Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sustaining Forces

“In the end, though, maybe we must all give up trying to pay back the people in this world who sustain our lives. In the end, maybe it's wiser to surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely, for as long as we have voices.” ~ Elizabeth Gilbert

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, which -- perhaps I'm a little biased in that it's during my birth month -- is one of my favorite holidays, I've been thinking about the things I'm grateful for. Clearly, some of them are no brainers ... my health, my family, friends, pets, job, my parents and upbringing, my grandma and her warm brown eyes, those that have loved me, those that love me still ... those who will come to love me, my home and my capacity for growth.

Thinking about the above leads me to think about those who don't have those things -- some, never have. And that does something to my insides I'll never quite be able to put into words ... only that it's unsettling in a grounding, humbling, overwhelming way.

It's easy for me to think about the negative things in my life, the things I wish I could change, the things that are unsatisfying, the parts of me I want to alter all at once, the sad parts, the memories, the lost dreams. But the truth is, when I bring it all back into perspective, I am more blessed than I realize. In fact, I'm sure many of us are. For me, it's always easier to get caught up in this negative web of self defeatist thinking rather than focus on the benevolent things, the very simple things, like the fact I can get out of bed every day, go to work, support myself and come home to a pair of the goofiest, most loving and amusing pets anyone could have. Sometimes, it can really be that simple.

I've also been thinking about a notion I've mentioned in past posts -- sustaining forces. I believe there are different kinds of forces in our lives: those that drain us, pull us down, try to break us; those that push us, challenge us, help us grow and flourish; and those that sustain us. We all have sustaining forces in one way or another. They're those people, animals, elements, that faith in our lives that keeps us alive, that keeps us breathing, moving forward; that gives us a reason to wake up every morning. And I have many of them. If I really sit here and think about it, they're surrounding me. Whether it's Lakota and Bella with their deep eyes of wisdom, my closest friends and their undeniable way of "getting me," welcoming me and loving me inside and out no matter what, my family and their undying loyalty, understanding and support, my talents and wisdom, my inner strength, my job and the amazing stories I stumble across, my inspiration -- they all make up the very foundation I stand on, the fuel that moves my body, heart, mind and soul.

And the truth of the matter is, if so many sustaining forces have gravitated toward me all my life, then all those negative things I wish I could change truly pale in comparison to the good things. Because, being a believer in the positive and negative forces of the universe, I find we're often a magnet to what we exude. So, despite my anxieties, fears, anger or mistakes and the things they've manifested over the years, none of that holds a candle to the amazing souls I've come into contact with or to the opportunities I've had, to the accomplishments I've made and experiences I've endured.

Some days, like we all do at times I'm sure, I easily forget these things. I get so wrapped up in the broken pieces inside me that I forget the parts that never shattered, the parts that are whole and pulsing with energy waiting to create, to love, to spur growth and to develop. So, even during those times when I feel lowest, saddest, when my heart hurts, yearns, misses, aches, I remember that the force I am, all in all, is reflected in those elements and people around me who are closest to my life, my heart and soul ... to those sustaining forces I'm not sure I could ever live without.

So, as I sit here in my candle-lit living room, gazing over at Lakota, sprawled out on the floor next to me, and Bella, curled up on the couch -- two of my biggest sustaining forces and teachers right now, I choose to "surrender before the miraculous scope of human generosity and to just keep saying thank you, forever and sincerely" for as long as I have a voice.

~ C ~

No comments:

Post a Comment