Life is bittersweet sometimes.
Things are still a ways from being perfect, but sometimes when I think about how the universe works, I am humbled and amazed.
On November 2, when I was in the deepest, darkest place of uncertainty, I tweeted this: The universe is bringing everything my family needs to keep going. I believe this and I give thanks in advance. ❤ I had very little tangible evidence to support that statement and I knew, even then, that my belief was in something much bigger than the circumstances in which I found myself.
Faith is like a muscle that is built by accepting what life brings with as much grace and equanimity as can be mustered. I do this to the best of my ability, though I will admit I do not always succeed, and sometimes feel very petty and weak.
Composing that tweet was a conscious and aware decision. I knew what my situation was, I knew something needed to happen, and I knew I had nothing I could point to as an indicator that things would be okay. But I knew that believing that things would not be okay was not an option. If I go around thinking things are going to suck and then they suck, I feel like I contributed to that outcome. But when I am truly able to believe things will work out, they do. It’s beautiful, especially when the connection between the belief and the outcome seems obvious.
A few days after posting the tweet, a friend tipped me off to a potential earning opportunity, which resulted in another friend offering to employ me until my permanent job starts. It’s not a lottery win, but it is a giant step toward things being okay again. I feel the difference the most in my heart. I have been carrying some heavy, heavy burdens with very few people to talk to. But once I finally told someone how scared I was feeling and how hard things have been, it started getting better immediately.
Faith requires a willingness to admit the truth about ourselves and about life. If we can do this with compassion, the universe responds…with loving kindness. God–whatever that means to a person–loves us. It is humanity that is harsh with itself.
The moments of truth that lead up to the tweet declaration were of the Jesus take the wheel variety. I was praying a lot and while talking to God about my life and circumstances, I finally came to the question Whatcha gonna do? And my answer was: I got nothin’, God. That place of ultimate surrender. The place where you have to surrender because there are no other options.
Grace only comes where it is truly needed. It is not welcome when we choose to grapple and struggle with things on our own. It is in giving up, saying fuck it to the cosmos, that we create the space necessary for grace to enter our hearts. When it happens, it is sublime. At the same time, I realize that some moments can’t be experienced if things are always going smoothly. We experience joy in proportion to our capacity to endure hardship without bitterness. In proportion to our willingness to see things as good no matter how they seem on the surface. How do I know my experience is good? Because it is the one I am having.
On November 2, I didn’t know what I was going to do to get my life back on track, but I knew one thing, I was willing…to do whatever it would take…and to be open and unconditionally accepting [of myself] in my darkest moments.
I see the light again.
Because of the difficulties that my life has been blessed with, I have experienced the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding. How can I fail to be grateful for this?
If any of this resonates, please check out Chapter 18, section 5 of A Course in Miracles. I actually looked it up just prior to writing this post, well after my own recent miracle was underway, but it so beautifully completes my thoughts here. And much more eloquently.
The thing at the top of my gratitude list these days? Sleeping soundly.