Choose Life

In her book, The Top Five Regrets of the Dying, Bonnie Ware lists not choosing happiness as one of the top five regrets.

I do believe happiness is a choice but is so much more than that. Our lives aren't meant to be all sunshine and roses. We all travel through dark times.  How does one choose happy in those moments?

We can fully appreciate the joy when we honor the uncomfortable feelings that ebb and flow. We can't run from grief or anxiety or anger  and expect to just be happy. Oh sure we can paste a smile on our face and start reciting affirmations in our head all day, but that doesn't bring joy. That just makes the feeling creep up in other ways, sometimes even as an illness.

Some of the most joyful moments in my life came after I met  pain head on.

I was the first person to enter the funeral home at my mothers wake. When I saw her in the coffin something primal jolted me and I ran out the door and down the street sobbing. My sister was waiting for me as I turned back. We comforted eachother and then had one of the most memorable belly laughs of my life.

The day my father died I remember riding a wave at the beach and feeling so free and joyful even though my heart was heavy and my eyes were puffed and red from all of the crying.

Perhaps the biggest regret isn't not choosing happiness but in not choosing life. When we choose life we open ourselves to it all and then the joy bursts open.

Monday's Course In Miracles

My daily spiritual practice includes reading A Course In Miracles, writing and meditating. Each Monday I share the lesson from ACIM.

God goes with me wherever I go. ACIM

This is one of my favorite lines. As a single mother of three teenagers, I can often get caught up in the story of being all alone. This line reminds me that I am never alone and that the feelings of being all alone are simply a call to pray.

Here's us during the early years of singlemommyhood:

Spring Colored Glasses

When I look outside at the melting snow, the mud, the brownish green grass, and the many things I never picked up before the snow fell, my heart skips in joy. The knowing that spring is arriving makes my soul sing, and my step lighter.

As I was admiring the many sprigs of green in my garden and noticing just how much snow had melted since yesterday, I had an AH HA moment.

                 To the naked eye, all of this dirty snow, murky grass and mud is actually quite ugly.

                         It is beautiful because I know that soon it will burst into gorgeous colors.

If I can have that much trust in my landscape and my perennials why can't I have that much trust in my own life?  What if  my inner landscape of  muddy, dull, 'forgot to take care of '  were signs of spring too?  What if I didn't put those things on any kind of a timetable but simply helped the process with the absolute knowing that something beautiful would follow?

                     Even better what if we all saw ourselves through the lens of 'spring is coming' ?


Kahill Gibran's Words On Children

I have been thinking of and praying for each of my children more often than normal. Nothing is wrong. They are all healthy. Yet, they are teenagers and each one is in a space of tremendous growth. My role as parent feels vague. I listen. I love. I pray. I try my best not to worry. I get frustrated and snarky. I try to keep my sense of humor and I love more.

This morning I pulled out The Prophet, by Kahill Gibran and reread for the millionth time his words on children. The last four stanzas spoke deeply to me:

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent fourth.

The archer sees the mark upon the path of the infinite and He bends you with His might that His arrows may go swift and far.

Let your bending in the archer's hand be for gladness;

For even as he loves the arrow that flies so He loves also the bow that is stable.