I can not write of anything else today.
Recently I vented over on Facebook. I alluded to none of the personal details, but simply shared that I was at my breaking point. A series of emotionally-charged events had piled on top of one another day-after-day.
Usually I am able to re-find my center (through journaling, meditation...simply the space of being) - but the sheer depth and magnitude of each problem was preventing a return to that peace.
Within hours, I had received several comments, emails, and even calls of support. As the day went on, I went more and more into a space of awe. I simply couldn't believe the love and true, heartfelt support that friends were offering...some of whom I've never met in person.
The problems that caused the emotional fires were still there. But because of love shared, I was at least able to breathe.
I was reminded....
A few weeks ago, I was truly excited to receive these in the mail from Lis H., a truly artistic-soul-sister. (Please find her at her blog, Dandelion Seeds and Dreams. Her work as an artist, soul-searcher, and mother is deeply inspiring.)
I refer to these cards, her amazing artwork, frequently. They are a reminder of the brief time I was able to spend with her in Sedona, of the depth and strength of this beautiful woman. They are cards that connect me with myself.
A few days later, I received this gorgeous painting / collage from Donna W. (aka yogiknitgirl. I suggest you find her here: www.gentlethreads.blogspot.com and ...if you are as smitten with her artwork as I am... browse her Etsy site). My breath was taken away when I saw it, and the excitement kept growing as I examined it.
The love and detail that Donna - with whom I have conversed but never met in person - put into this brought me to tears.
I have this painting hanging upstairs on our wall right by my laptop...a place I see it every day.
Why do I write this (beyond wanting to express my own gratitude)?
Allow me a few more bits of gratitude as I answer.
A very dear friend and wise woman, Kathy at Bliss Habits, just so happens to be celebrating Gratitude week right now. (I've written about Kathy and her amazing integration of her own life with the habits of bliss that she promotes. If you are not familiar with her, please take a second to visit:www.blisshabits.com. I promise if you put into practice what she shares, your life will change for the better...and more blissful.)
She just so happen to write a wise post about gratitude re-framing on Monday. She included this suggestion:
"Imagine that TODAY, things could go differently then before"
"For me, it’s not just about experiencing gratitude it as it rises, but finding ways to “prime” my daily life so that I could feel gratitude more often."
I write this today because of that. Because of every word that was shared with me on Facebook. Every call that was made. Every thought that someone had of me...in another state, across the world.
I am blushing and humbled even writing this.
It was ok that I was overwhelmed. It was ok that I felt anger and sadness and every emotion in between and around that.
But - and if you take nothing else from this post than this, please listen -
we all have responsibility for our own lives.
I have been blessed beyond measure to be aware of this. Was it not just a few days ago that I wrote of change...how we can giggle through the certainty of uncertainty? Without consciously doing so, I have been "priming" my own life. (psst....you can do this too.)
In accepting that things always could (and will) go differently, I have been whispering to my future self who I knew would be in this position that things will change. In making it a practice to not make my first reaction an attack when I feel attacked myself, to not hurt another when I feel hurt, I have primed myself to sit with this fire.
I live with fortune and misfortune. I have more money in my bank account than some, less than others. I have more freedom than some, less than others, More awareness than some, less than others. Why compare my story to another? It only gets me caught up in believing those stories are the truths.
At the risk of repeating myself, there is no truth but what is...and what is is "love". Or god, or God, or Goddess, or energy, or space, or the Tao....whatever.
Who cares what we call it? I have shit going on right now. I'm off balance. Who cares about the details of the stories? The stories are what they are. The situations are impermanent.
Underneath them all...underneath this all....is suffering. Underneath all of that is love.
We live with the suffering and then through the suffering because in doing so, we find the love.
And as I was reminded by EACH OF YOU (and yes, in all honesty I'm crying again): the LOVE IS ALWAYS THERE.
Gratitude simply reminds us of this.