What would happen if your gratitude had no limits?
What if you saw everything as a gift—as a roadmap to your happiness?
That really sounds ridiculous when someone you love is sick or depressed. Or when you are sick or depressed.
So perhaps, that’s not exactly what I’m saying.
Perhaps we break everything into tiny weeny nano moments.
What if the way you squeeze her hand and remember how much love is coursing between you becomes a little faerie window into thank you?
And what if you take the time to let the anger at God and the world and cancer and job layoffs and alcoholism and abandonment and abuse and all those things that look and feel rotten run through you?
What if you really let yourself feel them for a few minutes? What if you let them move out of the pain in your neck or back or belly?
Then what if you said “Get out of me!” And then those feelings left. Even for a moment.
How would you feel? Empty? Scared? What would you rage against? What’s your anchor? Don’t worry, they promise to come back. They know how to ring your bell.
For now, let there be an empty space.
And let me fill it.
Let me fill it with the bouquet of flowers from my heart.
And notice what’s around you. Use what you have if you have it: sight, sound, smell, touch and taste.
And there’s a sixth sense when you close your eyes or when they are open. Just take it in. The singular moment of you being kind to your own heart. The dictionary calls singular: extraordinary, remarkable, exceptional, unusual or strange, odd, different, separate, individual. Watch this moment like a TV show because you picked the channel.
Then let me know the inside of your deepest desires to be a figure skater, to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro to win your league softball championship.
To find true love.
You’ve got it.
You found it.
There’s an opening in your heart.
It’s where all the sadness lived. It needs some sprucing up. A little DIY creativity.
Start by taking yourself out on a glorious date.
Get dressed in what suits you. Comfy jeans and red socks. Fancy pants, a twirly skirt, a bright red tie, comfy converse.
Bring some music on your headphones or a journal and a pen.
Bring some cash. At least enough for a beautiful cup of coffee, tea or maybe some bubbly.
And sit. Sit alone with your heart.
How might you decorate that gorgeous space you’ve been waiting to move into all these years?
Put the SOLD sign up.
From now on, you get to decide who is allowed in.
And then when you allow someone in, you can say what my grandmother Mama Chelo used to say to me, “You live in my heart and you don’t even pay rent.”
A little post script: When those feelings come back and ring your doorbell, knock on your door or try to climb through the window, see them. Mine come in the form of shoulder blade pain on my right side, mostly. Mine say, “Hey, you better make sure you get everything done and plan for every possible viable scenario so you are prepared. And you’ve only done it well if you get exhausted while doing it.” So I say “hi” to my shoulder blade. And here’s what follows, “I see you. And this right here, right now may feel familiar, but actually it’s not then, it’s now. What’s now, based on the evidence all around me is quite simply a task I need to do, or learn. It’s a conversation I need to have. It’s a question I need to ask because I don’t know the answer. But thank you for reminding me to do it. I don’t need to be scared or anxious or feel unworthy or like I need to keep the peace because I have it.” By then my anxiety and my shoulder blade are so bored by my conversation, they’ve left and I can get back to what I was doing.