Gifted

Gifted

May 31, 2020 The Year Of Perfect Vision

I write three pages every morning, 99% of the time. Along with that, I have a dedicated time for prayer and meditation from which I get up and go into my day. Lately, I have noticed that those are the best two hours of some of my days. 

So I decided today in writing those three pages to try something different. Because lately, I have had some dis ease in my days after those two yummy spiritual and safe hours parked in the corner of my gray couch looking out my picture window. 

This morning, I wrote to my God. Starting a conversation. I like to think talking to my God is a prayer. One that my God is always at the ready for. In fact, I am almost certain that for my entire life, my God has been waiting eagerly for me to engage. In a relationship. 

So, if I apply the things I do in my human relationships, the ones that I nurture with time and conversation and listening, I thought to myself, “Why don’t I have an ongoing conversation with my God today, starting with these three morning pages?” 

I strive to live my life in 24 hour increments. I believe that those things we call days were set up to have a beginning and an end with rest as a key part, in order to survive some of the events that take place in that 24 hour period in the world we live in. My God is clever that way. Setting up a finite timeframe in which to live my life. 

I say “my” God, because I don’t want to suggest that there is only one God. I mean, there may be. Or maybe there is not. I do not know. But for me, I choose to say my God so as to not confuse my belief system with some that are associated with the word God where people have been harmed in that setting. I respect ALL beliefs of whatever a person chooses to pray to, worship, believe in, surrender to. Also, it really is not my business to judge anyone because I don’t know much. 

“So God, what do you want from me today?” I opened it up right away. Requesting marching orders. Opening myself up for an assignment. Which I got. I went on. “Please show me as I go. I really want you there. I know that you have always been there. The times I did not feel your presence, were the times that I was shutting you out. I am sorry God. Forgive me. And thanks because I know that you do.”

“You are so kind and generous too. I have noticed this. I also see that you are not pushy. And man, are you ever patient. Sitting there. Open to my call. And if you are in a place called Heaven and there is a Phyllis Bunn there with you, the one who hosted me for 9 months before I launched into the world, I am quite sure you have sore ribs. From her elbow. Digging into them.” ‘Ok God, my kid is there and she is not looking to you. She is living in her head again. Maybe you could use that Facebook thingamajiggy and put one of those memories in her face. You know, the ones where she WAS talking to you and reading from books that made her mindful of you and then she shared them on the Facebooks!’”

I am pretty sure that if there is a Heaven and a God that lives there, that God is taking naps because of my mom. Constantly nagging for her kids on earth to get in touch. Be cared for. Things that she failed at through most of her life as a mother.

In my conversation, I found myself expressing my gratitude. It just came out that way. It was not even my intent, yet. “God, thank you. I know that all those times when I was afraid, you really were there. When I had breast cancer, you saved me. Twice.”

“So God, I have noticed that when I go into my days lately, that I feel less in touch with what you want for me. I strive to do what is my purpose, but the connection to you just gets so remote, like the farther away from my morning time, the farther away you become. And I see that it is me who allows that distance to come in. So I am happy for the anxious thoughts that have plagued me here lately. Over my future. Short term and long. Because it is a direct signal to me that I need to be in better contact with you. And talking to you via writing is a great way for me to do that. So thanks. For the gift of the awareness that when things become difficult, there are actions I can take to change that and that you are all over it. Whenever I simply reach out.” Just writing this is centering for me. 

I am amused at the fact that the things I worry about are just my perspective. And that worry is a choice. But more than that, today I decided that worry is more than a choice. Worry is an insult to my God and all that has been done for me to date. It is dismissive of the many times I have lived when I should have died or killed someone else for my choices and actions. I drove drunk many times. More than I can remember because most of the time that I chose to drink, I would black out and do things that I did not remember until the horrible recounting of those who were with me at those times.

For that, I could have been a felon. Killing someone with a moving vehicle. Or killing myself. 

If I look at my life from the perspective of how many times I could have died, I would be a cat to the infinity power. Way more than nine lives have been gifted to me.  These are just four. In my book they each count for way more than one lifetime.

  1. Sober from the disease of alcoholism
  2.  Recovered from the disease of Anorexia
  3. Cured of the disease of breast cancer
  4. Healed of the chronic desire to kill myself on multiple occasions over half of my life.

I have been accepted! Into the gifted program. Yup. Me! 

Gifted with life. Repeatedly. When I was ready to throw it away. Gifted with a creativity that is a direct connection to my soul. Through writing, painting, making people laugh. Making people feel valued. Inspiring others to tell their truth by sharing mine.

Gifted with time.

Gifted with energy.

Gifted with a voice.

Gifted with money.

Gifts not to be squandered but to be spent wisely. So just for this day, I will do that. And with that, I am going to stop for now. Because I get to go outside in the beautiful sunshine. And breathe because I can. And walk because my legs work. And straighten my house. Because I have been gifted with shelter. And fold my laundry. Because I have been gifted with clothing. And cook my daughter dinner. Because I have been gifted with her and a kitchen that has electricity and appliances and food in it. 

And tonight, I get to bake cookies. Because at my house, after 90 days of social distancing during a pandemic, cake and cookies are now a food group. And these cookies, I will get to share. With someone I love.

