How to live with arms wide open? Can I really do this?
It’s what God really wants for us… to live… to love… to be free… it’s what I’ve committed to do.
Here I am God, with arms wide open. Pouring out my life for you.
Draw me near, Lord… draw me near… and teach me.
I lift my hands up to you and I offer to you, my heart… to keep cleansing it… to keep breaking it open… to keep bringing to light the darkness… where the hurt is still too great… the worry… and the fear.
It’s easy to say I trust in you, God. But, holy holy holy it’s sometimes not so easy to actually live.
The seasons change, life changes. I know this. From the moment we are born… the moment we take our first breath, we begin the process of dying. We don’t live this way, of course. We don’t think of dying as we grow into the toddler, the child, the youth, the teenager… the young woman or man.
Not even as we have our own children… do we see… really see the changes… the inevitability of it all.
Our parents, they always seem old… it looks only the teensy bit different from year to year. We’re busy. We’re raising our own family. And mostly, we’re just busy at keeping busy. Striving to achieve our dreams, prove our worth, and make our mark in the world.
Then one day, suddenly they’re crippled… ailing… at least it seems that way… it certainly has for me.
My heart breaks in the wondering how it happened, so fast. Where has my living been that I hardened my soft heart. That I would resent them in their time of need, just when I thought I was finally getting my life together. Oh Lord, help me!
How backwards I’ve lived. What rocky ground have I been standing on? What lies have I believed… that would make me and my life more important than… what?
“We love because he first loved us.”
~ 1 John 4:19
But, you’ve called me to the alter. You’ve been showing me what it is to be filled to the measure of all the fullness of you, God… to drop to my knees in hallelujah of your grace.
My heart wide open now… feels their pain… their suffering… their ailing… as if it were my own. Oh, the aching torment of it… so real. The inevitable is drawing nearer and nearer. And, to them you’ve called me.
But, oh Lord, it’s hard… again, you can find me praying… hard.
When my father tells me he’s lonely.
When my mother sobs in torment of her physical and spiritual pain.
When they stumble and fall. When dad’s got massive bruises on his body, blood vessels breaking so easily.
When my brother, sister-in-law and I take them to appointments, and they inch along, hunched, bent over, grayed with life ebbing out of them.
When I take my mother’s hand in mind… her crooked, weak fingers… and I caress them praying love into her, praying for comfort to flow through me. She’s afraid… she’s so afraid… of the unforgiveness she hasn’t been able to surrender.
Heavenly Father, thank you for the gift of my parents! Please grant me wisdom and strength to care for them in a way that honors them, and honors You. Help me show godliness to them, returning to them a portion of all they’ve done for me. Help them see You, in me and through me, and give them a heart for you. In you comes my strength, for on my own it’s an empty well. Imprint in my heart Philippians 4:13, ‘I can do everything through him who gives me strength.’ In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen
Two Sunday’s ago, in church, in the midst of feeling full of aching sadness, and near overwhelm with my empathic heart, I reached out in fellowship and found in a sister, one who understood as she lives in a similar journey.
It felt so good to share our stories, to support and encourage each other… to hold each other’s hand when the sermon spoke to us about LEANING IN to the seasons of change. Instead of fighting it, as we are apt to do, lean into it.
Lean into it…
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak.
~ Ecclesiastes 3:1-8
Lean into it… lean into it…
Lean into loving… lean into caring… lean into the ache… lean into the unknown… lean into living all of it.
I am called into this leaning.
Resistance is futile. It is not of The Way, The Truth or The Light.
Resistance is a sign of where we are called to dive into… with hearts wide open… to experience the fullness of it… to be tested… to grow our character and strength… and our faith.
Do you know of which I speak? Are you faced with any changing seasons in your family or life that you are struggling with? Can I pray for you? Please share in a comment below, or send me an email.
What if we turn our eyes upwards together, open our hands and asked God to show us the way. He promises to listen and make our paths straight when we turn to him.
“Call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”
~ Jeremiah 29:12-13
May our prayers be heard and may we be filled to the measure,
The world is going to try to tell you so many things about yourself, so many things it doesn’t know anything about. It’s going to try to mold you, to think certain things are important, and it’s going to make you feel like you must conform to belong.
I want for you to know who you are, who you really are. That something that you feel inside you… it’s God’s presence and he will never fail you if you listen to him.
