....that you don't know what you've got till it's gone--sing it with me! They paved paradise--put up a parking lot-ooooh la la la la oooooh la la la la!
I was driving along this week, realizing that I was deeply content. I marveled at how that could be so when the economy is in turmoil, and we, like many others, have disappearing/reappearing college funds, retirement accounts, etc. But somehow, that day, I was deeply in touch with being and having enough. Knowing me, I believe part of my contentment stemmed from my sense of gratitude--I am aware that I am grateful to have a car, to be able to fill it up with ever cheaper gas, to have a home that is not in danger of foreclosure, to have children who are healthy and progressing merrily (and grumpily) along through their adolescence and young adulthood, a spouse who's stuck with me through thick and thin, wonderful friends, a twin niece and nephew who've just turned 1, a supportive faith community, a growing business, fulfilling volunteer work, and of course, the puppy.....
A couple of days later, I was in the dumps. I felt like answering the phone with a phrase my friend and I joke about when we're in our funks: "House of self-pity, this is Amy. May I help you?" Instead, I thought about what I could and couldn't change in my life--what was mine to look at and what was out of my control--and then, as God would have it, I had a spiritual direction appointment.
I was bemoaning how I still seem to struggle with making time for God in my life when a puppy can just barge right in and demand time one way or the other. The beautiful insight from this session came in the form of a question: What if God's love for you is like the puppy's love? Warm, fuzzy, soft, unconditional, playful, unbounding joy. And the analogy is really helpful to me, because truly, I have to make time for the puppy either in a positive, proactive way, or in a not so fun, reactive way. Isn't it the same with God? I can either take time for God in a positive, proactive, grateful, introspective, insightful way, or I can go running to God all stressed and messed and deep in the dumps and say "Help! Get me outta here!"
It was just the analogy I needed to get to another level. I had been in my head wondering what I could DO to feel I was enough that day. I realized that what I needed was to experience God's love for who I AM and to BE around some people who like me and love me for who I am. I felt that the message for me was: Be still, and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10)).
So I loved on my puppy, did my work, hung out with some friends and saw a movie. I felt so much better. I was in touch with my better self. The one who knows everything will be ok, one way or the other. The parent who knows it's all good. The spouse who deeply loves her husband. The Amy who knows she's ok.
I know there are always going to be ups and downs in life. The point is to decide how to handle them, because it really is all about the journey. God is always there--I'm just not always aware. Don't it always seem to go.......