Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Wanted: Gooey, Chewy Brownies

Quite often, too often, I go back.  I go back to the ground-zero moment in my life and I am grateful for the view.

That's one thing about time....it does bring perspective.  The saying goes that time heals but I don't believe that is true.  I think time gives us space to grow, learn, and come to understand the past better than when we are at the point of impact and emotionally charged.  That is what has happened for me.  The extreme pain of those moments have lessened and I can admire that I made it through.  It means a lot to me to be able to enumerate the valuable lessons and miracles that I have experienced.  I treasure how those experiences continue to help me live at peace with life.

Sometimes when I am trying to explain me to someone else and how I came to know just who I am and my purpose in life, I see a blank stare.  I am sad to see this look of non-understanding or worse, the attempt to pretend to get it.  If I could only give to others what I have found.  I want to help.  I long to give each one my road map. But we must each walk out our own ground-zero moments.  No one can do it for us, no matter how much we want them to do so.  I can offer hope, however.

I know that I am not done.  I have not arrived at the dance.  Life will never be perfect and there will be more mountains to climb, rivers to cross, battles to face.  What I also know is that with each step I am learning, getting stronger, and the terrible past has helped me learn that there is good found in everything.  

We may not see it from the beginning.  

For example, I would not open a box of brownie mix and eat it.  I would wait until the other ingredients were added and it was put in the perfect dish, and baked at the right temperature for the perfect amount of time.  Then, my friend, add ice cream and dig in!

That is the life I lead now.  I have learned that each transition, each negative moment, each setback can become a positive.  It is a step in the process.  I actually try to "look" for those moments and I feel gleeful when I find one.  It's like a pearl in an oyster. Truly, since I accepted this phenomenon, it has been life-changing....daily.

If you are trying to get past a cloudy day, throw your head up and your arms back and enjoy the rain, each little drop.  If you are in the middle of the scorching desert, sing John Denver's "Sunshine on My Shoulders" to the tops of your lungs.  Who can't enjoy that song on a sunny day!  If the ocean is crashing down upon you and you see another wave coming in, admit that you cannot stop it and welcome the salty spray with open arms.

One thing is certain: things change.  They do not stay the same.  Remind yourself that this too, shall pass and believe that the best you is being refined and prepared.  Down the road a ways, you will be able to look back without all of the draining emotion that is bogging you down today.  You will be able to witness the miracle in your own life and the choices that you made.  And you, too, will find yourself grateful for what did and didn't happen because it made you....you!

Life is a process.  Allow the ingredients to be dropped in, stirred, whipped, baked, poured...Don't be impatient and for goodness sake, don't skip any steps or hurry up the baking.  At my house in my oven, chewy brownies take a good 25 minutes and not a minute less.  The anticipation of the brownies cooking only intensifies as the aroma fills the house. If you will wait for brownies to be perfected, how much more should we accept the process and anticipate our life story to come together?  

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy.  Gooey, chewy brownies with vanilla ice cream make me smile.  And even if I don't have sunshine or brownies, I am still blessed. Accept everything with a glad heart for it is all for your good.

Lastly, I am reminded of this well known prayer: "God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference." -Reinhold Niebuhr.