He knew everything about you before you were even born, because you were first a thought in his great almighty mind and then he created you with a plan to live a life in his name, as a reflection of his glory. He knew what he had in mind when he knitted you together in the dark womb of your mother.
You know those times when you feel your precious little heart pulsing for something you can’t see, so much so, that you almost ache in the wanting to know it, in the feelings that grow so big that you think you’re going to cry in the longing beauty of it? Those… right there will tell you more about yourself and who you are and how to live in the world than anyone else can.
Because it’s such a big part of who you are, it’s going to make you feel so different from other people. But, it’s how God made you, it’s this that you must listen to. Know yourself, know your heart and your mind.
Write about it. You were born to write about it… and to share the fruits of what God communicates through your feelings and thoughts when you write. The aching yearning beauty of what you feel and what you hear when you listen. There are so many people who are suffering in the world and they too ache to be uplifted, to feel the presence of God reaching out to them… to be encouraged to find their own truth. This is a gift God has given to you, so enjoy it fully… share it fully… with all your heart… and do it boldly.
Write because you want to… write because you need to… because it’s such a big part of what makes you come alive… because writing is how you explore your thoughts and ideas in a way that gets to the real you, and don’t give up even if you experience disappointment… even if it seems like you are failing at it… or even if no one reads it… keep at it. Write, write, write because gifts need to be refined, they need practice to be developed and to get better and better with time.
Do this and you will please God and you will please yourself. The most important things that you can do are those that are pleasing to God; be the truth that he created in you, be love, be kindness, be forgiveness, be faithful and be these things with your whole heart and soul and mind, in the way that is unique to you… your own special way.
If you listen to the ways of others over what you know to be true to yourself, you’ll never feel good enough, you’ll never know who you really are and all that God had in mind for you. You’ll be pulled in different directions and you’ll lose sight of what it is to be loved. Without God as your source of strength you’ll never feel right in yourself or in the world.
But you know what, precious? Even if you falter, even if you forget… or even if you lose your way, God is always with you and he will find a way to bring you back into his loving arms. Know that you are his… know that you are loved by him… always and forever.
With abiding love,
Ah… there’s probably so many pieces of advice we could give ourselves, this is one little bit that’s been encouraging me to revive my love of writing for a couple of years now. I’m so guilty of having given it up because I felt disappointed that life didn’t hand me all that I hoped for in my first years of writing. What about you? What would you write to your younger self or your kids?
Please leave a comment – I love hearing from people! If you like this post please share.
I’ve wandered the desert for my forty days and forty nights. It seemed like a breeze for the most part. Then again, I had no idea what to expect.
Maybe some big epiphanies… Maybe I would feel closer to God than ever before… Maybe God would work more miracles in my life… Maybe He would establish my plans…
It turned out to be a subtle changing or growing, with some steps backward and needing correction. One that I am just now beginning to see how it was at work. One that I was blind to in the process.
It’s been a time to discover and explore my own walk with God.
A few times I felt like I was drifting, then I realized I needed to put on the suit of armour and reignite my own personal fervour to the Word, the scriptures, the Holiest of Holy Books.
“Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.”
~ Ephesians 6:14-17
I was in the midst of redesigning my website, trying to figure out how to tie together my art and the new emphasis on writing to uplift aching lonely hearts and encourage others to stay the course. All the while, I felt a pressure building inside to get my Canada Series of paintings completed. Only four more to go, I need to get them done, right?
Let me back up for just a minute. Painting the series of Canada paintings had been such an intriguing and interesting experience. I was learning so much about Canada, but in the midst of these paintings I was called by God, by Jesus into his fold. Painting started to dry up inside me, and my first passion of writing reignited… in a big way. It burned brighter and brighter. It burned inside me in a powerful way.
God wanted me to write. That’s what I knew.
As He worked in me, breaking me open here and here and here, I reviewed my intentions behind the Canada Series and realized that I needed to shift my approach from focusing on the spirit of the lands and its native peoples, to giving the glory to its rightful owner; God the creator of everything.
Yet I still struggled to get to the canvas. I still struggled at the canvas.
I prayed and prayed to understand His plans for me, while still pressing forward.
I had the opportunity to visit Nova Scotia at the beginning of August, and get back in touch with my childhood, and my father’s roots. It was such a lovely visit and I felt certain it would inspire me to paint the Nova Scotia piece. But, in my return it still hasn’t happened. I’ve spent countless frustrating hours trying to paint.
Mess upon mess upon mess… scraping back and beginning again… and again… and again.
