I'm sad. I'm sad, sad, sad. I've got friends with a marriage in trouble and I have to come to grips with how it is when you can't fix what somehow has jumped the tracks. I can't fix it; I'd give just about anything to do just that. I've cried, I' ve paced, I've remembered, recalled; connected the dots on so many things that were innocently random before.
My friends may not make it back from their tryst deep in the jungle of marital confusion and temptation; or they may. No one knows yet. No one knows. I do know this , over and over: you have got to want it and once you get it, you have got to have the grace to accept it. As it is.
I myself have gone through the pain of betrayal and separation in a marriage. I have gone through children in ICU and last rites; I have gone through parents who slowly lose their mind and whose diapers need changing. I've had it. Days where everywhere you looked, even the garden of blooming roses, everything was black. BLACK. black.
It was during these times that I learned the value of taking care of myself. It's a keen irony that when someone or something in your life needs and demands you the most, you must take the most vigilant of measures to save a part of yourself from it all, to regenerate that renewal for the next day, the next time trial, the next winner take all, death by fire. It's during these times that you must take the best care with yourself.
I personally believe in God, with a capital G. But I don't think you have to be a practicing protestant, Christian or Buddhist to acknowledge a greater being, an elevated universal consciousness. Of course, you can be spiritual without being religious and it's there that you can go in solace when the day's frames are filled in solid black. When I am doing my best work and taking the kindest of care with all, even myself, here's what I do:
I slip off by myself and quiet myself in the surroundings. I then remember that I am in the presence of God, of god, and I become grateful. I am so grateful today for the cold, gray of this morning. It means the flowers and trees that I love so much are slipping into rest, getting the deep stores of precious water they need for a new spring, a new summer of sunshine and proliferation. It's this time that I can watch the owners of my garden, the birds, squirrels, mice, and others, furiously prepare for the snow ahead. Their industrious labor gives me great affection for them and their life in their universe, my garden. I am grateful for the golden yellow warmth of the fire and the smell of buttered toast in the kitchen. The cold noses of the dogs and the brightly colored knit caps and jackets of the kids passing by on their way to play down the street. Their faint cries of glee and laughter rise, then evaporate. It's a beautiful, beautiful cold gray morning. And I am grateful to sit at my window and watch.
I ask my Holy Spirit to help me, mentor me, coach me. To slip off the silken cords that tie my mind and my heart so as to discover what waits for me there. And then I listen. Where did I experience the divine? in whose face did I see God today? I had an email from my friend Wendy this morning with information that will be quite helpful to another person I know who struggles with basic worth issues. The information is technical in a certain aspect and I was so grateful for the wording and context, the presentation, the professional expertise. Wendy is generous and deeply flowing. I see God in her always, a luminous work in progress. I saw God in Peet the Chow this morning. He came in for a bull body hug, as he does quite often. He needs more, wants more, gets more than the other dogs and feels no shame at his capacity to love and be loved. In that funny little faces shines the light of God. Saw God in the work product of my youngest child this morning; he is traveling solo a bold path and he is brave. God is in him; closely. And so my God, the divine, is all around me, everywhere in my life. Mysteriously showing his face in non-mysterious places.
As I think about the day just past and the beautiful faces, sights, things, smells and thoughts, I cannot help but see the other things too: the missed opportunities, sawed off possitibilites, blocked intersections. I see places where I failed to see, accept or show love. Because love, LOVE, is all there is. And as Wendy, Peet, Jon and God reach out to me in love, I want to turn to the next and love, be part of this rounddance of heart.
I didn't reach out to certain of my friends yesterday; I am afraid. I am not strong enough to hear more of their pain. I am not worthy of them, for they each are mighty in my eyes. I have nothing of value to offer even though they suffer keenly. At another turn, I rebuffed yet another compliment yesterday, too shy to openly acknowledge a moment between two adults. And that's a pattern with me. I've seen this before. I tourniquet my own growth and fullness. I need to go back, find a way to redo that moment and be on the lookout for the moment again, and work to get it right. I need to find courage, to find value in my life to give to my friends who could use it. As lowly as I am, I have got to have something for them. I need to change these turns, detours, into thru-ways, thru-ways to fullness, ridden through corridors of the divine.
And so I know that I have to get back in the game now. I have got to get back out there with love, being love. This day is going to be a good day, no matter what happens and this day is a time for me to explore and experience more fully, confident that my God the divine is all around and that love can prevail.
~much, much love and thanks to a.ho
The 'Kan EWA