On the day you were born, an entire life buffet was spread out before you, with sumptuous experiences waiting in the wings. Somewhere in the recesses of your newborn brain and ageless soul, you knew this, since you were once upon a time immersed in love soup. And then, my take on it is that by the time you were old enough to express yourself in words that the adults around you could understand, you had developed a sense of spiritual amnesia and forgot about your Divine origins.
Perhaps the rest of our earthly incarnation is an effort to experience our ‘lost’ heaven. Unhealthy relationships, drugs, alcohol, cigarettes (and other addictions), excessive acquistion, high risk behaviors may all be fleeting and fruitless attempts at regaining the bliss we once upon a time knew. I have witnessed first hand in almsot 35 years of serving folks in recovery from mental health challenges and addictions, the impact that such a desire to fill perceived ‘holes in our souls’. Sometimes it has felt to them, that nothing will quench their thirst or truly feed their hunger.
What has nourished me throughout my life has been a deep and abiding connection with the ‘God of my understanding’ which is a term used in the 12 step recovery community. Raised in a Jewish family, attending synagogue and Hebrew School throughout my childhood and adolescence, I felt safe and protected even in the midst of loss and change. At age 4, my world changed dramatically when my beloved maternal grandmother died. It was the same year I was diagnosed with asthma and yet, somehow I knew that everything would be ok, since my parents told me so and I believed them. I knew it when my dad got layed off from jobs and then was diagnosed with a cardiac condition and my paternal grandmother passed and my aunt joined them; all by the time I was 18. And yet, our faith got us through. My parents knew instinctively that love trumped everything and they reinforced that in all they did. Never did they allow me to use asthma as an excuse to hold back and refrain from living full out. As a result, I joined a swim team at age 11 and earned a whole bunch of ribbons for butterfly, freestyle and relay events until I was 18 and then coached for three summers after that. This was one of those “thank God I….” experiences since it was unlikely that I would have taken that first long distance plunge in the pool otherwise.
In the 54 years I have been on the planet this time around, there have been many of those, including breakups and budding relationships, deep and abiding friendships, formal education and school of life lessons, fostering one child and adopting another, new careers that add to my 2 page and growing resume, ectopic pregnancy, death of friends, my husband was I was 40 and he was 48, ordination as an interfaith minister, becoming a reiki master, interviewing the Dalai Lama, writing a book, becoming an adult orphan, losing my dad in 2008 and my mom in 2010, watching my son grow into an honorable man, spreading my wings, traveling world wide, sometimes in body, sometimes with my word-wings.
At the buffet table of life, I gratefully hold out my plate and ask for a little bit of everything.
http://youtu.be/36bItoBXpxk A Little Bit Of Everything by Dawes