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.