This holiday I am feeling really blessed to have this monster house. I haven’t felt that way for the greater part of 4-5 years now, escalating over the last year. I see a house that is way too big for one person, peeling paint, an older roof and antique windows. I see an overwhelming financial burden with a work load and commitment too big for one person to handle. Most of all I feel trapped by the housing crisis, unable to unload and move on. The American Dream of home ownership has become my American Nightmare. Sure, I could shirk my responsibilities and walk away, many have been forced to, and have, but that doesn’t align with accountability, integrity, and right living for me, not yet. If I expect to draw that kind of positive energy into my life, I have to be that too; honorable, responsible, honest. Trapped between the angel on my right shoulder which says in a soft, sweet voice, “Don’t give up hope. Keep trying.” And, the devil on my left, whose tone is gruff and flippant and screams, “The hell with it, those same financial institutions holding mortgages created much of this mess we are in to begin with. Just walk away.” It’s harder to hear the softer voice sometimes and would be easier to pay heed to the self-serving demanding one. Especially when one is really, really worn out. Right now, I am.
However, my grandchildren don’t see any of that. My middle granddaughter, Sydney, told one of my co-workers last week, that I live in a mansion! My immediate response, “A dilapidated old mansion!” Sydney looked at me puzzled. Later that evening, the three of them arrived to spend the night. They looked around in awe at the Christmas lights and decorations inside my Albatross. I’m borrowing their rose colored glasses! They saw a palace - a thing of beauty. They saw how lovely the backyard looks from my kitchen bay window, all snow covered, the trees frosted white. They saw the mystical beauty of the den, fireplace roaring, stockings hung by the chimney with care, soft Christmas lights twinkling, making the room a magical spot. They did not see peeling paint, dated flooring, or old windows. I see a house. They see a home full of love, laughter, comfort, and a dash of Christmas magic. They saw. Then, I saw. Many joyous times, have been lived in this house. My fire was lit. I can apply a coat of paint, fill the house with people and make some more memories for the time I am here.
Recently, I found myself stuck again professionally, second-guessing my efforts over the last few years as well as what I intuitively know is my gift. I’ve been thinking from my ego rather than letting my inner guide direct me. My work has felt false; contrived, rather than coming from the place my best words arise from. I’ve also learned, when I look to things of this world to fuel me; verification and approval from others, outside opinions, and monetary reinforcement to validate God’s plan, I am then moving out of faith into fear. I could see that, but it was almost from a different plane, like the ghost of me was trying to tap the human in me on the shoulder and say stop! I could see it. I didn’t know how to stop it. A few days ago, a brightly decorated Christmas envelope arrived and inside was a book. It’s title , theWarofArt - Break Through the Blocks and Win Your Inner Creative Battles. The inscription on the inside read:
I’ve read this many times over. I feel I have finally “conquered” what the words taught me and I felt a deep need for you to keep it safe for me. In case I forget and need it again someday--- throw it back my way. Much Love, Meg
Just in case you are thinking, well, it’s Christmas, why wouldn’t holiday gifts arrive, you need to know that this book uncannily identifies my recent mood, names my fears, and provides a suggested plan for moving out of that place. Moreover, the gift was passed on by a beautiful, young, 20 something artist from Chicago, who I watched grow up. A wise beyond her years young woman, I haven’t seen, nor talked to her in quite a long time. As I drank in the messages of the book, the wisdom of those who have walked the same path, was kindling to my desire to continue down my path, no matter what obstacles appear to distract and block me.
The Universe works together, with, and through others, to draw forth our purpose, and fan that ember of creativity, appreciation, and perseverance when we've lost sight of what's important. What beautiful gifts we receive from the eyes and words of other people. A new way of looking at things, inspiration, good wishes, and lots of love, even from those who are not with us anymore.
The other night before bed I was lounging in the big chair in my den, walking down happy Christmas memory lane, sitting for a little visit with so many of my loved ones who aren’t on this earth anymore. Sifting through my treasure chest of remembrance, I discovered a stash of candles left behind by all them, made just for me, to help light my way. I can pull them out and hold them up anytime I choose. One of them had imprinted on them, “You can do anything you set your mind to do,” a gift from a dear grandmother-in-law. Another read, simply,” I believe in you.” And, another, “Just do your best, but do it.” Another read, “Follow your heart. You are worthy of so much more than you know.” That one was a gift from my mother just a year before she died. I know this was all triggered by the dream I had the night before. In the dream was a former boss who had passed away, much too young. This gentleman had a profound influence on my life both professionally, and became a good family friend outside of the workplace. He was an example of integrity, Christian faith, and leadership to both me and my young daughter. He has been gone for over 20 years. In the dream he looked wonderful; younger, happy, like himself only with an indescribable glow. I was so excited to see him and asked why he was visiting. He said to me, “I heard you needed some light.” His candle read, “Trust your intuition and let that be your guide.”
We are all God’s agents assigned the task of fanning the spark that exists in each of us. We are here to help each other to find our way, see the beauty and discern our worth in the world we live in. We are here to do for others sometimes, what they cannot do for themselves.
Thank you Sydney, Cameron and Alex. Thank you my living angel, Meg, and all those others who surround me, guiding and watching over me from afar. I am beginning to trust that I always get what I need when I need it, if I simply live from the heart rather than the head. I continue to be humbled and amazed at the immense power and timelessness of Universal love which gently asks of us that we return the favor someday and be another human being's firemaker.