When everything is stripped away….When all you are left with is the bones of your life….will that be enough?
Does what you do and have define who you are?
It seems we live in a time where a lot of emphasis is placed on where we live and what we have. Lifestyle dictates success. We work to enable the accumulation of things. We allow our sense of self to be in the accolades these things bring us from friends, family and peers. But does this bring us Joy?
Don’t get me wrong I like my stuff as much as the next person but recently I have felt called to contemplate this. I am out of my house. My home and all the things in it have been uprooted and changed for earthquake repairs and renovations. There has been a lot of decisions and even more delays.
I have felt pain and frustration. The pain of change. My house, my home I shared with Ande will not be the same after this. I have come to realize how much your environment can become the fabric of your relationship. There is a grieving in the choice of a new carpet and new colours for the wall. There is also the missing of his practical attitude and problem solving mind when I am facing so many choices alone. I have found the many delays intensely frustrating and have come to acknowledge I have an internal dialogue around what I can and cant do when I am out of my house. It has raised for me the question of why cant ? Why cant I create routines that aren’t reliant on living in the one environment? Why cant I authentically be myself when I am essentially homeless? Does who I am cease to exist if I am not living in my house?
When I really examine my life and what in it has bought me the most Joy. Its not houses or stuff. Its people, my lovely late husband, friends old and new who have been there. My family, small neices and nephews. Its experiences, places visited and fun had, cooking, creating and writing, Its also the simple things, rainbows, roses, growing things, small furry pets and did I mention Rainbows!
So as I make peace with the time it will take for my home to be renewed I am beginning to feel grateful for the chance to Re- create this home not as a place that defines me but as a vessel that will hold the joy that life brings.
Recently I had a knock at the door from a religious group. They wanted to leave some material and ask me one question. “When will there be an end to suffering?”
For me this question in itself aroused my curiosity. You see I don’t believe that I have any suffering that needs to end. Dont get me wrong my life to date hasn’t been a walk in the park. I have experienced loss just as many others have. Most significantly the devastating loss of my beloved husband 18 months ago.
While I’m not so naive that I don’t realise there are millions of people in the world who are affected by horrible circumstances, and have endured terrible tragedies, whose very existence hangs on a knife-edge. I am not without compassion for them. I do wonder though if they see their circumstances as suffering that will or will not end? Only they can answer that question. I suspect they often feel powerless to change the circumstances they are in. I imagine though that to continue to live through such devastation they must believe in something better, something greater or surely they would choose to end life right here and now.
For me life is not something to be endured no matter how difficult it becomes. Life is for living. I firmly believe myself to have been blessed to experience real love. Would I have known this love if I did not also know the depths of my own grief and sadness?
What this has really ignited in me is a need to examine more closely my experience and how I am living my life. Am I in boots and all or am I a simple spectator to what happens in front of me,
If I am not suffering or waiting for suffering to end then what am I doing? My own experience has shown me how very precious this one life is. How do I honor the memory of my loved ones whose lives have ended to soon,
I am challenged by the awareness that my life as it is can only be described as vanilla. Perfectly acceptable but very plain, I do not allow myself to fully explore my joy to be effervescent to be blow away by my experience. I hate to admit that I keep myself small and safe and that this is no longer enough for me.
So this blog is the beginning of choosing a new and different experience. To celebrate the beauty of my life completely, To find my Joybug!