Navigating Challenges: Dancing in the Rain
"All is well. Everything is working out for my highest good. Out of this situation only good will come. I am safe." -Louise Hay
Like many of us these days, I have been thrown into the deep end of the pool.
Thankfully, I am no stranger to challenges, and I'm a pretty good swimmer.
Without warning, I was shocked to be over my head in emergencies and suffering, in hospitals and rehabs.
Life preservers flew off the deck from heroic nurses, compassionate CNA’s, skilled physical therapists, sweet family and friends.
It’s been quite an adventure and I wanted to share it, and a few soul lessons, with you.
TINY'S BIG FALL
Six weeks ago, my 90-year-old mother, who we know in the book as Tiny Guru for her diminutive stature and wise heart, was peacefully folding laundry when she fell backwards for an unknown reason.
She hit the floor hard, breaking six bones plus sustaining a whopping concussion. She lives alone in what she calls her “monastery” but was able to summon the strength to call 911.
I met her at the hospital and so started our new, unexpected journey.
After a few days she was transferred to a rehab hospital, and because of COVID regulations, I was not able to see her for 14 days.
I advocated from afar, calling her nurses several times a shift, dropping off supplies and loving reminders of home.
When I saw her two weeks later she had gone from 108 pounds to 93. Yes, Tiny was much tinier.
She was not eating and was diagnosed with a raging urinary tract infection. During a second hospital stay, she pulled me close and said through mind-bending pain, “Mary, I am so sick. I don’t think I’m coming out of this one.”
TINY'S BIG UNDERSTANDING
Somewhere in the fog of those sickest days, Tiny said something else that spoke right to my soul:
“I have made peace with my suffering because I know it is for something greater than I am.”
It reminded me of when my friend Maria’s mom was suffering deeply, days away from passing.
Maria said, “Mom, I wish I could take this away from you.”
To which her mom replied, “Then what would I have to offer God?”
So, what Tiny was understanding, and what Maria’s mom clearly knew, was that her suffering was not in vain.
It had something important to teach her, or it was an offering to another soul, or to God, or to the world, or to some sort of transformation of the soul.
She knew that our rock-bottom, knees-on-the-cold-hard-tile moments, are for something.
They have meaning.
They are important beyond our understanding.
Even if we don’t get to know the “why” just yet.
It’s a matter of spirit.
OUR SPIRITUAL CONDITION
So many of us are suffering now.
We are grieving the loss of our beloveds, we are battling illness, we are endangered by fires and floods, we are disoriented by the loss of jobs, livelihoods and normalcy.
We are living with heightened anxiety, stress and division.
This is our earthly condition.
And then there is our spiritual condition.
When we prioritize our soul nourishment, we look at life from a higher perspective.
We see the world through "sacred eyes" as Tiny would say.
We use simple tools and spiritual practices that awaken our spirits.
We remember our oneness.
We endeavor to be kind.
We practice gratitude.
We stay in the moment.
We search for the beauty and the joy.
We look to nature for healing peace.
We ask for Divine guidance.
We learn to still our thoughts and generate the calm within.
And all these practices are vitally important because when we bring our spiritual perspective into our earthly condition - we find our wholeness, our grace, our alleluia.
We have the strength to get through the hard moment, the painful hour, the difficult day.
And maybe we can begin to find peace with our suffering like Tiny did, knowing that it is for something greater than ourselves.
IN THE MOMENT
As for Tiny’s progress, she is perking up. She is getting around gingerly with a walker, can tolerate a good 30 minutes in a wheelchair, and we just had our first two good days in a row.
Your prayers for her peace, whichever way this progresses, are a powerful and treasured gift.
As for me, I’m surrendering. And surrendering again.
I had big goals for this fall - an update for the app, a revised Etsy store, a gratitude workshop for Thanksgiving week, and - my favorite dream of all - a special order of hardcover Every Day Spirit books.
(Remember "Simple Abundance?")
That can all wait. There is no place I’d rather be than with you, and with Tiny.
I am getting amazing practice at staying in the moment, surrendering to what is, embracing the gifts and being present with the pain.
I’ll write again soon with an update about the book and Every Day Spirit’s streamlined adventures going forward.
For today, let’s remember that our suffering matters more than we know and that our challenges are not in vain.
Let’s make an offering of them.
Let’s embrace the gifts wherever we find them, however small.
Let’s be present with the pain, with the tenderest of self-care.
And maybe even allow our souls to dance in the rain.
I’m dancing with you from here, sweet friends.
With love, blessings, angels and peace,
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