As I sit in my favourite spot this morning starting my day in what has become tradition over this last year, curled under a blanket in my teddy bear robe with a coffee at hand and enjoying the gift that silence can bring, I feel an overwhelming glow from within. Watching the sun climb up over the house to bring its light forth and create a stunning reminder that it is work to keep the shadows at bay, the beauty of the glow that is the inherent gift to all is really the natural state of being. It reminds me that it is the kind of glow or connection to love that exudes through my pores…the kind that begins with nothing but pure love and the peace, gratitude and compassion that springs forth from it.
It has been brewing and growing this last year, though like a garden it has taken tending to, care and even some weeding as left unattended it can quickly get lost in the undesirable seeds of self doubt, criticism, negativity, and resignation. It is the connection that allows me to see just how truly charmed my life is.
My definition of a charmed life?
There are still difficult times, in fact 2015 saw many of them for me. It started with a separation and divorce where, at the time, I felt easily thrown away as though I was worth nothing (again…a reminder that this is my writing and you are only therefore getting my side of the story). It brought a mountain of debt from a house that we had purchased that was full of black mould and was basically torn down and rebuilt (who doesn’t want to pay twice the price for a house?). It brings the heartbreak of watching my Mamma age and struggle with her health, having the roles of caregiving and caregiver somewhat reversed. And then of course there was the exciting autumn news that they found cancer hidden within my body.
And yet, this has all reinforced my understanding of what a charmed life I lead. A charmed life, in the “dictionary according to Glenna” does not mean that the difficult times won’t come, but it is in fact that I know that I am surrounded and enveloped with love…..that there is always someone there rooting for me, prayers keeping me strong (whether I know about them or not), kindness of those I know or the strangers I don’t that just bring a smile to my face. It is being brought up in a way that I have my self respect, knowing that integrity is strong and therefore I am able to make eye contact with anyone, even when there have been tears reflecting in my eyes. A charmed life to me has meant that I haven’t closed off from the world but in fact have just become more open to seeing the wonders it brings. It is the gift of optimism and gratitude – no matter how thinly sarcastic it has been at times to identify the silver lining…there is always one there.
So back to my list of challenges this year…how can they be my magical charms?
Divorce – this brought the gift, I think for each of us, to be truly happy. It pushed me to take a journey of self discovery this year, to become not only comfortable with myself again but to truly enjoy my time to enjoy silence, reflect and connect with who I am and what I want out of life. I felt shattered and thrown away, but there were so many friends and family caring for me and letting me know that I was not alone that not once, ever, did I feel unloved.
Debt – this reminds me to truly appreciate what I have, to think about what it is I really want and to be able to know that I can work towards it. It brought a roommate into my life in one great lesson itself. Overcoming one of my biggest fears with looking for a roommate I posted an ad on Kijiji, not sure what I would find but fearing many things about trust in opening my home to share it with someone I didn’t know. What I found was a woman who is funny, caring and kind, and one hell of a cook. She has been great company and has become a cherished friend, bringing with her laughter, additional new friends, some great conversations, and the gift that is found in sharing a home with someone.
Mamma aging – oh, the gift of being able to give back to this woman that has given me so much and been there consistently for me all these years. She still teaches me things every day, without even realizing it.
Cancer – who knew what a gift this could be? First of all, they found it! None of the screenings I had done showed it, there were no recognizable symptoms. It was there, silently growing and beginning to move out from it’s place of origin, with the possibility of not being discovered until the outlook was not nearly as hopeful. It has brought to light for me how strong and resilient my body is, how far I have come in my spiritual/emotional strength this past year, understanding that my self esteem and feminism does not rely on body image but something deeper and stronger. It has been the friends, old and new, that have circled the wagons to be here for me, bring food, run errands, check in on me, get me the heck out of the house when cabin fever hits, make me laugh (even when my stitches have told me that is not the “best move), allowed me to connect with my siblings in a stronger way that seems to happen when the chips are down, and always let me know that I am loved and not forgotten.
Yes, this has been a year of so many blessings that have all reminded me once again what a charmed life I have. I have been enveloped in love and kindness, protected through the difficult times and able to share the joy and see it multiply in celebration!
And so, my wish for you as you read this, is that you are able to connect to the love and kindness within your own life. Be it your family, friends, the extra special feeling in the air that the Christmas season brings or the kindness of strangers, may you feel your chest expand with love, strength and compassion for yourself and those around you.