Honestly, I am in the midst of feeling like I’ve forgotten how to paint. My honey might wince at my admitting this, but I’m okay with it right now, though I wasn’t in the trying.
All the while, new Words began to speak to me…
Draw me near, LORD.
I walked and I prayed.
Draw me near, LORD.
“Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.”
~ Hebrews 10:22
Words come alive in the seeking of God.
I’ve longed for this living. All my life.
But it wasn’t the worldly way. I didn’t fit in and oh did I try to fit in, even when it was impossible… I tried…. Conforming to the acceptable sent me into oblivion, the darkness, the emptiness of the trying.
There’s been circles and circles of change… interconnecting change taking place in the midst of God’s refining me.
Another all the while I will add… the topic of the Meyers Brigg’s personality testing coming up in conversations in our household… again and again. I took it… again, sure it would be different than the last number of times from years ago. It wasn’t.
I’m an INFJ and when I read it through a few times, it blew me away with its accuracy. I’d forgotten. It explained this pressing need that I felt to advocate… for God, why certain things haven’t worked out, and what’s been missing in my life and works. Oh, I think I can write a whole other post on this topic alone.
It’s the rarest of personality types – only 1-2% of the population are INFJ’s.
We are the advocates, the counselors, the spiritual teachers, and a great many of us are called to write.
INFJ Strengths include:
“Creative – combining a vivid imagination with a strong sense of compassion, Advocates use their creativity to resolve not technical challenges, but human ones. They enjoy finding the perfect solution for someone they care about, a strength that makes them excellent counselors and advisors.
Insightful – seeing through dishonesty and disingenuous motives, Advocates step past manipulation and sales tactics and into a more honest discussion. Advocates see how people and events are connected, and are able to use that insight to get to the heart of the matter.
Inspiring and Convincing – speaking in human terms, not technical, Advocates have a fluid, inspiration writing style that appeals to the inner idealist in their audience. Advocates can even be astonishingly good orators, speaking with warmth and passion about causes that matter to them.
Decisive – their creativity, insight and inspiration are able to have a real impact on the world, as Advocates are able to follow through on their ideas with conviction, willpower, and the planning necessary to see complex projects through to the end.
Determined and Passionate – when Advocates come to believe that something is important, they pursue that goal with a conviction and energy that can catch even their friends and loved ones off guard – Advocates will rock the boat if they have to. Not everyone will appreciate their passion, but fighting for their chosen cause is an inseparable part of Advocates’ personality.
Altruistic – these strengths are used for good. Advocates have strong beliefs, and they strive to follow them – not to advance themselves, but to advance ideas they truly believe will make the world a better place.”
~ Joseph Chris
With all these changes in my life this year, taking stock has been naturally essential, and seeing myself in the INFJ descriptions has made me realize the cause, passion, and connections (feeling like I am making a difference in people’s lives and in the world) that was missing… that which I can be… that which I must be.
It not only aligned with what I knew God was asking of me, it made me realize how compelled I was to act on it.
Now, back to my unsuccessful attempts to paint… it saddened me… it frustrated me… and I felt pressure.
These feelings did not feel of The Light, The Way or the Truth.
Draw me near, LORD. You’re all I need.
Somehow my plea, led me to Proverbs 3:5-6
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Again. Again. Again.
I let the Words work.
I began to learn to say YES and AMEN to God’s promises.
Here’s what I do know… from yesterday to today…
God wants me to write.
I have a story to tell… quite an unusual one. I’m going to write a book about it… I’ll share bits here and there in the writing of it.
I also know this…
My story has brought me to a place of leaning more and more into my voice in the written word… my poetic artist’s voice. It’s quirky. It’s not grammatically correct, but perfectly expresses the words in my innermost being and my great love for a deep relationship with God. I’m told it uplifts and it inspires, and it offers some teaching.
So, I’ll write about how love can break us open here on this blog. I’ll write to create a refuge for soulful living… to help fill the empty aching place inside, for me, for you, and for those who aren’t even aware it’s there. I’ll be real too, because life is not all peaches and cream and therein lies our humanity; our compassion in suffering, mercy and grace.
I need to write. I’ll write even if no one reads it, but if you do and it speaks to you somehow, please let me know… write a comment, share it… help me spread the word and the love.
I cannot… I absolutely cannot… even after months… get through this song without His Grace and Glory coming up in me from the depths of my soul.
