Forged in the Fire: deriving meaning from suffering.

I was 32 when I had my first child, a daughter who is now 17.  Shortly after her birth, we learned that she had Down syndrome and a little later, that she had a heart defect.  To say that the rug was pulled out from under us is an understatement.  This may sound crazy to you, but I never really considered that my baby might have a life-altering condition.

At three months of age, she had surgery to repair her heart defect and I spent the first few years of her life doing all that I could to help her development, including countless therapies and consultations with all kinds of professionals.  To the outside observer, I was strong and dedicated. But, if truth be told, I was at sea with only a life preserver. This was a very difficult time for me; a time characterized by inner turmoil and a feeling that I just wasn’t up to the task at hand (I often wondered why God had given this child to me because surely someone else would be doing a much better job as her mother).

Then, twelve years ago we moved to a new city where we didn’t really know anyone. My daughter was five and my second child, a boy, was 1. In my sleep deprived stupor (my son didn’t consistently sleep through the night until he was 2 1/2),  I didn’t get (and definitely did not appreciate) that being a mother is one of the most important jobs I have been given in this life, and that a lot of my learning has come from this most important of jobs.  Now, that may sound trite to you, but it is steeped in my personal truth.

Those early childhood years were one of the most difficult and personally challenging times of my life (and I still maintain that sleep deprivation is a form of torture). I remember thinking that this couldn’t be what motherhood was supposed to be about, and asking God for help. It was a time where I was in the dark spiritually and not very good at taking care of my own needs.

These days, when I reflect on those years, I feel compassion for myself and also see that I was being “forged in the fire”.  Now I see that I had to go through that time, which I sometimes refer to as “the dark ages”, to learn what I needed to, and to get me to where I am today.  I am so much more trusting in what is right now, and a much better collaborator with the Universe in creating the life that I want.

I am also a much more compassionate person and I’ve learned to trust my intuition and trust in the power that makes the sun rise, the earth spin and, as Wayne Dyer puts it, the power that makes my fingernails grow.

Here’s another quote from Wayne Dyer from his book, Inspiration: Your Ultimate Calling, where he talks about having trust in the Divine Order of things.  He advises us to affirm that,

what I desire is on its way [and] it will arrive precisely on God’s timetable, not mine. Everything that I’m experiencing now is disguised as a problem, but I know that it’s a blessing. What I desire is on its way, and it’s coming to me in amounts even greater than I can imagine. This is my vision, and I’ll hold on to it in a state of gratitude, no matter what.

He also says:

it is our job to understand and accept that all of the things that show up in our life, which we often find contradictory or troublesome, are there because we’ve attracted them…and we need to have these obstacles in order to clear an opening for our true Spirit purpose to emerge.  This may require a change in thinking patterns,”

such as the affirmation noted above.

Now I know that it’s hard to believe that anyone would want to attract any kind of troublesome, debilitating or heart breaking situation or event into her life. The only thing I can tell you is that despite all the difficulties and heartache during that time in my life, as time went by, I began to have an inkling (or maybe it was determination), that it wasn’t all for naught; that it had a deeper meaning, and that the meaning behind it was for good.

Now, years later, I can see that that has been the case and I am grateful for it.  And, in the process, my connection to Spirit was deepened and I gained some tools for navigating turbulent waters (which I assure you didn’t stop then, but really morphed into another lesson, and another, and another…).

So, what is it that I really want to say?  I want to tell you that, if you are experiencing turbulent waters right now, to take heart, dig deep and know that at your core is a divinity that radiates pure golden light.  Sit quietly, close your eyes and imagine that healing golden light pouring down on you and surrounding you with warmth and love. And, ask for what you need.  Ask for what you want to have in your life.  Imagine it as already here.  Then give thanks and let it go. And, finally, do one thing today that brings you joy.

Teach What You Are Learning

A timely reminder (for me) to let go of perfection and share what we know, what we’re learning and doing, now.

Truth and Cake

Photo: Sachin Khona. Photo: Sachin Khona.
We are here to teach what we are learning. Not just what we’ve figured out and crystallized.

What we are scraping at, seduced by, frustrated with, in love with. What we think about in secret. What we worry we will never be good enough at.

That.

That is the thing we are here to teach.

You will never arrive (the mark will keep shifting). So: start writing, recording, speaking, creating. Start showing up. Be honest about where you are. Honesty is the most compelling currency there is. There’s no need to fake it, contort it, half-truth it, or apologize.

You are learning. We all are. That thing you’re obsessed with, wondering about, poking around, saying, “some day?”

No one else sees it the exact way you see it.

It’s been written before?

Write it again.

It’s too scary to say? 

It needs your bravery as its…

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