Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Gift

April 24, 2009 Well—here I am--just me and the paper. Here I am free. I can say what I want. The paper will not judge the thoughts and feelings of my heart. It will not tell me what I should or should not do, what I should or should not say, what I should or should not be. It is just me and the paper—the words I put on the paper to mirror the images and feelings deep in my heart. How I long to share those things with others—long to share the innermost parts of my heart. I want to share them with my husband and with my children, with my parents and my siblings, my friends and relatives. Isn’t that the desire within most of us, to share all of ourselves, completely?

I hesitate because I do not always feel safe. I do not feel accepted or ok to be who I am inside. Not everyone understands. Others feel hurt or offended by the secret thoughts in my heart----not because I think badly of them but because of their own interpretations of what my thoughts mean about them or to them. I really wish we could share those things with one another and just love each other for who we are inside. I do not need to agree with you and you do not need to agree with me. But can we look past our own thoughts, into the heart of another and see and feel of the nobility within them?

I have had that gift for a little while. I have a dear friend. She makes me better than I am. She listens to the whole inside me without judgment, without condemnation. She asks me to think about things in context, to see how others might have felt about my behavior, words, or thoughts. She reminds me of the divine within others. She helps me see the BIG picture, reminds me of eternity, and gives me vision that I may manage the small stuff. How grateful I am for her perspective, for her counsel, for her confidence in my ability to do and be better, to give and love more, and cry for and demand less.

She is moving across the country and I feel so sad that I think my heart is going to break. I don’t want her to leave. I rely on her. I am safe. I am loved. I am celebrated!! Oh that all of my relationships were like that! Because of the wonderful gift our friendship has been, I know it is possible to have that in other relationships. I want that with my spouse, my children, my parents, my grandchildren….It must be a little like how we will feel toward each other in eternity---always helping and supportive, able to think and evaluate, ever loving and moving each other forward.

I am trying so hard to appreciate the gift, the years of our friendship, our time together and our growth, instead of focusing on the fact that she won’t be here with me everyday. How can I show my gratitude for a relationship that most never have in a lifetime instead of whining because it cannot continue forever?

I can look and build that kind of relationship with others. When I feel judgmental or condescending, I can remind myself of my friend. I can see the divine within her and see that others have that too. I can cut them more slack. I can be more patient, more loving, more forgiving. I can reach out more and look in less. When I think others should be more kind and more understanding, I can see if I am offering them the same gifts.

My time is up. I have to continue to live for today and take the opportunities given to me in this time and sphere. I need to recognize the beautiful gifts given, the people, places, and seasons where I have influence and enjoy those who influence me.
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