The calendar gives us bookmarks for memories, dates which become part of the rhythm of our lives, weaving into what was before and what is to come. August 3rd is one of those dates for me. I am grateful for the brain surgery that saved my life three years ago and the path that led me to the diagnosis of Chiari Malformation, as I have been humbled and strengthened in so many ways during these last three years.
Last year at this time, I was reflecting on what this journey has taught me. That list of reflections has grown and I freely talk about it with anyone who wants to listen. Amidst the ongoing reflections, growth, and healing of this year, this is what is on my heart:
2019 has been filled with moments where I was called to be with other people in a time of need. This has been deep, connecting time and I know that I have been able to be present with others in a way that I may not have been able to prior to my diagnosis and surgery. I do not understand that mystery, but I am grateful for it. To live well in this life means that there will be good and bad days, days where we shake our fist in the air and days where compassion seems abundant, days where we know we can do what needs to be done and days where we are stumbling in the dark for answers, and days where pain and hope keep taking turns in the driver’s seat. In the swirl of the complexities of being human is the ability for all of us to be present to one another, not to give answers, not to save the day, but to often simply sit with a cup of tea in silence or to listen to someone try to put their thoughts together without interruption. I am so grateful for the friends and family who have walked with me in this journey, not leaving even when a tough day appears, sometimes knowing when I need an extra piece of joy even before I do. All of this to say, find your people, and be sure they listen to you and that you listen to them. We were created to connect.
Tied to the above, some wishes from me to the universe. Let’s all work on not assuming things about others based on how they appear. Chronic conditions are often not seen and those with them are often doing the very best they can. There can be so much behind a smile. The more our society becomes dependent (and often addicted to) screens and social media, the further we seem to stray from each other. Unplug. Get outside. Go back to that dream you had ten years ago and dust it off, begin again. Give yourself abundant grace in the hard days. What would fill your heart and answer some small part of the world’s needs? Do that. I am in a season where I am slowly picking up the oars on the boat that I originally didn’t recognize as my own. But, here it is, and here I am, so let’s see where the waters take us. I am so excited!
One of my favorite quotes includes “we are all of us all of the time coming together and falling apart.” I am grateful to be at peace in this beautiful and sometimes challenging dance of simultaneously coming together and falling apart, tickled at everything I am able to be here to experience, and just so grateful to be in the calm and the chaos, the lessons forgotten and learned again, the growth, the stillness, and the moment right now.