And all the earth will shout Your praise
Our hearts will cry, these bones will sing
Great are You, Lord
In Part One I announce that something life changing was happening to me this year. In Part Two I plunged forward and revealed that I answered the call from God and was given new life in Christ through baptism.
There was so much more than I can comprehend taking place in between. But, these massive in-between bits led this former new-ager who struggled with guilt, shame, indecision and insecurities, into becoming a Christian woman of substance, deep conviction and fully ready to commit to the Lord and my beloved.
Always I found faults and looked for cracks… anything to excuse why I could not commit… to my heart, my passions, my relationships. Always keeping doors open in case I needed an exit, which I usually did.
Studying the Bible changed everything. It made me get real with myself and it made me get right with God.
The Word came alive in me. How is it possible for a book to come alive and know me so personally? Know my every thought and deed? Know where I’ve struggled, where I’ve fallen, how I’ve been broken, and the emptiness… the aching emptiness longing to be filled?
As I opened the pages to my first study assignment:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
~ John 1:1-5 NIV
I took slow deep breaths reading again… ‘In the beginning was the Word’…
My eyes drifted closed… my hands touched the pages… smoothing across… feeling something happening in the paper… ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God’…
My fingers caressed the Word… the silky, smooth skin of paper… my eyes sparkling grabbed hold and this book… it began to feel so very Holy… ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.’
I watched my hands bring this Holy Book up to my heart to rest there.
How did it know that Words were one of my most favourite thing, my most prized, delighted and coveted thing to behold?
And the poetic nature of it? What did it mean? What was it really saying?
So much more than what I was interpreting in those moments, I would discover over the months of continuing studies.
But still… the words… the Word…
How was it possible that I had been so critical and skeptical of this Holy Book that could reach down into the depths of my life and turn it into something new, without even having read it?
It quickened me.
It gave me hope.
It made me see.
It made me feel.
It provided me with a refuge to pour out my heart and take a good honest look at my life. I know that’s not an easy thing for many, because it’s so much easier to blame everything and everyone else for our circumstances, rather than take responsibility.
But the truth came a knocking and something deep deep deep inside told me that this was the Way… The Truth… The Light.
I prayed… hard… every day… to get right with God… to get right with my life and to get right with the people in my life.
Tangled difficult relationships with my beloved’s daughters, “Lord help me! Please help me create peace and harmony!”
And… I knew when the moments came… Holy Holy Holy answered my prayers, ‘I’m so sorry for all the pain I’ve caused’ was what it took to soften, broken hardened hearts. Letting go of all my grievances brought me closer to Love and to God.
“Why, oh why Lord can I not be the daughter my parents need me to be towards the end of their lives? The daughter your Word tells me I must be in your house?”
Hmmm… Ah… I see anger… I see fear… I see… resentment. They are going to leave me one day… soon. I might as well put up walls and live behind them instead of love them well in the here and now.
The things that started becoming clear, one-by-one… a roadmap for living beautifully alive in the Word.
Looking into my heart, no stones unturned, but one. The scariest one. It shook me, rattled me, ravaged me.
In one breath… one realization… my heart revealed the depth of my feelings of unworthiness of love.
Love Broke Me Open… it spit me out and demanded that I know the truth… that God loved me and He will not forsake me… but I had a choice to make.
Could I commit… Would I commit… to LOVE… to Love… to love?
And so, the love story goes…
The music cued, and Josh Groban’s ‘When You Say You Love Me’ floated out on the breeze. As my son walked me to the alter, every emotion… every shade of love heaved in my chest, and threatened to spill over.
Then I saw him.
Standing there looking so handsome.
Waiting for me.
I witnessed us taking each other in, then our eyes locked, and the only thing I heard from that moment on was the song that was written in our hearts.
I saw nothing else but him… and the love and adoration in his eyes.
As God is my witness, the joy on this day is without question, without hesitation the result of His Word, His compelling, alive words, at work breaking me open to know love… all kinds of love.
Honestly, there’s no way prior to a few short weeks ago that I could possibly dream… or imagine… that this joy would be possible.
Yes, I feel deeply, as my favourite minister says. I wear my heart and my truth inside out… for all to see.
God has instilled me with a yen… a yearning… for the written word… how to describe?? Ah… here it is;
“Gracious words are a honeycomb,
sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.”
~ Proverbs 16:24
And, they seem to want to come pouring out now more than ever. More willfully than ever. That’s why my work and this website is undergoing changes. To make room for the Words, for the works that are waiting to come to this refuge to fill the empty aching place inside… for all those who need inspiration, encouragement, hope… for those hearts who are seeking and ready to be quickened.
