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"One Room Joy" © Rolly A. Chabot

Updated on October 26, 2014
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Welcome

Welcome as always to the Fireside and may this find you well and overflowing with the blessing of knowing you are filled with love by those around you.

I made a fast trip to Montana yesterday and found two different worlds in comparison to what I find here at home. We have a few feet of snow and yet Montana is basically barren with native grasses blowing in the breeze. So to all of my American friends I became one of you for a little while. Thank you for your hospitality and as always your smiles.

Gather around and lets go back a few years in time and reflect where we have come from in these past few years. A personal story I want to share with you. I was a time of getting back to the very basics of life where all I had was some very kind people around me. A time of coming to appreciate the smallest of things and value what I had rather than caring for what I had. Make yourself at home here, stay as long as you like and please know that you are dearly loved.


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Life is a Struggle

We have all had a friend, a relative or someone we know, in all likelihood maybe it has happened to us. A place we do not relish to remember, and yet is a part of life. It is a place where we feel trapped, leaving us with little hope and with much despair.

I found myself in a terrible place several years ago, one which I can take the better part of the blame for as it was from my own self doing. Yes, there was another involved, that could be a book in itself I suppose. What I lost in possessions was nothing compared to what has been lost through greed and deception. Sadly even the life they once had is gone as they passed away a few years ago. I learned to forgive and move on, but it is very sad to think that a once productive and promising life is gone.

Basically, I was left with nothing but a few things of value to me. Living on a very limited income was a challenge. Where I found myself, was forced into a small apartment in a converted motel. It was well known in the city where I lived as the last of the last places one wanted to be, but I found myself there with very little and a total of a 150 foot square space filled with nothing but my pride. From a 1700 square foot home with all the best of the best, from there to a few simple personal items. It was a lonely place to be.

I had work at least, not the greatest of jobs, but it paid the rent and bought a few meagre groceries. There were many days when I had nothing more than oatmeal or rice in the cupboards, but I did get by. The factory I worked at moved me quickly up the ladder and I ended up in research and design of the products we manufactured. Over time, I was slowly able to begin life over again.


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Life Lessons

Many times over the years I have thought of and been very thankful to those who reached out and provided to help me furnish my little space. They gave from their hearts, furniture, dishes, cutlery and most of all they gave of their love. Love is far more valuable than anything else.

In writing this, I would never expect to have pity for where I found myself. It was all my own making, and I own it and claim it as mine. To begin with all I wanted to do was hide from people, hoping none would see where I was living. I was directed by my own pride and all the attributes of the evil wolf I found deep within myself. Even the box of bread and baking which the Food Bank left in the hallway was bypassed because of my the inner wolf I was feeding.

There were several lessons I learned in the two years I lived in that small apartment. The first of which was dealing with pride. It was not easy, a daily struggle and yet once I learned through a great deal of soul searching, pride soon fell aside and was replaced with thankfulness for those who reached out in love and compassion. Before long, I reached out into the small community of others in this complex to with a kind word of encouragement. A small hand up or even a cup of coffee, and a shoulder for them to lean on once in a while.

The next thing I learned was humility. Now that is a hard one to learn. I mean to have to accept help from others was a struggle for me as it certainly was not in my nature. A good friend pulled me aside one day and spoke great words of wisdom into my life. You see after losing my pride I became more generous with giving of my time and what little resources I had. His words were simple after I refused to accept a food hamper from the local food bank that he had arranged. "What kind of a heart are you giving with, if you are not willing to receive." Those were powerful words and taught me that having humility made my giving even more meaningful.

Most people think of giving in the financial sense and yes it is very applicable. The few coins in your pocket can and will brighten a day of someone who is down and out. Just to sit and listen is another way we can contribute. In doing so we can learn and consider just how fortunate and blessed we truly are. When we take the time to walk in unfamiliar shoes into a new area of life we have never been it is here we truly appreciate what we have, and most likely find we are more likely to give from our heart when called upon to do so.

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Reflection

Now I sit back and think of those days and smile in thankfulness for the opportunity the simple one room home had to offer. The many people, the gifts and the chance to be able to call it a part of life. I certainly do feel it was a part I needed to experience, a part of the road I had to travel to become the person of today.

In hindsight, I cannot help but think of the man at the factory who offered me the opportunity to buy a used computer on credit. That same computer opened the door to many hours of writing. A place I was able to put life into a better perspective, a prospective where I was able to share from the heart to a world unseen. My journals were for my own growth, a place to vent the anger, frustration and bitterness I had within. It was from the bitter place I found myself in I was able to find forgiveness. That same computer opened the door to a brand new freedom, which would later be shared with a publication and a column for others to read.

Now the platform is far different, the many friendships which have been formed, are far more meaningful and treasured. No matter where you find yourself in life, share your hurts with yourself, with others and be ever so thankful for what you have. The greatest gift you can receive is the gift of love. The most valuable gift you can give is the love of the good wolf you find deep within if you are willing to search it out and let it feed your spirit.

