Monday, November 23, 2015

Giving Thanks: From Why Me to Try Me

As I was standing underneath the hot shower yesterday, I started wondering..."What is up with this challenging situation that reminds me of several other challenging situations I have been through before?" My mind started wandering to maybe it's karma from a previous lifetime or what am I doing to attract this into my life ... and then the hot water showered grace upon me. I felt Bernie Siegel's presence saying to me, "It's life. Remember what I talk about - say try me instead of why me. Would you want someone else to be going through what you are going through right now? You have the strength to handle anything life sets before you."

Peace and gratitude and yes even a sense of unbridled joy washed over me.

As synchronicity would have it, one of my dear soul mates on Facebook, Stacey Chiew posted this today:

Life is holy shit. God may prefer the term "compost" but it amounts to the same thing. We all have our problems but those problems redirect us and teach us to grow. Our difficulties fertilize our lives. The enlightened individual--and the happy family--knows that possibilities grow out of problems. People who know how to be happy say, "Thank you, God, for the fertilizer," while the unhappy cry out, "Oh God, why us?" - Excerpted from Prescriptions for Living, Bernie Siegel

Shortly after being diagnosed with post polio syndrome 9 years ago next month, I returned to the teachings of Bernie and started writing poetry to heal. I remembered what he said about turning challenges into gifts and this is one of the early poems I wrote:

The Gift of Polio

Thank you God for the gift of polio that brought me so close to you
while paralyzed I saw your face no matter what I’d do
Many wonderful healers you sent them to me at age 5
perseverance and triumph life’s lessons learned
but my Spirit could not yet thrive.

At age 53 the gift was sent to me a second time
having time to sit and feel to heal I started to rhyme.
The second time felt worse than the first
yet your love and wisdom I found
out of pain and weakness and fatigue a remarkable spirit rebound.

Reliving all the trauma of special shoes and such
I discovered remarkable healers who brought a loving touch.
I had no clue I had such strength and the ability to grow
no matter what the outcome deep gratitude I show.

This gift so precious I live a new life gratitude flows from me
my heart and soul are filled with grace each day’s a gift from thee.

More recently I wrote this poem:

Gratitude Tingles

Heart opens in quiet, eyes are closed gratitudes trickle then flow
the basics a home, good food and love awareness begins to grow.
Each beat of my heart reminds me I’m a miracle of life
grace showers constantly upon me relieving alleviating strife.

Goosebumps with each reflection every breath a moment to pause
gratitude tingles feel the warmth relaxing unclenching jaws.
Grateful to now be fully alive so blessed to be kissed awake
appreciation flows in every vein for granted nothing I take.

What joy there is in this journey let Spirit within ever reign
trusting in goodness and kindness erases all fear and pain.
Memory traces from the past pale and fade when connected to Loving Source
gratitude overpowers correcting direction on my life’s course.

In moments of meditation happiness joy and peace
from the depths of my soul a fountain grateful blessings increase.
Lips upturn into beautiful smile from head’s crown to tip of toes
gratitude tingles tickling trail of delight everywhere gratitude goes.

The holidays can be a magical and magnificent time but they can also be a time filled with sadness and heartache. We may not get to choose the circumstances of our lives because life happens but we can certainly choose how to respond to what happens.

I choose gratitude and giving thanks. How about you?

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