May you be blessed by Love,
“LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup;
You make my lot secure.
The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
Without the LOVE I wrote about in Love Broken Open: Part One, what are we… really? Where are we? What kind of life is that? Is it living? Really living fully?
The Beautiful World Project came about last year because I was looking for ways to create deeper meaning to my life. I also began asking bigger questions seeking to understand why I was holding back; why I couldn’t seem to give freely to those I loved most in my life, and what prevented me from fully showing up to my life’s work. I wanted to matter in the world, and obviously I was feeling like I was falling short in that department. Way short.
I wasn’t who I wanted to be and maybe part of that was because I couldn’t seem to find my community… you know… the ones who get you, who see you, who embrace you, who make you feel appreciated just as you are. The ones who lift you up and shine a light on all your goodness, enough that you begin to take notice, and live as you were meant to, as you really are and even more. The ones who gather together and will move mountains in their hearts and hands to see you through whatever storms come.
So many paths and beliefs I explored and even adopted for periods of time. Trying to make them fit, when they didn’t. Believing they lifted me up and made me more, but in reality, left me drained… oh so drained and unfulfilled.
Is this mine? No. Is this mine? No. Is this mine? No… again and again.
Where was mine? This call went out from my heart again and again.
Where are we without our people? Who are we without our people?
I was the lone wolf seeking its pack, wandering the desolate mountains for so long that I nearly gave up HOPE. But, where would this leave me… in this giving up HOPE?
Under the crushing weight of this, something glimmered. It was like my heart was picking up signals of some kind, leading me somewhere I knew not. I began to take notice of something so close to home, it was in my back yard and front yard. It was before me and it was behind me.
Something I watched from afar, but never considered for myself as I had relegated it to my NOT FOR ME part of my brain, because it was so contrary to the beliefs I had adopted for over 20 years. But I began to ask myself, “Where have these beliefs got me?”
All the self-help books in the world, workshops, studies… all temporary fixes. None of them could make me feel REAL… or fill me with any sustaining strength or confidence. If anything, they weakened me and they betrayed real LOVE.
Because somewhere inside I knew that nothing I had explored so far brought me closer to knowing, breathing, living and being that THING, that LOVE that was marked in me before I was born. I was closest to it in the unlikeliest (in my mind) of places. As a young girl I felt it, but could not comprehend it… could not see it… until recently.
As the dear man who put me under said in recounting the night my life changed… forever, “It was a snowy night, on Christmas Eve…and Kiernan came… and never left.”
Family together for dinner. I knew what they had planned later, and I waited. Having spent much time contemplating their lives and our lives, I wondered if there was something to it. Something that explained why they were happier, shined brightly, and were living lives of deep meaning, purpose and fulfillment.
So, I HOPED for a moment, an opening.
Never give up HOPE. Please never give up HOPE. For miracles do happen for those who SEEK.
The moment did come; “We have to leave soon for Christmas Eve Service…”
Something in my eyes must have traveled into her heart and mind, and she asked tentatively, “Do you guys want to come?”
GOD bless her. GOD bless her. GOD blessed me.
Smiling shyly, I said looking at my beloved, “Well, I’d kind of like to go.”
To my utter amazement he replied, “Sure, let’s go.”
My heart jumped in delight. I didn’t know that night would change everything… or did I?
A service they had never done before… a lovely woman spoke, an angel with a message, with conviction of her prayers answered years and years ago. It was her story that I understood, because somehow, she was speaking about THAT place inside of me, and I knew that this was where I could be, would be understood. If she felt this way, then others must too… for I had seen it in all of them that night.
The gleem in their eyes. The genuine caring and warmth. The light that radiated out from within… and the strength… oh my word the strength I felt… and I thought, ‘That’s what I’ve been seeking!’ I was being shown IT was possible, this THING that had been calling to me, it was real and it grew bigger… wider… deeper… it took up more space inside of me that night.
Person after person, pulled me in for an embrace… a genuine real embrace. Who are these crazy people who seem to be really alive, really living, really lit up from something indestructible and eternal?
It and they were like no other church I had ever been to, not that there were many as I was raised to figure it out on my own. I danced to the glory of the music and though I tried to sing, my voice could not rise above the swell of emotions in my chest.