One last thing. I challenge you. As you read this. If you are feeling hopeless, look for one thing in your day. To be grateful for. Even if it is just that you can’t find something to be grateful for. Be grateful for that. Because I can promise you that if you just keep breathing and showing up, that can change. For the better. And that hope can be a part of your life.

Also, I love you.

Lucinda

Teach Your Parents Well-Lessons Learned From My Offspring

Teach Your Parents Well-Lessons Learned From My Offspring

May 30, 2020 The Year of Perfect Vision

The older I get, the less I know. And that works for me. Because that gives God something to work with. Teachable gray matter.

And I get some of my greatest lessons from young people. You know, the ones who get a bad rap. The millennials. I try to be mindful of the lesson teachers. Meaning, I never know who my messenger from God is. It might be the person with the foil lining in their stocking cap. God uses everyone.

And last night, God used a 22 year old. Who was born at 40 on the wisdom scale, which makes her 62. While science says her brain won’t be fully cooked for three more years, her soul is intact since before her physical day one.

We talked about George Floyd. And the police. And the world. And our society. And I got schooled. Because I sit in my little box, judging from my one tiny perspective the big blue marble that we all live on. And that is one limited, finite view. If I thought there was a right and wrong to how to look at things, I would miss so much. And I have done that. Set in my ways at more than twice her age, I think I have wisdom. And while that may be true, I don’t corner the market on that.

The conversation started with enthusiasm. Excitement. Sharing of beliefs and ideas. Probing questions and answers exchanged between us. It was exhilarating for me. But the more we discussed what is happening in the world from two views, the more frustrated we each became from our seats. And what began as an energized exchange, was quickly drained of all power by the facts of the contents.

I make it a habit not to watch the news. My reason has been that the things that I see, like Charlottesville or the politics of our day leave me quite literally sick. So up until March, when there began a pandemic, I stayed happily ignorant. Justifying this by saying, “I just need to take cover when they sound the tornado sirens. I’m good.” And left it at that. But I’m not good. And I can’t leave it at anything. Anymore. Because me sitting here ignorant of the world around me is irresponsible. 

While I spent my evening after our conversation writing, I found myself happening on a Facebook LIVE video. At first, I scoffed. “Just another talking head. Bleeding out loud about the world events.” Also, she was a person of color. And while I like to think I am not prejudiced, I was raised by a racist from the depression era and while I am not proud to admit it, I have not completed the unlearning process of that white bread childhood. 

Shame on me. I hadn’t even heard a word. I made that judgment just by looking at the face of the young woman who had over 200,000 views on this video and honestly, that was the reason I stayed. And listened. I thought if that many people were listening and watching what she had to say, it might be good to see what that draw was. I shared her video on Facebook because what she said disturbed me. Her caption read, “I’m scared. And you should be too.”

What I heard was a well articulated fear for the safety of her children and her own safety and the humiliation she had suffered while trying to take care of and make feel safe those who were sworn to keep her safe. She said it better. And she said something about Atlanta that told me she lived there.

What I did not realize, because remember, I don’t watch the news because it makes me sick, was that there were riots going on in her back yard and that she was literally fearing for her life and the lives of her children.

So I got over my bullshit and I watched the news. And while I can sit back at a distance from my little box and see the whole world stage from the safety of my white bread living room, not everyone has that privilege. And more to the point, I cannot sit here worried what people will think of me if I express my true feelings about what I see in the world today and claim to be a person who gives their life daily to the service of my fellow human. 

So here is what I see. A planet. With lots of water and land. And people. And on my neck of the woods, there is an echelon. Of people. With the ones at the top, looking down on the rest. Like the suites at a sporting venue or the racetrack. Protected, well fed, with fancy suites. While most of the rest of the people are in the cheap seats. 

And these are the people who do the work so that the ones in the suites can have the money from the work of the backs of the people who do the work to afford the suites. 

And the people in the suites like it when the people in the cheap seats fight. And suffer. Because then maybe none of them will look up to notice that the ones in the suites are having a party. And I would say the party was on the people who work’s dime. But it’s much more than that.

In our conversation, I was schooled to the fact that there are school teachers who do their noble work, only to have to go to work at Home Depot at night, missing their family to do so, in order to just survive. Just as I write this, I am getting the same frustration as I had when we talked last night. I need to keep my head out of the sand. And stay informed. And above all, I will ask God, what can I do to affect change? Truly. Because I have taken for granted the freedoms I have had. The ones my father fought for in World War II. The one I have that when I drive my car if I get pulled over, I can be free to get my wallet out of my purse without fearing that the officer might think that because of the color of my skin, I might be drawing a weapon and shoot me. The freedom to live in a country where those who were slaves and built so much of this country are still slaves. To fear. And that is wrong. 

I listened to the other view last night. Two actually. The one in person from a person who I treasure. And am so grateful I stayed open. Before we talked, I was judging the riots I had heard about in Minnesota. “That’s not going to help. People are going to get hurt.” Really Lucinda? People are getting more than hurt. People are getting murdered. Wake the fuck up. What I heard from both of the young women was that maybe this is not a riot but a revolution. Perhaps it is necessary for the greater good. 

I don’t know. And that works for me. Because there is a lesson going on here. And it is my duty as a human being to show up for class.