October 4, 2012
Happiness is a skill,
emotional balance is a skill,
compassion and altruism are skills,
and like any skill, they need to be developed.
As the turning of the year brought me into my 57th year, I was filled with excitement and enthusiasm. It felt like this was going to be my year to take wing and fly high. At last I would know some success in that which I’ve been endeavoring to achieve for some long years now. I’ve been the seed lying dormant in the dark earth. I’ve been the seedling emerging. I’ve had my summer in the sun, growing, sweating, toiling. Now it is time for harvesting. Now it is time to show my true colors. Feeling healthier, happier, I was deeply engrossed in my writing and preparing to step out from my hermit cave to once again share my teaching skills in the area of Restorative Practices and the Peace Circle process. Time for me to fly!
On my birthday, I awoke from a dream where angels (or some sort of Light Beings) were singing to me—and I neverhear music in the few dreams that I manage to remember! They were singing “I can see clearly now, the rain has gone. I can see all obstacles in my way. Gone are the dark clouds that had me blind. It’s gonna be a bright, bright, bright sunshiny day!” I felt pure bliss. I was sure this meant it was going to be a golden year for me.
In 2011 I had come to understand at a deeper level my calling, or life purpose if you will, to be that of a Remover of Obstacles. Through my writing and my teaching, through my study and sharing of knowledge, through the testimony of my life, through my desire to give generously in financial ways—yes, I would help to remove those obstacles that hinder others from moving forward in their lives. 2012 would be the year when I would finally take wing and succeed in all that I had been trying so hard to achieve.
I made it to the evening of my birthday before crashing full steam into a huge obstacle of my own ignorance, damaging several relationships in the process. As the year has unwound itself, I have bumped and banged into one obstacle after another, tripping over my own Ego and wrestling every Monster that has ever haunted my path. It wasn’t until nearly six months after that shining morning seranade that I finally understood the message. I can see clearly now…I can see all the obstacles in my way. The dark clouds that had me blind have dissipated. The song does not say that the obstacles are gone. Only that I can see them clearly now. It is no longer dark and I am no longer blind. Therefore, I can remove them. How else could I expect to become a Remover of Obstacles if I do not first remove those that hinder my own life?
Of course, I feel just a little pissed off about this. I mean, this journey inside has gone on and on and on and on and on…is there no end? When will I fly free? …And I immediately know I willfly free the instant I spread my wings and take off. There is no cage. There is no tether. There is only my fear that holds me back.
I mean, haven’t I done enough work by now? Shouldn’t I be healed by now—body and soul, mind and heart? …And I immediately know I am healed. I’ve been healed for some time now. I just haven’t lived like I am. Like a cripple with her crutch, afraid to let go even though she is mended and whole again, I keep hobbling along.
As the year is winding toward its end, I smile with satisfaction at the pile of junk I’ve heaped up: obstacles in my life that I have been steadily removing, month by month, week by week, day by day. I am discovering that it is actually true that our success and happiness really are a result of our attitude—how we think and therefore what we believe—even if unconsciously.
In need of more cash flow, this week I started a little side job caring for two young children two days a week: a 12 month old toddler and his four year old sister. Five hours into day one and I ran face first into yet another “brick wall” I built once upon a time. My Ego took center stage decked out in old habits of thought, old and crusty anger, and a whole lot of attitude about what is and is not important to be spending one’s time doing. True to my prophetic birthday song, I could see clearly the obstacles in my way. I just had to be willing to remove them.
During Day Two I asked myself a different set of questions than I’d been asking myself the previous day. Whereas those questions had primarily to do with “What the hell am I doing here?”, on the second day I asked: “Would you look at this little boy and see his innocent, pure spirit shining through his blue eyes? Would you allow yourself to consider who the Soul so recently incarnated into this sturdy little body might be? Might it be a privilege, rather than demeaning to your education and “status” to invest some of your life into these two little ones? When his angry wails pierce your sensibilities like someone running their nails down a chalkboard…can you see in him your own raging tantrums when you, like he, feel powerless to make Life give you what you want?”
Following him at a snails pace down the front sidewalk while he investigated twigs and maple leaves and bugs, I wondered if those Beings who have chosen to serve humans by guiding and protecting us—Beings of much greater evolvement, intelligence and ability—look at us like babies; helpless, ignorant, demanding, needy babies. Do they ever feel completely exasperated as we flail and scream and demand what we can’t have? Do they ever tear their hair out when we make yet another mess in the world? Are they ever totally bored with us? Do they…no, they don’t. I doubt it. For the very fact that they are more highly evolved, living at higher frequencies of Light (information), Love and Joy. We might in some ways be like babies to them, but if so, I’ll bet they are devoted to us.
As I pursued these thoughts, I felt everything shift. No longer angry and resentful of having to take this job, I felt gratitude and with that came ideas for all the things I could do and give. I went home with my heart filled with peace, and the faces of my new teachers, a smiling, dimpled baby and a little elfin girl filling my thoughts. Another obstacle removed.