Who Are You?

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I am always amazed when I meet someone new. I love connecting with people and rediscovering the dying art of communication. Interacting with others and sharing a part of my soul with someone, feels like what I am meant to do. If I can touch one life or bring light to a heart thats been trapped in the dark, then I have served my purpose well.

What am I really here for? I have contemplated that question time and time again. There is a quote that has really challenged me to find purpose in my life beyond the superficial things that determine someone’s importance. We are so much more than the clothes that we wear. We are not any more or less if we drive a BMW or a beat up Chevrolet. We are more than our job, the amount of money we make and who others think we are. Whether we live in as mansion or a trailer, we all have unlimited value. We are a walking miracle so blessed to have this journey with so many other miracles all around us. Ask yourself, am I open to miracles? Do I allow life to flow through my veins or do I spend time making mental lists of all the reasons I hate my life? Am I allowing love or witholding it? I am often amazed at the one question that always comes up when I meet somebody new. Can you take a guess what it is? Think about something you would ask at the start of a new friendship or even with a stranger that you meet by chance.

What do you do for work? What do you do?

It’s like a blow to my heart every, single time. It is a reminder that we are more concerned with what someone is rather than who someone is. I never quite know how to answer that question. I wear my heart on my sleeve and I do my best to spread kindness and love. I am a keeper of peace, a gentle soul with a sensitive mind. I feel deeply and I hope to inspire everyone I meet even in the smallest way. My job, my purpose is to be who I am and to walk each step robed in gratitude. Everything I do, everyone I meet serves a purpose beyond what I’ll even know. I am a writer, a wife, a nurse, a daughter, a mother but those things are not me. They are not who I am but different hats that I take on and off to fit into the mold of how society needs to label me. I am nameless, undefinable but if you look at me close you will recognize me. I am you and you are me and no word is worthy of the enormity of what that means. We are losing that connection because we become the labels that place us in into little piles where we sit in the same room together but we never seem to dance. People decide who we are and that’s who we think we are. Yet, it is not true. It is purely what we are. We are confusing the two. We just stay put in our neat little box with our label marked in permanent marker. It’s safe there. 

We are beyond the color of our eyes or the color of our skin, where we work, what kind of grades we got in school but we can find each other if we notice that little light that shines from our eyes. When we connect with our eyes, we are one. That is where we will discover there is so much depth beyond the surface. That is when we realize that what we are is the part everyone sees. It’s like wrapping paper but inside that packaging is something so beautiful, so amazing and perfectly hidden. No human being can ever really know that part of you. You may not even know that part of you if you have stopped connecting with that part of you. The wrapping is obvious but perceived differently by every one of us. It’s pretty, tall, motivated, angry, compassion, love, hatred. Wrapping can make someone appealing or it can make someone ordinary. What’s inside though is none of those things. Even though we have come to believe it is. We are all extraordinary beyond the wrapping.

Next time someone asks you what you do, smile and say I do love. What do you do?

We are not human beings having a spiritual experience. We are spiritual beings having a human experience.~Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Words That Caught My Attention

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As I was walking out of Starbucks yesterday, I happened to hear part of a conversation between an older woman and a college age girl. The woman was encouraging the girl NOT to stay home and raise her kids, but to get out in the world and do something exciting. Part of me felt compelled to stop and give her a snippet of advice of my own. I kept walking but thought to myself as I struggled to find the keys to my car. There was never a more miraculous moment in my life as when I held the two lives I helped create in my arms for the first time. I have been proud and honored to be able to stay home and be there for my kids through every stage. Their first steps, their first words, their first broken bone, their first broken heart. Sure, it is not the most glamorous job. It does not bring me fortune or fame and the pay just doesn’t exist. But, to be fully present, to offer my kids my time and attention and a friendly face each day they get home is important to me. I do have an important job to mold, nurture, guide and mentor the two most precious people to me in this great big world. So what would I have said to that young girl? Being a mom is one of the greatest and most important jobs I have ever had. Time goes by in a flash. Eventually, my kids will be grown and gone and then I will still have plenty of time for a career. Not everyone is able to be at home but I am blessed to have had the opportunity. As for the pay? The moments, the memories and precious time I was able to spend with my kids while the world pulls me away in so many different directions is payment enough. Why are we here in the first place? Is it to have a fancy job and make it to the finish line with the most money or is it maybe to love and move through this life as if it were an adventure, a beautiful dance to express each moment and to pause for a while in a pose that simply just feels good. I don’t have those answers, but for me the journey has been amazing. My job is sometimes thankless and goes unnoticed but I wouldn’t trade a single day for the greatest job opportunity in the world. Hmmmmm…..maybe I already have it.

Dating While Married?

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Do we become the rolls so we generously take on? Married couples are busy people. They constantly have other things pulling at their attention and driving them further and further apart. There days we can take work home thanks to the lovely creation of technology. We can sit down right at the dinner table and check email as we slurp down our spaghetti.

She is the one who washes the clothes and cleans the house and he is the one who changes the kitty litter and balances the chemicals in the pool. She is the one who keeps track of the kids schedule and drives them around and he is the one who goes to work and pays the bills. We do become our rolls but it is important to remember the rolls we came into our relationship with in the first place. Before parents and workers, we are husband and wife. Somewhere along the way we forget, or we push it aside quietly while we take care of those things we have to do. We forget how to be that young couple who used to date and stare into each other’s eyes for hours. We have become used to yelling to each other as we hurry pass one another in the hall on our way to grab little Joey from baseball practice and clear the dishes from the table. We forget what it feels like to be a man and a woman truly in a relationship and not just going through the motions without the emotions. So many things take up our time and attention, that at the end of the day, we just don’t have anything left.

Last night my husband and I went on a date. It was a wonderful. We sat on the outdoor patio that overlooks the city. We took our time. We talked. We put our cell phones away. It is so important to work just as hard at a marriage as we work at everything else. We must take an honest look at how we spend our time and seriously ask ourselves if we put at least as much time into our partner as we do everything else. If we are being truthful, I think most of us would admit that is the one area we let our time slip. Sometimes we want to float alone in the pool or read a book or watch a game and drink a beer so what is it we sacrifice during that time? We just can’t do those things at work or while driving kids around so how then do we balance all the things we have to do, the personal things we want to do and still have time and attention left over for our spouse?

It’s really an odd dilemma. Wearing so many hats yet forgetting how to be that shy, excited girl who used to date. It’s also important to realize that if you don’t find some way to remind each other that you are a romantic couple then he will only be the guy who changes the oil and the kitty litter and you will be the one who vacuums and drives everyone around. What kind of marriage is that? Not a very romantic one! So, go out on a date. Remind each other what made you fall in love in the first place or at least to agree to that second date. Change it up. Break out of routine and don’t forget one of the most important responsibilities you have, keeping your marriage alive. In a world where divorce is sadly such a common circumstance, be the one who makes sure your marriage stays alive. Alive is the key word here. No more going through the motions. Be spontaneous, be fun and be the person your spouse married in the first place…..all those years ago.