The Greatest Pain And The Greatest Peace
NOTE: What is written below is solely based on my personal experiences and how I perceived each circumstance. ~Sparklea~
My twin sister and I live with our grandparents on our father's side. Our dad, age thirty-five, lives two hundred miles away in New York City. He visits us as often as he can, mostly on birthdays and holidays. We love him so much, and we get so excited when he is in town.
On June 16 my sis and I awaken to the sound of our grandmother sobbing in the living room. We are told our father has been found dead in his apartment. My sister and I are devastated. To this day his death remains a mystery.
Our grandmother who raised us dies on our sixteenth birthday from a massive stroke. The worst birthday of my life. Words cannot express our pain.
My boyfriend of two years breaks up with me. I am heartbroken. We had originally planned to marry.
My husband leaves me for another woman. One week later, my grandfather, who raised my sister and I, dies of cancer. I am filled with anger and grief.
My sister's husband commits suicide. The trauma on the family is unbearable.
My husband unexpectedly loses his job. It is one of the most difficult trials we have encountered.
SEPTEMBER 11, 2001:
911 Attack, New York City. The nation is paralyzed.
DECEMBER 29, 2001:
Someone extremely close to me walks out of my life. The pain is unbearable. I feel like humpty dumpty: I will never be able to put the pieces of my broken heart back together again.
MAY 26, 2004:
I am babysitting my sister's sixteen-year-old cat, "Happy" for a month. The cat has two seizures. She is diagnosed with a brain tumor. I have to have her put to sleep. My sister, sobbing, calls the vet long distance and makes the arrangements.
"Happy" lays in the front seat, curled up, asleep, on the way to the office to be put to sleep. So trusting. When I pull into the parking lot, she stands up on the seat, and she purrs...as if the say, "It's okay. I understand." My heart breaks in two as I carry her inside. I cry, cry and cry the rest of the day.
HEREIN LIES THE GREATEST PAIN:
Loss of someone you love, regardless of the circumstances. Loss of a loved one. Loss of a pet. Loss of a job. Loss of a home. Loss of good health. Loss of a great leader. Loss of a pastor. Saying "good-bye" or having not had the opportunity to say "good-bye." The hollow feeling in the pit of the stomach. The emptiness. Having to go on, some how, some way.
A MOVIE SAVES MY LIFE:
It is three days since my loved one walked out of my life. I am filled with despair. He has refused my request to meet with him. I decide to leave the house and see a movie. I enter the theatre in a daze, and I purchase a ticket for LORD OF THE RINGS.
I have since seen the movie twenty-five times. It's a story about a hobbit, Frodo, with a horrendous task to destroy an evil ring.
Inside a cave, Frodo says to the wizard, Gandalf, "I wish the ring had never come to me, I wish none of this had happened."
Gandalf replies, "So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. ALL WE HAVE TO DECIDE IS WHAT TO DO WITH THE REST OF THE TIME THAT IS GIVEN US."
Galdalf's statement SAVED MY LIFE. It occurred to me that, yes, many 'rings' had come into my life. I DO WISH they had never happened. But I COULD DECIDE what to do with the rest of the time that is given me!
HEREIN LIES THE GREATEST PEACE:
ACCEPTANCE OF WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN MY LIFE. DECIDING WHAT TO DO WITH THE REST OF THE TIME GIVEN ME, AND ON MY OWN PERSONAL, SPIRITUAL LEVEL, DEPENDENCE ON GOD EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY.
IT'S ABOUT CHOICE.
It's about treating time as a gift, making time my friend, giving it the opportunity to heal me.
It's about action: action absorbs anxiety.
It's about focus: contributing to the happiness of others through writing and public speaking.
It's about remaining silent. I do not wish to talk in the darkness. Going on and on about a negative circumstance only makes me feel worse.
It's about being a beacon in the presence of others, and trusting God as I walk my daily path.
I wrote a poem about my loss, and I entered it in a contest at my work place. It won first place.
I quit my job, and I created non-credit courses to teach at my community college: How To Be An Empress; The Mystery Of Coincidences; Writers Helping Writers and Finding a Purpose In Life.
LESSONS LEARNED FROM LOSS:
-I am happiest when I am active. Action cooperates with time. Action has contributed to my healing and has given me a positive view of life.
-If I love myself, I love others. If I love others, I receive love in return.
-God is a God of restoration (Joel 2:25: 'I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten.") Locusts in my life have consumed precious time and energy. God is returning to me one hundred fold all that has been lost.
-I have learned I cannot fix people. However, I can make the world around me a more peaceful place.
-When I hurt another person, I injure my soul. I am thankful for my conscience. I repent, repair, and vow not to repeat.
-I have learned resentment and bitterness destroy.
-Most important, I have learned I am nothing without God. I find that if I forget myself and concentrate on being of service as much as I can in this world, having lost myself, I will find my higher self...my real self...
Finally, the person who walked out of my life ten years ago? I had lunch with him last week. He gave me a birthday card with a note and a gift card to Barnes and Noble. The word, "Love" accompanied the signature. He now emails me, and always ends it with "Love you," or "All My Love." But you know what? The ONLY thing that mattered to me was the one word: LOVE.
Blessings, Sparklea :)