannot come back if it does except in some haggard, shadowed form that will soon die.

Throw your arms around the ones you love and let everything else go. It may hurt. In fact it almost certainly will. There is relief in that. You will find it.

And above all else, you will find a reason to hold on.