I have spent my morning pondering a new though. An idea that may not be so novel, but it is a very recent way of seeing things for me. With all the attention being given to what we are thankful for this month, I began to consider those that have most greatly affected my life. There have been big things and small. People I know so well and those I only catch a vague glimpse of, before they pass on in their own journey. And so I began to say thank you. Writing a few words down to show that I saw them. That they mattered and they had changed me in some way. It has been a wonderful exercise. It has reminded me how rich my life is. How grateful I am to so many who may have no idea that their quick, unguarded kindness touched me.
And as I began this trek of the thankful, I realized I was leaving something in my wake. I had not intended to. I was merely giving what was due. I started to hear back. Little messages echoing their own thanks. And I started to contemplate the footprint I leave. I am used to hearing about my carbon footprint and ways to lessen it. I have good days and bad days in my efforts to take up less. To have a lesser impact on this Earth. But not, on this world. I must leave as big of a soul print as I possibly can. I am still learning that I can change things. It is part of victimology that lead me to believe that my voice did not matter. I felt I had nothing great to offer. In short I felt extremely small and powerless. That was not a great place to be. It is a limbo sort of no man's land of despair. So, I had to find a way to change that. To own the spot that I inhabit. It is what I was made for. What we were all created for. To leave as small a ripple in the well of sorrows and as large a watermark on the world. I try everyday now, to pick a few people and tell them that they are special. To tell them the things we all deserve to hear. And the greatest thing has happened. My spirit is lifted. I am at times overcome with love. It reminds me of another time. When my world was always dark. I was always angry. That boiling rage that could not be reasoned with. The place that is so raw so deep that it scared me. I remembered those shattering moments where too much was destroyed far too quickly. A wild. burning forest fire. Leaving blackened, smoldering devastation behind. I had somehow found the mirror opposite of that emotional storm. I had found a spiritual peace.
I have never had this before. My life is not perfect. There will always things that need to be improved. Some on the inside and others on the out. But I have fallen magically and deeply in love with the idea of trying to fill as big as space as I possibly can with love. With kindness. That is what we are here for. Now, I am not always sunshine and light. And every time I leave my house it seems that this new found love affair with life is put to the test. Today was rainy and grey. Our skies have been made of rippling steel these last few weeks. Cold and damp. That always affects my mood. Edgar and I started out to run a few errands. I stopped in a drive through. A quick lunch on the way to important things. It should have been so simple. As I rolled down my window I was hit with cold rain and an unfriendly wind. And...nothing... I waited. One minute, two minutes....I said hello? A snappy voice hollered out for me to "hold on!" and so I waited. The water coming in and my good mood being drained out... there were no other cars ahead of me and the parking lot was nearly empty. I fleetingly wondered if they were being robbed. Then I wondered if I was being punked. A full ten minutes and counting I spoke up again. And as that same cranky voice bid me to wait, I watched another car that came from another lane behind me speed in front of me. I was stunned and then yes, I was pissed. WTH? I am sitting here with my left side soaked waiting for this disembodied voice and she had taken another order and then had that person pull up ahead of me....really? I gave over my order and finally closed my window. I pushed up the heat and tried to muster up my very best eye of evil. As I pulled up to pay this voice with a death wish. And I had to talk myself down. Yes I was hungry. Yes I was now drenched but this was not going to affect my long term life. I really was fine.
This was a first world problem on the highest order. And so, I put the bitch away. I handed over the cash and gave a friendly smile. It was not returned. Whatever had caused this teenager who owned that cranky attitude was not changed by my attempt to be kind. Even Edgar could not coax a smile from her. And so I passed on. I left her and her bad mood right there and I did not carry any of the irritation she had raised in me. I let it go. A dark mood is a kind of virus. You can catch it so easily. I am highly susceptible to this particular ailment. And so I must use care. I must practice this new mindset until it is second nature. Until the day comes when my first response upon dealing with a difficult personality is "I wonder if they are okay?" instead of "don't be such a bitch to me". To see it as an issue with them and not an attack on me. Then I will finally stop thinking like a victim. I will own my life outright. Everyday is a new chance to practice this new skill set. A chance to love with abandon without expecting anything in return. To treat others gently. We are all travelers. Nomads looking for our own version of Nirvana. Some more successful at finding our destination than others. I must learn to remember to just let them pass by. They do not need one more hole in their leaky boat. The biggest challenge, the greatest task is to love regardless of circumstances. To fly the flag of peace and simply sail on.