As I placed the towels in the washing machine, absent mindedly walking out of the laundry, thinking how I wish the wind would stop blowing just for a bit, this thought came out of nowhere; My Life is a Gift to Me!
Let me go back in time, on the 14 November 2019, my little family had journeyed though a particularly difficult situation. We were recovering from our loss of income but still enfolded by fear. Our anxiety levels were high. We felt so lost and alone. We moved into a home that was rented for us which had a beautiful view of the sea. I was so grateful for the view as the house was not especially comfortable. During my morning mediation, I was sitting looking out of the window contemplating what I had just read in Richard Rohr’s book “The Universal Christ”, he was talking about how we hold onto toxic and negative thoughts much easier than to positive thoughts. He wrote, “True freedom from this tendency is exceedingly rare, since we are ruled by automatic responses most of the time. The only way, then, to increase authentic spirituality is to deliberately practice actually enjoying a positive response and a grateful heart. And the benefits are very real. By following through on conscious choices, we can rewire our responses toward love, trust, and patience. Neuroscience calls this “neuroplasticity.” This is how we increase our bandwidth of freedom, and it is surely the heartbeat of any authentic spirituality. In other words, we matter. We do have to choose to trust reality and even our physicality, which is to finally trust ourselves. Our readiness to not trust ourselves is surely one of our recurring sins. Yet so many sermons tell us to never trust ourselves, to only trust God. That is far too dualistic. How can a person who does not trust himself know how to trust at all?” (Rohr)
My journal entry that morning: My reoccurring responses has kept me stuck in the negative belief systems that I have taken on from a child. I wonder if I really matter to myself, to others, to God. How can I trust myself at all?
15 November 2019: “Are you happy that you exist?”. In Richards Rohr’s words, “To move beyond our small-minded uniformity, we have to extend ourselves outward, which our egos always find a threat, because it means giving up our separation, superiority, and control.” Was I happy enough that I existed so that I could move beyond my small-minded self-limiting belief system? Am I willing to let go and really trust the process and live in my truth, whatever that truth is? Am I willing to be non-violent to myself first and then to my neighbor? Am I willing to trust Love?
I remembered a webinar given by Chris Wark, he said, “Before we even start our discussion, we should answer this question; Do you want to live? This simple question is so full of purpose, because until you have answered this question you will never be committed to your healing!”
I ask myself the questions, are you happy that you exist, and do you want to live? I choose, Yes, I do want to live, I am happy that I exist. Using the quote by Elizabeth Gilbert; “I want God to play in my bloodstream, the way sunlight amuses itself on the water. At some point, you gotta let go, and sit still, and allow contentment to come to you!”
My final sentence was yes, I am happy I exist and that is that!!
Fast forward to today. The last two years have been such an amazing journey. A journey of transformation into love of God, love of self and love of my neighbor. The journey started with being happy to exist. Even when life knocks me down, and while I am down still being happy that I exist, without blaming myself, or others, or God. This life is not only roses but lots of thorns too. I have learnt to sit with my fear and doubt and choose to trust Love no matter what. I don’t know about you, but it is really something when you can look back on your life and see that you have changed. Even though things are not always wonderful and perfect, I can look and see that my life is a gift to me. I am learning to be intentional with my thoughts, I practice “increasing my bandwidth”. It has taken energy to shift my negative self-talk, into positive affirmation of who I am to me, to God and to my neighbor. I have by no means perfected the process, but I can choose, to be the person that I believe I am meant to be. I trust myself more than I ever have. I trust my practices and diligently lean into them.
My journal entry on the 18 November 2021: I am grateful that I exist. It is so great that I have been gifted with life and learning! Seriously grateful as so many people haven’t been so fortunate.
My Life is a Gift to Me! Your Life is a Gift to You!
Rohr, R. (n.d.). The Universal Christ. The Crown Publishing Group - Kindle Edition.