Wednesday, August 19, 2015

The gift of my friend

Another hard day.  House closing has been delayed, and delayed, and delayed - until today.  But it won't happen, again.  Seller is done with this, which is understandable.  Which means that schooling for kids is still tenuous.  And it means still not having our stuff, and still having our poor kitties in a kennel.  And it means still sleeping in other people's houses, trying to be careful with other people's things.  And it means still feeling displaced, homeless, and unsettled, to say the least.  This has gone on for a month and a half.  That's a long time to be "homeless" and it is hard.  The house in Ohio is not selling, which is part of why our lender doesn't want to loan us money for a house out here. And there is not one thing I can do about that. I've put it to the universe.  I've put it out to God (though I don't think God micro-manages house sales).  But otherwise, there is nothing that can be done.  I put a ton of money into fixing it up, did a lot of work on it myself. But now I am in CA and there is simply no more to be done.

It is hard on the kids who don't know if they are coming or going, don't know when they will have their stuff or access to their cats (who are NOT doing well in the kennel), don't know where they will be attending school this next week or next month.

I continue to try to take everything a day at a time.  I continue to try to look for the things to be grateful for in each moment.  I continue to try to focus more on my work and caring for my kids than on the lack of housing or even the future and what it might, or might not, hold.  But there are too many moments lately when I just want to rail at God, "Where ARE you?  What is it that I'm supposed to be learning here?  I know 'this too shall pass' but the last 4 1/2 years have been HARD and frankly, I'm ready for something different. My KIDS are ready for something different!  Do you really want these experiences to define who they are and how they relate to the world?  Where ARE you?!"

And then...

Today, in the middle of a good long cry, I got a call from a very dear friend who I don't talk to but once every few months.  He is someone I respect and value so deeply for who he is, and what he gives to the world and all those he encounters on a daily basis.  I value him for all he has given to me, personally, over the years - the wisdom, the centering, a model for how to be in the world (he is a fighter who has stood up to injustice in concrete and impressive ways), and his constant, unwavering friendship.  He lives in New Mexico, so our contact over the last 23 years has pretty much been restricted to these occasional phone calls.  Still, I have found that his timing is consistently uncanny. He seems to always call exactly when I need to hear from him.  Today was such a day.  Before I could even launch into all of my woes and struggles, he told me he'd been reading my blog and was really impressed by my ability to hold on to gratitude and reflection in difficult times.  He said he felt I'd grown in my ability to be compassionate as well and he saw me continuing to mature and truly deepen through the struggles I'd been through.  He said I modeled all of that for him.  Huh.

My first response was to feel shame.  I wasn't feeling gratitude or compassion in the moment he had called me.  I'd just been feeling sorry for myself, frustrated with the world, "picked on" by the universe.  I wasn't acting particularly mature, I was crying in my office at work.  I wasn't feeling strong or deep, I was feeling like a 5 year old kid who just wanted to be held and told that it would all be okay.

But he is not a "shaming" person.  It wasn't his intention for me to feel that way.  And so that feeling passed pretty quickly and I was left instead with the reminder that what I feel in the moment is not the totality of my being.  What we all feel in this moment is not all of who we are.  What we are experiencing in this moment - not only will it pass, but even in this moment it is not all of who we are.  It is a glimpse, it is a moment, it is a breath in a life time of breaths and moments and glimpses, all of which make up who we are, and who we will become.  Even when we don't feel God's strong loving arms surrounding us, that too is a moment, a glimpse, a breath in which we are not letting go and relaxing into the love that holds us through it all, even when it does not feel like it does.

God was there for me today...in my friend, John.  Thank you, John, for being that face of God for me today when I needed it.  Thank you for reminding me that I am more than I feel I am in those hard moments.  Thank you for showing me that love is still there even when I feel alone.  Thank you - for being one of the angels in my life each day, and especially today.