Please my fellow writers, take this to heart when I say that I love you all dearly. I have no idea where you stand in your faith or what your belief system is, and I respect all people no matter where they are in this regard. For me, I know God placed those caring people into my life at the time, people who gave freely expecting nothing in return. Even today I stand in awe over the many blessings and selfless giving of others.

Where ever you are, please understand you are not alone... know that people stand with you, above all know that you are dearly loved by this writer...

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    • Rolly A Chabot profile image
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      Rolly A Chabot 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi sallybea... First and foremost welcome to the Fireside... I do hope you find something here to brighten your day as this little hub has done... thank you for the kind words and yes our pride does get in our way. At the end of the day where we find ourselves can be hard to accept but as we travel along this path we call life I think we become more and more thankful, especially when we have been through dome hard times. I think for me the hardest thing was forgiving myself for letting it happen, but in the end I am grateful for the love and support others extended to me. To do the same in return to others is what life is all about. I could never leave another behind...

      Hugs from Canada

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image
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      Rolly A Chabot 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Faith Reaper... always a pleasure to have you come and sit a spell at the Fireside... sadly there are so many things on the go I rarely get the time to stop in myself. A good reminder to settle in and spend some time here myself... thanks for your kind words... you have touched my heart today my friend...

      Hugs and Blessings

    • sallybea profile image

      Sally Gulbrandsen 2 years ago from Norfolk

      Knowing that others have traveled along bumpy roads, makes it easier for me to deal with my own demons. Pride often gets in my way and I know I am guilty of feeding the wrong wolf at times. Thanks for serving to remind me that there is another kind which needs to be fed. I thank you from the bottom of my heart. It is good to know that there is always hope at the end of the tunnel.

    • Faith Reaper profile image

      Faith Reaper 2 years ago from southern USA

      Dearest Rolly,

      Thank you for this moving and beautifully written piece here and sharing of your life struggles and love, and all that this life entails.

      You are a special person and bless many. I always enjoy your fireside chats. We know we are always welcomed with love.

      Up ++++ tweeting, pinning, G+ and sharing

      God bless you.

      (((Hugs))), peace and love always

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image
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      Rolly A Chabot 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Availiasvision...

      Please forgive for not answering sooner but life takes over sometimes and there are many demands on our time.

      Your story has touched me in a powerful way this morning as I reflect on your words 'Everything has been torn from me." I can see it in your words, you are in a hard place and yet in your words there is hope. It is through that same hope you will arise again a much stronger person.

      My prayers and thoughts are with you as you find your way through this process... the Fireside is always open to you, pull up a chair and settle in anytime...

      Hugs and Blessings from Canada

    • Availiasvision profile image

      Jennifer Arnett 2 years ago from California

      Rolly, what a beautiful, humble, and wise writer you are. I love hearing of the journeys of others and how hardship fueled their inner fire.

      I find myself in a similar place, in that everything has been torn from me due to an accident. My house, my job, my health, my social life, my mind, my finances, and my favorite activities have all been taken. I'm having to rebuild from the bottom up and it's a very difficult experience. Just 8 months ago I was out ice climbing with sponsored climbers and reps from all of my favorite outdoor brands. Now, I struggle to pull a dinner plate out of the cupboard.

      I know that when I look back on my life this will all make sense. It just kills me though, to not be out exploring, to not know if I will ever carry a pack again. I know that there is a reason for all of this and that greater things await, even if they are purely eternal.

      Thank you for sharing your experience and for encouraging those who fight similar wars.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image
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      Rolly A Chabot 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Deb... Thanks for the wonderful words and yes no matter who we are or what we become we do deserve to be treated with love and respect...

      Hugs and Blessings

    • aviannovice profile image

      Deb Hirt 2 years ago from Stillwater, OK

      This was so beautifully said. May those in need receive what they deserve, and the nerve to carry on.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image
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      Rolly A Chabot 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi colorfulone... what a lovely comment you have left and one to be treasured by this writer. It is a pleasure to have you join us at the Fireside. I do love the heart your Mom has given to you, a heart with a kind word always inspires others...

      Hugs and Blessings

    • colorfulone profile image

      Susie Lehto 2 years ago from Minnesota

      I am very pleased that you humbly invited me to sit fireside with you, Rolly. You have a loving and gentle voice and spirit, and I am blessed. As I began to write this comment I realized my, Mom, was sweetly gazing at me and smiling. When I looked up at her she said, "I was just looking at how focused you are on what you are doing. You look so blessed." That, I am.

      Thank you!

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image
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      Rolly A Chabot 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi again Always... we had our the other day and just last night I prepared all the beds for another year and covered the boat for the pending winter. It is hard steering the thing on ice... (grinning.)

      Hugs again.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image
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      Rolly A Chabot 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi tillsontitan

      Such kind words have touched the heart of this writer... thank you so very much. The gift of encouragement is one you have and I thank you for what you have given of yourself today...

