Have you ever found yourself stuck in the muck? I sure have! Sometimes I fall in in & as if that’s not enough I lay down and roll around in it. There have been times that I’m sunk to my knees. Once I become aware that I am there it can seem difficult to pull myself out. There have been times when I’ve felt weighed down, paralyzed, alone and uncertain about where to go or what to do. It is not a fun place to be!
I also know without a doubt that something or someone will arrive to help lift me up. It might be a kind word or a smile. Some transcendent Presence may throw some rain my way to wash me off. Who knows, maybe inspiration strikes or I see life from a new perspective. It doesn’t have to be something big and flashy to lift you though, it could be anything at all. Today I received the gift of a milkshake and french fries and they lifted me up! Not for what they were but because someone cared enough to think of me and bring them to me. That in and of itself was more than enough!
Plus keep in mind that all of that mud and uh…fertilizer is great for growing something new and wonderful! And your skin may turn out looking amazing without a trip to the spa. Those are benefits to the muck that you may not have thought of before.
Seriously though hang on, assistance it on the way. If you find yourself in down in the muck and need help getting out, as we all sometimes do, look for something to lift you up. However small it may appear, it will arrive. Count on it!
Okay here is the long awaited second installment book excerpt from “You’ve Got the Magic in You”. Enjoy!
This work by Shelly O’Connell, M.Div. is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
… No longer questioning how a professionally made business card carries a personal message for me, or how Lillian knew that I would become her student, I pick up the phone to give her a call. I am in the process of locating a pen and paper to write down directions for our meeting location tomorrow when she answers. After my greeting and introduction she speaks, “Oh, it is you, dear. I am so happy to hear from you! How has the rest of your day gone?” I briefly relay my day including the reflection in the park and my conversation with Scott. “So he is on board then?” she asks. I confirm that this is true. Lillian remarks with a smile in her voice, “Let him know that I am not a wacko would you, dear?” I let her know that we had that conversation and he is open in trusting my judgment. “Well, I knew that you had faith in me, dear. It is certainty nice to hear you say that you did and I wanted to hear you say so out loud,” she states with a giggle.
“This is going to be fun,” I think.
Lillian clears her throat, “Well I should certainly hope so, dear. Life would be pretty dull without incorporating a bit of fun.” Indeed! My mind aligns with her statement. I carefully take down the address and directions Lillian gives me to her home. We confirm the meeting time as six o’clock tomorrow. I ask if there is anything else she needs or would like me to bring. She leaves me with a cryptic, “You will know, dear …
Have you ever known a gentle soul? If you are lucky you’ve had an encounter with such a person. They seem to possess a quality of gentleness that extends to all things the majority of the time. These folks are a pleasure to be around. I find myself becoming calmer when I am with them. They don’t stand out or are easy to immediately identify because there is no fanfare about them. One clue that they may be such a person is the sparkle in their eyes. Another is that they listen and observe closely before joining the discussion or interactions taking place.
Through the years I have met a small handful of these people. Over time they shared some of their life story with me. Overwhelmingly these unrelated people had a common theme. Each one had lived through times of extreme adversity. They had been to the depths of being. I’ve heard this referred to as reaching the bottom.
We’ve been told that hard times make us stronger. Thinking about these people makes me question that old adage. What if the real purpose of living through tough times is to make us gentle? That sort of shifts perspective, doesn’t it?
Being gentle in your interactions with all of life opens you to see, be and receive so much more. These people seem to have a deep appreciation and gratitude for life. No matter what it holds; they find the silver lining in the situation. They exclude no one. I have witnessed them treating others equally and with respect. Gentleness has given them internal strength and peace. They are content and open to life at the same time.
I think something happened to these people when they climbed out of the depths. Something profound that shifted their worldview. I’m not sure I can name what that something is but I’m learning one day at a time.