I have been exploring LOVE for my Happiness Project this month. It has been an eye-opening, tearful, heart-swelling experience so far. My posts have been open letters and stories of my family. I’ve explored why I love them and why I am so truly blessed to have them in my life.
It has been a journey back in time for me. For many years, whenever I’d look back on my life, I’d see all that I didn’t have. All the times I’ve felt sorry for myself. All the mistakes I’d made. All the people who left me alone. All the times that I was crippled with fear. Fear; that enveloping, cold fear that seemed to cripple me so many times.
I have cried reading Lindsey’s blog this month, seeing so much of myself in her posts. She is able to put into words what I cannot.
Like her, I would remember the days of darkness and shadows where I felt worthless and utterly alone. There were times where I’d even considered the unthinkable, but never doing anything because deep down, I knew the sorrow it would bring to those I loved. I felt as if I was in a barren wasteland, crying for someone to rescue me from myself, from my fears of being alone, to bring me water and lift me to the light.
Now that I’m older (middle-aged!) I have discovered something about those times in my life. Those times where I wanted to be “rescued” – those were the times that I could not, should not, have been rescued. Those were the times that I needed to get to know ME, get to know the beasts within, my darkest spaces. I needed to learn to overcome. To be strong. Learn what I am capable of.
These wonderful people in my life may not have “rescued” me during those times, but they were the “tough angels” that stood guard at my side while I struggled, while I learned. They waited, they watched, they loved me enough, they knew I would find my way and that I would be stronger for it. Oh, how they must have hurt too to watch me struggle. How they must have wanted to rescue me, but could not.
My “sweet wine” and “strong bread” was their words of wisdom and encouragement; prayers and thoughts for me. Enough nourishment to get me where I needed to go. They were tough on me when I needed it. Not enough bread to gorge myself on and become lazy and complacent. Enough to give me the strength to carry on. Enough wine to leave me just a little bit thirsty. The thirst for more that pulls me forward to the unknown.
It was (and still is, I’m not so naive to think that there won’t be more days of darkness and shadows) necessary to cross those deserts. To see all that I take for granted, to see all that I have. When I am there in the desert, I can see those strong angels gathered around me. I can taste the sweetness of the wine. I am able to receive the bread and be thankful.
That is why this song came into my head as I thought about this desert that Ronna talks about. Everyday, including those days in the desert, maybe ESPECIALLY those days in the desert, is a miracle. The richness all around us; I cannot express it the way this song can.
This is what I’ve been discovering this month in my Happiness Project. I love, I have so much love to give, I have been loved. That is the miracle. I could not have felt or given this love had I not been in the desert.
“Life is like a gift they say, wrapped up for you everyday”