Here I sit quietly on my birthday, reflecting. I’ve managed to walk through forty-six years of life. More than four decades of ground has unfurled beneath my feet. And although it may be unrecognizable to some, I sit here knowing how profoundly blessed I am. Not because of the good times. But because of all the necessary hard times it took to get me here.
It was shown to me some time ago that my life wasn’t about helping others to live amidst the cream of life. I’m not the tour guide for the Golden Road. Much of my purpose is in helping people navigate and understand the rougher roads and the moments when they’re convinced they’ve been abandoned; the moments when they feel so powerless they’re sure there is no God. And if there is one, it isn’t friendly or helpful. So, as you can imagine, I can only guide along a pathway I too have walked.
I give thanks for the many moments in my life when I shook my fist in the air and railed against the Heavens. Those raw moments were necessary. They were breaking points. And when I broke open the rawness within me poured out, and fertile ground revealed. And in place of bitterness, love was allowed to grow. I’ve been growing love ever since. Now I walk in love so deep its like strolling through a corn field. Like towering stalks, love is all I see within me. And the heavens are all I see above me. For the Light to get in, I had to first break open. There is no other way. Once opened, I had to choose not only what to plant, but how to tend it.
It took a lot of breaking points before I finally cleared the way within myself to start making choices that allowed God to flourish in my life. Hard opportunities still land at me feet; the ones filled with painful choices that require a bit more strength than I feel I have within me. Choices that, I will admit, fill me with tears; choices that feel like storms.
Life on this planet isn’t about living only in the good times. Good times do little to broaden the soul, not to mention the mind. Both the sun and the rain are necessary for growth. So, I try less to push against the rain when it comes, knowing that it is most likely growing something very precious within me. Instead of spewing out a bitter word of resentment toward God, I now try to ask what it is in this moment I’m to learn.
I’ve known for a while now that if I don’t work to heal all that is within me, thereby cultivating fertile ground of alignment and love, then a storm will graciously be sent to help clear away the blockages. I may not be thrilled with the storm, but I am thankful that something loves me enough to offer me the help I need to become who I’m meant to become. Of course, I work a bit harder now to be pro-active. And due to such, the Universe knows that I’m busy tending to my garden and digging in the soil of my inner being, so it sends a lot fewer storms my way. I’m thankful for that too. I also show my thankfulness by savoring the good times more. I don’t skip over them or take them for granted like I did ten or twenty years ago.
At forty-six I’ve gotten this far: I’m happy. I’m at peace. I spend a lot more time alone. Often is the morning when my eyes fill with tears of contentment; not because my life is perfect – but because it hasn’t been. And all of those imperfect moments, the famine, the drought and the shaking fists have grown more love in me than I ever could’ve imagined possible. That’s the harvest. That’s the feast.