I woke this morning with a feeling of being blessed. The sun was shining, the birds were singing, the temperature with my bedroom window wide open was perfect. I had spent a great evening sitting outside until almost midnight chatting with a dear friend that I hadn’t connected with in quite some time. All felt right in my world. I ruminated on our various discussions from the night before.
At one point we talked about gratitude. My friend has experienced so much turmoil and pain in her life and yet that’s not what she wears on her face. Her face shows the world her hope, her acceptance, and her belief in herself and in others. She is remarkably grateful. She is grateful for every kindness, every opportunity, every experience that crosses her path. She takes nothing for granted. Every small thing is a meaningful blessing. Her life is not charmed, things don’t come easy to her. She has worked harder than almost anyone I know at everything she does, she never hides from a challenge and always tackles anything put before her. Every so often life overwhelms her and her edges crumble a little bit, but in the end she is like the stone in the river bed that millions of tons of water has washed over and made smooth. She is willing to be tumbled around a little bit if it enhances her perspective of life. She is willing to hit some other rocks in the river if it means that she will learn something new about herself. And just because she is willing to engage with life, life engages back. She had always stood apart in her innocence.
But something had changed. She was worried and sad. Fearful of pending changes. Feeling the need to protect herself. I don’t know her this way. She has always lived in the moment, looking for the opportunity, and seeing the good in it. It usually works; but it wasn’t working now. She didn’t know why not. It took me a good long while in the morning light to understand and identify what was different. Often epiphany comes when we are doing the mundane, when the mind can aimlessly drift about without clinging to intentional pieces. While washing dishes this morning I realized what it was.
In the same moment I realized what had changed, I also knew why it had changed and why I didn’t see it. In short what had happened was my friend wasn’t being herself, she had become the way the world typically functions. Her language reflected the way the world talks, she was listening to things the way the world listens to things, she was behaving the way the world normally behaves. And because she wasn’t living intuitively as she normally does, she became lost. I didn’t catch it because she was being normal, as in the same as everyone else. She wasn’t standing alone in her light, she had mentally, emotionally joined the common way of a world immersed in fear.
She had begun to worry about the future. She was fearing the potential loss of her great love. She had become attached to potential failure. She began to anticipate the worst and was looking for the clues in the moment, in order to protect herself for the future. She stopped living in the moment and started living for the future. She was living suspiciously, second guessing, doubting her senses, listening to the onslaught of negativity that spews so abundantly from the minds and mouths of mass population, media and government. She was a like fish out of water.
I see so many people afraid of engaging with life fully because they are afraid of the pain that seems imminent. We are so preoccupied with living the promised fairy tale happy ever afters that we end up judging our lives negatively in comparison. We worry, we anger, we shrink and shirk and blame, we judge, anything to try to separate us from the world around us that we see causing so much pain and failure. Unfortunately by doing so we become part of that darkness that squelches out the possibility of a better way. My friend had stepped out of her light filled innocence into the shadowy norm and it didn’t fit well. Trying to squeeze all that light and hope into a limited, typical, too small dark box was hurting her. Her compass became disoriented, she didn’t know where or who she was anymore. And worse still she couldn’t find the way out, her re-course became to isolate. That alone broke her heart.
In the end she re-committed herself to seeing the good, looking for the silver lining, and counting her blessings in every moment. In the end she went home grateful for the life she is blessed to have. She’s the bravest soul I know! Are you brave enough to stand in your light? Alone if need be?