You will lose everything. Your money, your power, your fame, your success, perhaps even your memories. Your looks will go. Loved ones will die. Your body will fall apart. Everything that seems permanent is impermanent and will be smashed. Experience will gradually, or not so gradually, strip away everything that it can strip away. Waking up means facing this reality with open eyes and no longer turning away.
But right now, we stand on sacred and holy ground, for that which will be lost has not yet been lost, and realizing this is the key to unspeakable joy. Whoever or whatever is in your life right now has not yet been taken away from you. This may sound trivial, obvious, like nothing, but really it is the key to everything, the why and how and wherefore of existence. Impermanence has already rendered everything and everyone around you so deeply holy and significant and worthy of your heartbreaking gratitude. Loss has already transfigured your life into an altar. Jeff Foster
I thought I’d share what happened to me this evening. After my AA meeting, I stopped at a convenience store. As I got out of my car and began to walk in I heard someone say something to me. I looked to my left and there sat a woman on the bench outside. I looked at the woman and said “pardon me”. She asked how I was. I told her that I was doing fine and asked how she was. I’ll begin by describing this woman to you. She was heavy set, disheveled, a tad dirty and was missing many of her teeth. My heart sank when I saw her. Oddly I hadn’t even noticed her when I parked my car in front of the store. Nor did I notice her as I got out of my car.
She went on to tell me she had just left the hospital. Apparently she had an asthma attack. She told me her story and I just listened. My heart really went out to her. I told her that I hoped she would get better. Before I turned around to walk in the store, I noticed a Hispanic man walking toward the store. He opened the door for me. I couldn’t help but notice he was wearing a beautiful cross rosary around his neck. I got my things and walked up to the counter. The man was in line behind me. I asked the clerk if she knew if the woman outside was homeless. She wasn’t sure but said she comes around a lot. I told the clerk I felt sorry for that woman and wanted to buy her something to eat. The clerk was a little taken aback. I had several people behind me waiting to pay. I just explained that I wanted to buy the woman something to eat if she was homeless which is why I was inquiring. The clerk shared she didn’t really know but what she did know is often the woman would sit outside until she had enough money to buy a pack of cigarettes. I told the clerk I wasn’t willing to buy cigarettes but was happy to buy whatever food they had in their deli case. She handed me a pizza pocket. The man wearing the cross rosary said “Maam.maam” I turned around thinking he might be irritated because I was holding up the line. Instead he said “Maam that is a really nice thing for you to do. I wish I could help her too” he showed me the money he had in his hand. It was only enough to get fuel.
I paid the clerk however I was surprised that she didn’t even charge me for the pizza pocket. I took the pizza pocket and walked outside and handed it to the woman. She told me she was trying to figure out how she was going to eat this week. Wow. My heart sank again. I felt the tears build up. I simply said “well for now you don’t have to worry. You now have something to eat.” She was very grateful.
I’m sharing not for accolades, rather to share how God uses people to make a difference. He also can use one person to touch the lives of many. That homeless woman touched my heart. I felt inclined to buy her food. The man wearing the cross rosary was touched by my act of kindness. The clerks heart was open too. She didn’t charge me for the food. In short, each of our lives was touched by a woman who was sitting on a bench and had the courage to say hi despite her circumstances. I’m not sure what the miracle was but for me it was awesome to help someone but at the same time fill the hearts of others.
I’ve seen this before and every time I read the words it reminds me of how true this statement is. I will never forget when I was battling cancer. I was really feeling sorry for myself. No job, financially bankrupt, my hair, eyebrows, eyelashes and toe nails had fallen out. At the time I found myself feeling like my world was over. Father Michael encouraged me to volunteer at the homeless shelter at my church. I agreed.
My first day I received the greatest blessing ever. A huge dose of humble pie. All of our guests who were lined up outside came in to have breakfast. I had never met so many people who exuded more gratitude than those people I met that day. They had nothing. They were living in the park and yet their gratitude was overwhelming. I found myself feeling overwhelmed with a feeling that reminded me of just how ungrateful I had been. I couldn’t hold back the tears so I went to the back room and cried my eyes out. That day changed my life forever. I see others with a compassionate heart. Every time I feel sorry for myself I think of the wonderful people I met that day. Hence, a reminder there are always others who’s story is worse than mine.
On my walk this morning. The sun was shining. The view of the snow covered Cascades against the blue skies was simply breathtaking. I use this time during my walk to pray. Not only for myself but so many others on my prayer list. Today was no different. After praying I went to my YouTube and this song popped up. I’ve always loved this song. I must have been 14 years old when it was released, however the lyrics still touch my heart and soul and reminds me that life is nothing more than a canvas. A painting for me of sailing through the storms and finding peace and tranquility. as
I love the water and I especially love being on the water on a boat. The serenity of just being still, listening to the waves splash against the boat, the feeling of the sun radiating through my body gives me a sense of warmth. There’s nothing more beautiful. In my opinion, the water, the sun and everything around it is my interpretation of Gods love. As I listen to the lyrics I am reminded that peace and tranquility are possible. Everything in life will work out.
However just for today I’d like to get lost in a fantasy as I listen to this song. A fantasy that I’m sailing and everything is going to be alright.
I’m sitting at the clinic waiting for my mom. While waiting I heard this song playing. It always reminds me of my dad when I hear it. I’m so grateful I was with him the night he passed away and I’m grateful I was able to tell him I loved him. Yet there were still so many things Left unsaid. So many missed opportunities to spend time together. I only wish I had taken the time.
I’m posting this song as a reminder that life is short. Let the people in your life know you love them. Tell them the things that are on your mind. Spend quality time with them and whatever you do stop fighting with one another. No fight or argument is worth it in the end. No matter how angry you are you will most certainly miss the people you love when they’re gone and you’ll look back and realize all the things you didn’t say and the the things you shouldn’t have. Live life with No regrets.
So today tell the special people in your life you love them. Say it loud and say it clear. You never know what tomorrow will bring.
I still miss my dad. I’d give anything to sit down with him. Shoot the breeze like we used to. I’d give anything to Listen to him tell me one of his funny stories that made me laugh and I’d give anything to say “I love you” just one more time.