      Hugs and Many Blessings from Alberta

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image
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      Rolly A Chabot 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi CrisSp

      You are so very welcome and thank you as always for stopping in and saying hello... your words touch the heart of this writer... life can be a challenge but when we take the time to look at others we can more appreciate what we have.

      Hugs as always

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      What a beautiful poem! Thank you for sharing. We have so much to be thankful for, yet we whine sometimes.....We had our first big frost last night, my flowers got hit pretty badly. sigh..Looking forward to spring...

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image
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      Rolly A Chabot 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi AliciaC... one look outside this morning and all I wanted to do was slip back into bed pull the covers over my head and pretend I am a bear. Snow covered and a reminder of how blessed I truly am today with a nice warm house... we are snow covered... I can send you some if you like...

      Hugs and Blessings

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image
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      Rolly A Chabot 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Always... We never know just how much we can love until we are in a place of needing it. A poem I heard years ago is a good reminder...

      “Forgive Me When I Whine”

      Today upon a bus I saw a lovely maiden with golden hair;

      I envied her—so beautiful, and how, I wished I were so fair;

      When suddenly she rose to leave, I saw her hobble down the aisle;

      She had one foot and wore a crutch,

      but as she passed, she wore a smile

      Oh God, forgive me when I whine,

      I have two feet –the world is mine

      And when I stopped to buy some sweets,

      the lad who served me had such charm;

      he seemed to radiate good cheer, his manner was so kind and warm;

      I said, “it’s nice to deal with you, such courtesy I seldom find;”

      He turned and said, “Oh, thank you sir.”

      And then I saw that he was blind.

      Oh, God, forgive me when I whine,

      I have two eyes, the world is mine.

      Then when walking down the street,

      I saw a child with eyes of blue;

      He stood and watched the others play,

      it seemed he knew not what to do;

      I stopped a moment, then I said,

      “Why don’t you join the others, dear?

      He looked ahead without a word,

      I realized –he could not hear.

      Oh God, forgive me when I whine,

      I have two ears, the world is mine

      With feet to take me where I’d go,

      with eyes to see the sunsets glow,

      with ears to hear what I would know,

      I am blessed indeed.

      The world is mine Oh God, forgive me when I whine.

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image
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      Rolly A Chabot 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Bravewarrior... In my comparison to the Bible I would say the Cherokee have found a proverb to live life by... the Cree Indians of the far north here in Canada speak of the battle inside of the two wolves in much the same way...

      Hugs and Blessings from Canada

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image
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      Rolly A Chabot 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Bill... life can be filled wit the up and down, it is the down times we learn to humble ourselves and be receptive to accept where we are and make a difference. You are so right in saying it is a classroom, we learn, we grow and the best lesson is to teach others along the way... I have been truly blessed....

      Hugs from Canada

    • Rolly A Chabot profile image
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      Rolly A Chabot 2 years ago from Alberta Canada

      Hi Eric... oh thank you my friend for the kind words and encouragement you have given me. They have touched me to the core, just but an example of how we can give in such a meaningful way to others...

      Hugs and Blessings from Canada

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 2 years ago from New York

      One of the things that has always made you a special person here is your open and honest attitude. You spread joy in your fireside chats. I am sure this was not as easy to write as it looks but oh what a wonderful story. Its obvious you fed the right wolf!

      So happy to see you here my friend.

      Voted all but funny.

    • CrisSp profile image

      CrisSp 2 years ago from Sky Is The Limit Adventure

      How very touching Rolly. Thank you for letting us into your life by sharing your story of love, humility, acceptance and forgiveness. What a beautiful read to end my day. Glad I dropped by the fireside.

      Love from the sky~

    • AliciaC profile image

      Linda Crampton 2 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

      This is a lovely and moving piece of writing, Rolly. Thank you for sharing your experience and for reminding us of the importance of love.

    • always exploring profile image

      Ruby Jean Fuller 2 years ago from Southern Illinois

      Rolly it's so good to see you writing on HP.While reading your story I thought of the many people who have blessed my life. I've been down and needed kindness. There's nothing more precious than a friend who never judges you in anyway but is always ready to listen and lend a helping hand. I too, had to put all my hurt on paper when I first started writing. I am so thankful I got that out of my psyche. I'm sure many people can relate to your beautiful piece, I know i certainly could. Thank you..

    • bravewarrior profile image

      Shauna L Bowling 2 years ago from Central Florida

      Rolly, ironically enough I have the story of "The Two Wolves Inside", as told by a Cherokee elder to his grandchildren, pinned to my bulletin board. It's a great reminder to me which wolf I need to feed.

      Wonderful fireside chat, my friend.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 2 years ago from Olympia, WA

      Life is a struggle my friend. For some of us, who are the lucky ones, it is also the master classroom where we can learn and end up happy. Thanks for the fireside chat this morning.

      love from Oly

      bill

    • Ericdierker profile image

      Eric Dierker 2 years ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

      I am simply awestruck by the beauty and humility of your words. Know this; they touched me deeply and made an impact on how I must view my world. These words will stick with me the rest of my life. Thank you