This year the Universe scooped up two huge handfuls of mud and buried me in it.
I was stunned! I didn’t have any warning. First I’m shocked and scared. How do I get out of this? I can’t breathe with this gunk on top of me. Then I panic, I need to get out of here, I need to dig my way out of this as fast as I can and take a shower and pretend this never happened. And all this time Universe is sitting back watching me, giggling at my futile attempts to free myself of this mess.
Now I’m getting pissed, “What the hell, Universe?! I haven’t done anything to deserve this! I’m a good person, I make good decisions! This isn’t fair!” Then Universe says, in his most serious of voices, “but Jacqueline, haven’t you figured it out by now? I’m not fair?”
That’s when I had one of those “ah-ha” moments that all the celebrities talk about. My “ah-ha” didn’t come while I was feeding starving children in Africa, it didn’t come while I was on a mission trip to Haiti. It came to me on an ordinary night in November, 7 months after my dad’s untimely death. I was lying on my bed, staring at the ceiling, conversing with Universe. I kept asking him ‘why’.
***Note: this part of my writing details a tiny pity party, but it doesn’t last long, so keep reading.**
Why have I had to struggle my entire life? I’ve put up with terrible asthma and eczema since birth. I’ve had virtually no relief from discomfort since then. I’ve been diagnosed with MS, my husband divorced me because of it. I live paycheck to paycheck in order to pay an exorbitant amount of money on prescriptions every month. I’m continuously paying off medical bills, and now, on top of all this you have taken my dad away from me?! Can’t I catch a break? I thought maybe if I pleaded my case, Universe would take heart and reveal to me an answer. Instead Universe said “because this is the way it is meant to be”. And that was that.
I closed my eyes. I took that answer and rolled it around in my brain. I made its hard edges soft with pondering. It became malleable and I held it in my hands. What I saw there was peace. This was the first time I had truly felt serene about where I was in my life and the circumstances surrounding it. I clung that moment like a warm embrace. I could see my concerns and sadness whirling around me. I also saw happiness and contentment. These feelings and experiences make me whole. I pictured myself as earth, this little ball of mass, which without lightness and darkness, without water and air, would cease to prosper.
And so is my being. Without trials and tribulation without success and prosperity, one’s life cannot be complete. The Universe showed me in order to appreciate the goodness in my life I had to see bad times as well. And in order to experience those bad times, I had to see goodness. I started to understand the necessity of life balance. I must work as hard as I play. I must appreciate the love in my life as well as the dislike. I have to embrace chaos and balance it with serenity.
To some this might seem like a hippy dippy sort of approach to life, but this isn’t about being one with earth and nature. It isn’t about meditating or chanting or even praying. This is about appreciating life in its entirety.
I’m welcoming 2012. I’m looking forward to what it holds for me, both good and bad. I’m excited to watch myself become the person I am meant to be.
Happy New Year!