I have passed through one of the most difficult periods of my life. I questioned the purpose of my life and what it really means to love and be loved. I surrendered to being in a chrysalis of rest and rejuvenation, even as I continued my work. I could feel something profound awakening in me, something I have no recollection of ever experiencing before.
In this state of preparation for “what’s next”, I learned patience. Patience with myself for not knowing what’s next. Patience with myself for thinking I ever did know what’s next. I decided to sign up for a meditation challenge, I’ve never been able to meditate. If you asked me about meditation in the past you heard all my excuses: I can’t meditate. When I meditate I fall asleep, what’s the point? I have two speeds, go and asleep. Hiking is a form of meditation, paddling too. I don’t have time. I have to spend my time constructively, exercise, work, clean the house, work on my book. I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture. I couldn’t be more surprised that for the last two weeks I am meditating daily, sometimes twice a day, and I love it. I look forward to it and when I can’t meditate the moment I get up, I miss it. I have come to a place of deeper patience, forgiveness and more love than I have ever known.
I have believed for many years that all healing begins with self-healing. Now I know, not just in my head but in my heart, that all love begins with self-love.
I am aware, as Deepak Chopra suggested this morning, that abundant love surrounds me all the time. I am allowing love in from the most unusual places, not only from the people whom I love and who love me. I feel the love of my home, the care my husband and I took in its design fills me with love; the care our builders took and the impeccability of their work — also an expression of love that I allow to flood me as I appreciate every detail. I feel the love of keeping our home and surroundings tidy most of the time, love, love, love. I feel love in my neighbors huge blueberry yard. When Rachel planted hundreds of blueberries decades ago, it was in a spirit of love to feed herself, her neighbors and the wildlife. I feel her love as I listen to the birds and pick berries. I feel the love of our new neighbors in the care they took to restore the yard and open it to their neighbors. I taste the love. I see the love in the eyes of everyone I meet. I hear love in the laughter of children playing in the puddles after a rain. I see the love in a child holding a pet. I see love everywhere. I am blessed and completely in love with life.
I think often of the Prayer of St. Francis of Assisi: “It is in giving that we receive.” I have always thought this to mean the pleasure I experience from giving love — I feel good about sharing a smile or a kindness. Today it has a deeper meaning. That in giving myself love through my new meditation practice, for deeply loving my imperfect, precious self, this love that emanates from me like a bright light, returns to me, envelops me, protects me. I feel at peace. Deeply loved. I belong. I am truly of the world, there is no separation, love conquers all.
In giving myself the gift of my own time and stillness, I am open to receiving the abundance of love that surrounds me.