Tag Archive for: blessings

Blessings are not hard to come by, especially in times of turmoil, but it often takes me a while to discover them. And sometimes when I do, I feel conflicted. As though I ought to be angry or frustrated or hurt like some of the people around me. In solidarity. But instead I can’t stop smiling because I feel like I’ve unlocked some hidden door that lets out light and warmth shining toward me.

A member of my family has been hurt by another. Someone she trusted and relied upon has been taking advantage of her for a good long time and, when confronted, had the audacity to admit it without showing any remorse. The waves are widening out and touching many people and for a while, the betrayal seemed to grow by the minute as additional evidence was uncovered. Those of us closest to her are pitching in to understand the depth of the mess and begin to clean it up and, from the beginning I’ve pitched and rolled between two poles.
I was upset and sickened by the acts of this person. Almost immediately I heard a voice inside me calling for compassion and forgiveness and understanding. Right on the heels of that voice came another, “It won’t change anything. Or fix anything. And it’s disloyal.” I felt as though I needed to show my anger in order to support my family. I decided to sit with all of this for a while and see what settled.
Yesterday a page from The Four Agreements came to me: don’t take it personally. What a relief! The things this person did weren’t about me. Or my family. Any of us. They have nothing to do with us except that we caught the fallout. Flashes of sadness for this person came throughout the day – what terrible lessons and circumstances led her to this? I hope that she is able to find some help. Some relief. Some understanding and compassion for herself some day. I still hesitate to speak these things out loud, knowing that many others in my family are still reeling from the pain and anger, the practicalities of cleaning up the mess left behind.
This morning I wondered: what if this person had been family? What if she had come to one of us and asked for our help? What if she had admitted her bad behavior, acknowledged her weakness and asked for forgiveness and assistance? If she were family, it would certainly have been granted. Not necessarily without anger or regret, but she would have been held in love, stayed within the circle of the family, and had people to stand by her while she worked through her troubles.
I don’t mean to say that I think anyone ought to reach out to her and offer this. It is not my betrayal to recover from, not my mess to clean up. I am not prescribing any particular set of actions. But I am not angry or seeking “justice” or retribution, either. That simple shift, the question of ‘what if she had been part of the family’ gave me a vantage point from which to open my heart to pure understanding and compassion. I no longer feel any pull to go back to the other extreme of anger or betrayal. I am sad for everyone involved, but am free to hold them all in love and hope without feeling disloyal to anyone.
And so tonight, I will carry a smudge stick of sage to the house, ask permission to light it and walk through the house with only the purest of intentions and love as my guide to cleanse the space and offer hope. My family may think I’m nuts (okay, they definitely will), but I will know that, for me, this experience has been a true blessing and I am ready to accept all it has to offer.

The gifts just keep on coming this week. It’s a busy one, with the beginning of the school year and Eve and I both adjusting to the rhythms of a new school, so I will share with you the quick-and-dirty list of lovely things the Universe has flung my way recently.

  • Last Wednesday, my sister-in-law called to invite us to go camping with her and her kids for two days before their school year started. For some reason, we accepted on a whim and spent two glorious days walking in the woods, swimming, floating the river and meeting two other families who have kids with special needs. What a lovely, fun way to see these kids – outside a classroom, riding bikes and talking on walkie-talkies and sitting down with mothers of other kids with sensory processing issues. They get it. Lola and I shared an innertube and bounced and rocked our way down the river and saw a juvenile bald eagle, two vultures and a great blue heron along the way.
  • When we got home, we learned that our bear is back. The one who visited our backyard nearly every night between September and February last year paid us another visit over the weekend and, while he wreaked havoc on my birdfeeders and the compost bin and left me some enormous piles of bear poo, I am so excited to have this gentle giant wandering through my back lawn again. Rather than frightening me, it makes me feel safe and relaxed to know that my yard is a haven for this amazing creature. I suppose I would feel differently if he wasn’t nocturnal!
  • On Monday I had a phone interview with a small publisher in Montana who may or may not be able to help me, but for nearly an hour we talked writing and publishing and it didn’t take us long to figure out that she knows Bubba from a previous job and the teeny tiny town she lives in in Montana is the same one where my favorite aunt and her husband live.
  • With Bubba out of town for three days, I managed to get both girls to and from school and their various activities with no hiccups, despite the fact that it is a logistical labyrinth. We did it! And in the process, I have met some lovely people who are willing to help us out whenever they can – I need only ask.
  • On Tuesday I started a class with four other women (total strangers) on positive intention. The four of us immediately bonded and one of the participants brought copies of her book to distribute at the end of class. She gave me her phone number and encouraged me to contact her if I want to talk about publishing my own book.
  • The teacher of this class sends daily emails to ‘check in’ with our progress and remind us to engage in certain exercises she taught us on Tuesday. We are all encouraged to dialogue (through email) about our experiences and the feedback she has provided so far has been amazing. I feel physically lighter.
Next, I am going to the post office to send out a packet of information on my book to a publisher that was recommended to me. I spent yesterday polishing it, filling it with positive intention and sitting with it. Today, it heads out surrounded by golden light and the knowledge that the manuscript is better than good enough.
Have a lovely weekend!