It was the same feeling that I had when I was a little girl, on rare occasions in a church. SOMETHING inside me would make me FEEL that LOVE…and now I’ve come to believe it was the Cross, for what else could it be? I knew nothing of any of it, but it was already inside of me…. Waiting patiently for the day I would come to seek it out… To seek Him out.
Despite all this pull, it took two more months of daily, and I mean daily because this would not leave my heart and my mind alone for a moment; contemplation… consideration… pondering… before I would reach out to voice my interest in learning more about the Toronto Church of Christ.
This community who I had been hearing about for years with stories of people uniting in fellowship as a family, caring, supporting, encouraging and uplifting each other in hours of need. Missions… outreach… LOVE in action.
This year everything I think and believe has radically changed… because God has taken my life; my mind, my heart, my lungs, my blood, my bones and my relationships… all of me and made it new.
He has blessed me in countless extraordinary ways because I have devoted myself to living his teachings, his Word… His roadmap for living well and fully. Okay, perhaps not because of this, but rather maybe because he put His mark in me, to answer his call when the time was right. For I tell you, it was nothing short of a call my heart and soul absolutely could not turn away from and ignore.
The time came… and I am answering His call with all of me… how can I not? What He has done in my life in seven short months is nothing short of miraculous and I am in awe and gratitude with every breath I take, with every morning my eyes open and every day I get to live so alive because of His grace.
Right now… in mid-sentence here when the phone rang and it was my Aunt; one of my relationships healed and restored by his Grace. She was calling to find out how my baptism went… LOVE in all things and tears flow.
Nothing in this world has restored, filled and completed me like the power of the Holy Spirit. I feel like a different person in so many ways, and not a day goes by when I feel anything less than I’m living more fully alive than I thought myself possible.
I know what it’s like to live wondering… is this it? Is this what life’s about?
I know what it’s like to want to believe there’s more to life than just going through the motions every day. To battle depression, pretending that’s not what it is, with a fake smile that doesn’t reach the eyes… the windows to our soul.
I’ve tried, oh how I’ve tried to live with love as the focus. I’ve tasted it… I’ve seen it… I’ve experienced it. But, oh so fleetingly it touched upon me, just as a butterfly swirls around tantalizingly, barely landing before it takes off again.
And gratitude. All the talk about having gratitude. Have you been like me… plying for it? Trying to tease it out, stretch it out, will it out, beckon it out? Why, oh why is it so hard to live with gratitude, to find it… to see it everywhere, and to live it every day? It shouldn’t be so hard, should it?
Fleeting moments of happiness, love, and meaning. Only to witness them slinking off into the distance as I wave longingly, ‘see you again’ (hopefully). Replaced with trying to will them back, and plagued by doubts and insecurities.
Is this it? This life of mine… it this it?
The Sufi way. The Buddhist way. The mystical way. The New Age way. The Goddess way.
Something was in me, maybe from before birth, maybe as I was being stitched together in the womb… to want to seek and be found… a LOVE that endures…
A LOVE that builds up and strengthens…
A LOVE that heals everything… absolutely everything that ever splintered, fractured, tainted, betrayed, or even broke this little heart of mine.
A LOVE that fills me up and overflows, without grasping for it in desperation, but that shines within and outward, as if powered by a creator, a generator of epic proportions that never dies. That endures the ages and tests of time, distance, and even resistance.
Wait. Is it even… ETERNAL?
A LOVE that is JOY at its simplest, pared down, most bare element.
A LOVE that is JOY that moves me to tears in humble GRATITUDE with every breath, in every day that is given to me. Do you feel them now… these tears that come up from somewhere deep inside and spill up and over, and down my cheeks?
Over the past number of years, I had thought that painting was saving me… was my healing grace. And, in many ways it was, yet it could not touch THAT place inside that I needed. THAT place that would forever transform me. That would turn me inside and out and radiate strength. I knew this because there were things in my outward life that no matter how hard I tried, I could not fix. I could not heal. I could not repair. It tormented me. It tortured me. It caused others pain.
After a time, I began to find myself wondering again… Is this it? Then the Beautiful World Project was being borne… it gave me a new sense of purpose… and it began to work in me… nudging, guiding, calling… the intention behind it was beckoning… wanting to be the story, live the story… I knew could be told… I wanted to be told… even though I couldn’t imagine what it was or what would happen next.
I’m a writer, poet, editor and artist. I’m here, in this space, as a scribe; sharing stories, dreams, storms, waves and windows. If poetic leanings, the creative calling, and all things writing interest you, please join me.