Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Acceptance and Blessing...

Don’t you just love it when something you read excites you, makes you think or totally challenges your intellect for the day? For two days in a row, I’ve had mental meat to chew on when I am stuck in bank lineups or waiting for something to download because of the words that I read first thing in the morning.

Yesterday’s passage was all about acceptance. That instead of being in denial or wishing things were different and getting caught in that stress and anxiety, we have to learn to accept the reality of the day before we can truly begin to change it. We have to accept what the scale is really telling us before we can commit to making it change for the better. We have to accept the demands of our job or the balance of our chequebooks or the state of a relationship before we can truly decide if something needs to change.

Reading this right after spending Monday surrounded by brown envelopes and receipts as I got the last of the information ready for a new person to do my corporate taxes was very humbling and liberating. I was able to look and see how much income from cross stitch had dropped with the loss of the chain store orders, how income from different sources was up or down and see where and what had paid off. When you are just tucking receipts into the proper files and waiting until a set time to look at all the information, it is easier not to see the big picture. Acceptance of a situation or problem is the first step towards changing it.

Today’s meditation is the one I am finding a bit harder to chew on. It talks about moving from acceptance of a situation to being able to bless it. I can think back on many moments or events in my life that I don’t really feel like blessing, but maybe in hindsight, since they helped to form who I am today, that makes sense... but I am still working on the blessing bit. I like a challenge.

I also was reminded today of why I love keeping a journal. Bethany wanted to know exactly when she broke her arm last January, so I pulled out the journal that I just finished filling to the brim on New Year’s Eve and looked up the entry where I’d written about that. I also stumbled across the very tearstained entry that I’d written exactly 365 days ago during a 2 am “pity party” of angst, self-doubt and sadness. The words and the blotches are there permanently anchored in time to those pages, but then I am also able to read how things changed... or see where I am a year later.

‘Here I am at 40, still too afraid to chase that dream of illustrating children’s books- still finding new ways of getting caught up in daily tasks like getting ready for Nashville, Austin and Toronto!’

At 41, I accomplished that dream and worked through the fear and self-doubt while working on the project. It never vanished... I just got stubborn and did it anyway.

‘My life feels as cluttered and as messy as my office. I just feel as if pieces of me are scattered everywhere and I can’t put them back together!’

My office floor has been clear for almost 2 weeks now and most of my desk. I have thrown out an incredible amount of “Stuff” in the past 3 weeks that really wasn’t necessary or essential to my existence. I am also learning to get things put back where they belong as soon as possible instead of just letting them pile up and spill over. I can still see my carpet... it is such a nice blue colour when it isn’t buried under piles of junk and paperwork or projects!

‘Like something precious that gets dropped and shatters- sometimes you just can’t put those pieces back together as if nothing happened. Sometimes you just have to leave them behind or melt them down and forge something new. Maybe I need to stop clinging to the shards of things that might have been... I just wish I knew how to scoop up all of these itty, bitty fragments and pour them into God’s hands without slicing my palms to shreds...’

I am learning that my life is not about a whole or pieces. It is about patterns. Like a kaleidoscope where the pieces keep shifting to make something beautiful and new each time change comes and the tube turns again. It is all about how the pattern changes into something new. We humans have an incredible capacity for change, redemption, courage and transformation. It’s just easy to forget that sometimes in the day to day chaos. One day at a time, one action, one page in a journal, one blog entry, one hug, one kind word, one dream, one moment of courage to take the next step in a journey. That’s how the adventure moves forward. Sometimes I can only truly appreciate that when I look back at where I have already traveled to see how far I have come.

1 comment:

Linda said...

Jennifer, thank you so much for this entry. Your words are very profound. It is all too easy to forget the important things in life just because trivial things (like money) get in the way. Reading your entry has been a great way to start my day, thank you.