I must preface here, this is not something I normally choose to write about, however, I believe it needs to be said out loud and not behind doors – pull the splinter from my heart and let it heal
Holidays were fun as children
Days off from school
Playing with friends
Decorating the house with my Mom while listening to Holiday music
Cooking and sharing family recipes from our native Arabic foods, hoshwe, sfeehis, yabras and Mom’s famous chocolate pie
I never believed that our family could become so fractured once my parents were no longer hosting these events in their home and other homes were offered,
What is your resolution to this uncomfortable and painful situation?
What are the choices?
Mine, pray about it, say what I need to say and don’t say it mean.
A letter was written this morning reflecting my total disappointment and heartache
Decisions were made regarding my choice to participate separately from the entire family, and in small groups, when, where and with whom I choose to if I choose to, or to keep it very simple, and choose to celebrate with friends without drama
Minds untainted by the whispers of others telling us what to think, do, perceive or believe
Maturing slowly from children to teenagers
Grasping to know who we are, what we truly believe
Asking ourselves what or whom would I most like to be
Then the sun breaks through in shades of pink, gray, white with a blue sky behind those clouds
And we know, we aren’t perfect
We are ALL doing the best we can to be a human, an adult, a sister, mother, situ, wife, friend, co-worker, neighbor
Traveling and navigating a Spiritual existence in a human body
We aren’t perfect
If I don’t say the right words at the right time, or misinterpret something you’ve said or done, don’t take it personally, kindness will return, if apologies are needed they will surface and be said, if not, know that this imperfect human is doing the best they can
So to you my brother or sister in Christ, know that in my heart, underneath layers of life’s experience, exists pure love
A typed note rests on my desk with this question Where am I headed?, and I read it every day.
I don’t know where I am headed
I do know that I am being prepared for something else; And I will recognize that calling or destination when the door or window opens
My prayer each day is your will for me God, and others
I listen and wait
Look and notice
Close my eyes and grow silent
Working and growing in compassion to meet the challenges of the day before me, as best I can
Nature and prayer are the balms that soothe my soul
Bathing under the canopy of the forest
Listening to the wind as it sways the trees’ trunks and limbs, they join in song, singing to one another is the music of my heart
Early morning, the birds’ song and banter brings a feeling of comfort like a flannel blanket on a cold day
Creating art from photos or gathered pieces of paper and moss, paint on canvas, herbs wrapped in string and presented as bouquets
Where am I headed?
Perhaps the answer is to grow deeper in gratitude for all the gifts I’ve been given – a compassionate heart, a listening ear, eyes that see, arms and legs that move and carry me from place to place, a knowingness that all is well …. and, more will be revealed – Hope.
Definition of Epiphany: a sudden manifestation or perception of the essential nature or meaning of something
This week I’ve had two –both with men, both familial.
The first with my son during a telephone conversation from him, which I listened as he spoke to me about his life, responsibilities, wants and needs. As I listened, what I heard was a type of discontent. And, it dawned on me that this may be what I have often echoed to my own parents, and how sad it must have been for them to have heard this same discontent from me for years. I decided right then to consciously change this language to content, possible and hopeful with all persons one conversation, one day at a time.
The second epiphany came last night when I shared with my father the first epiphany and he listened and looked at me and then said, you must have forgotten how you were as a young girl – I did NOT expect to hear these words or the examples of heart ache he described thereafter. Yet, I listened. I apologized for the heartache I bestowed unknowingly on him and my mother.
And then, I shared my perceptions of what happened in my life at that time. As he listened, and he did, I knew he was hearing my recollection and realization much differently. It was a lot to absorb for both of us. And even as I share this now, I know that we will both never be the same. For me, I will be more compassionate, listen more, talk less, need less, and continue to strive for that balance, that art of contentment.
As Easter approaches, and Lent comes to a close, I will share something I offered up during my Lenten journey with Christ. My Lenten Fast was this – to choose NOT to engage in any negative communication with others or toward myself, and if I slipped up, I would deposit $1 in a jar to be given to an organization for those who are less fortunate than myself such as MANNA FoodBank recipients or Catholic Charities. I may have $10 in the jar to distribute – not bad for 40 days of commitment and what I’ve learned is that this will be an ongoing way of life for me – listen more, talk less, if I must talk, be aware of my choice of words. An acronym for the word ‘THINK’ is this: Is what you are about to say: Thoughtful, Honest, Intelligent, Necessary and Kind? If so, it’s okay to proceed, if not, it’s best to just listen or move on.