Years ago, I adopted a quote I heard as a personal mantra. It was nearly twenty years ago now and the mantra is still a part of me. I believe it. I remind myself of it daily. It has given me strength to face deep challenge and the grace to appreciate the joys in life. It helps me walk in awe of the human spirit and natural beauty. It reminds me that today’s feelings of lack will pass and moments of abundance and gratitude will follow. “Everything is in divine and perfect order…NOW!” is the quote that I repeat to myself in difficult and joyful moments. I wish I could remember where I found it all those years ago. I love these words for several reasons. They speak to the current moment. They leave the future and the past where they belong and remind me that every moment I am given has something for me to receive or to give or both.
This past week or so, I have been fighting the blues. Change has been abundant recently and has left me a little off balance. I have been questioning my decisions and how they affect my children’s lives. I have been wondering how my choices to pursue my master’s degree, to teach, and the relative poverty I experience because of these choices will impact the boys long term. As I faced a new challenge of beginning a new job again last week, I struggled with leaving them home to manage on their own. My big boy is fifteen and completely capable of watching his brother. He has even been certified with emergency care and a babysitting class…still…I worry. Today on facebook, a friend posted an article from The Huffington Post by Christine Gros-Loh ( http://www.huffingtonpost.com/christine-grossloh/the-milestones-that-matter-most_b_3195567.html?utm_hp_ref=fb&src=sp&comm_ref=false). This article reminded me of perspective. This reminder brought my old mantra front and center. As I continue to reflect on it, I am amazed how remarkable a simple shift in perspective can change feelings of lack to abundance…at least in my mind.
When I read this, I thought of the many moments of growth my children have had in the absence of my physical presence. I am reminded that the work and love that I have put into parenting them has built the foundation for them to learn who they are as individuals. It is without me hovering that they have both learned new things about themselves and mastered new skills. My little one plays soccer skillfully for his age…I had nothing to do with this…well, I was his ride to practice and back. My big boy has successfully navigated much of our surrounding area on his bike…alone! Imagine these boys find their way without their mom watching every moment! Sometimes, I seriously need to let it go and remember the gifts and skills they will learn. They know where I am. They have back up plans. Hopefully this summer will be a time of growth for all three of us…mommy included. “Everything is in divine and perfect order…NOW!”
I am also facing changes professionally again. Right now, I have a wonderful opportunity to work with the skills I have nurtured and worked so hard to achieve. Here’s the rub though…it is in a totally different environment. Not only will I be a part of hands on, experiential learning with children…I will be doing it in a totally new environment. I get to continue to the work I love while learning about the natural world in a new way. I got to go in the enclosure with an 800lb Galapagos Tortoise and see many animals I’ve only seen from a safe distance up close and personal…feeding them, touching them, and being amazed by their beauty! I remind myself that this is an experience not everyone will have. I get to work with behavioral enrichment of children and wild animals! What a gift! This past week, I have been burdening myself with the worries of how it will all work rather than living in the wonderment of the amazing things I will receive from the new people around me and the way my gifts may touch their lives. “Everything is in divine and perfect order…NOW!”
I have also been lonely. All of these changes have also reminded me of the successes I have achieved over the past months. For me, many times the successes feel more shallow without someone to share them with…I know I have my kids, family, and friends…and I do share with them…but it’s different when there is someone in my life who desires me. I was reminded what it felt like to be desired again after many years and now it’s not there again. So as I think of my mantra, I realize that although there may not be anyone there right now, I feel healthier and stronger physically now than I have in many years. I have worked very hard the past six months to take care of myself physically. Over the years since Dave died, I neglected this part of me. I have pushed myself beyond my self-imposed boundaries and am reaping the benefits of my hard work. It has reminded me that true outer beauty comes from the confidence I have in myself and how comfortable I am in my own skin. The strengthening of my body has strengthened my confidence again. I know that as long as my heart is open and am patient, someone will find me attractive and once again, I will be desired for all that I am, with all my strengths, my challenges, my compassion, and even my baggage. “Everything is divine and perfect order…NOW!”
So today, I can see my life though this perspective. I am grateful. I know that I can see things this way because I did experience a couple of weeks off balance and searching. I know that both sides are there to add depth to my life. When I give both sides the time and energy they deserve, but don’t get lost in the sadness endlessly, I grow. Those moments of loneliness, feeling lost, feeling the lack help me shift perspective, become more resourceful, and experience gratitude for what I do have in a new way.
“Everything is in divine and perfect order…NOW!”