Have I mentioned how much I love mantras? I think it keeps my head from spinning.. or sinking rather.
Here is my latest and I gathered it from something my midwife said this week.
"Celebrate Life as it IS"
Not how it should be. Not how you thought it was going to be. Not even how it looks like it will soon be. But just today the way that it is. I love driving anywhere this time of year in Kansas. (Don't get me started on how much I will miss it if this is our last real fall for a few years!) How do you decide which jewel toned leaf is your favorite? I think in general my heart calms the most when I look at the trees that are golden, but that is usually just when they are standing next to a tree clad in red or orange. That is why it is so enticing to look down every street, they look so different because of who they are standing next to.
In front of my midwife's house is a small sugar maple that is red like fire. It is magnificent but mostly because it is next to an almost identical tree that is still all green. Everyone stops and stares. You want to take a picture. You point it out to your kids. We actually discussed the beauty of the tree in my appointment (that is why midwives are awesome). She encouraged me to work on celebrating my life the way that it is and focusing on things like the glory of that tree.
My first reaction to something like this is often one of offense. No matter how beautiful that tree is it doesn't compare to the pain I have carried. How does it do any good to look at it and be thankful that I got to see it?
I was convicted very strongly last week when I read in "Calm my Anxious Heart" that if you don't find a way to come to acceptance with your current circumstances you will ALWAYS have a spirit of discontent. It smacked me in the face. I have been really been struggling with accepting my reality, thought God knows how hard I am trying to. Mentally, I have been resisting it. But if I don't find a way to accept this I never will. I could live to be 50 years old and never come to terms with this. I HAVE TO CHOOSE to accept and embrace it and claim it as my reality.
So by looking at this tree and choosing to be thankful and to enjoy the pleasure it gives just to look at it and nothing else is a way of finding beauty, peace, and goodness. To recognize that I am still surrounded by good things even if it doesn't feel like it makes up for the bad. Even if the best part of my day is a red tree, or one quiet cup of coffee in the morning. It's okay. It's okay that it doesn't make up for the rest of the stress that comes. Or that it won't heal what hurts. But my only other option is to say no I can't enjoy that one small thing because I am sad and everything is sad. Which seems rational. Man, I would be miserable.
Maybe if we relish those little tiny things we won't focus so much on the big things that we can't change and wish we could. More money, cleaner house, calmer kids, more time with friends etc. Try repeating over and over "I am going to celebrate my life as it is."
The sacred is everywhere, but you have to look for it....