Feeling unease as I type that title because it seems so...irreverent.
Someone told me that once, that "being bummed out is spitting in the eye of God."
Somewhere else I read, 'if there is only one prayer you say let it be
"thank you." '
In a lot of ways I think I've been too afraid that any good things I've been given will be taken away to really experience gratitude. Hence my remark below; my fear that this marvellous good fortune in the form of a teacher who is willing to work respectfully with Scott was too good to be true. In a sense that was a sort of refusal to be grateful. Especially when considering how elegantly it was brought about.
I've been feeling a lot of dismay at the array of seemingly incompatible choices floating along with me and narrowing down to a decision point. Cringing away from what seemed inevitable: choosing one option had to be at the loss of the cherished goals of another.
Last week I saw Sharon and expressed my fear that I would be forced to choose soon and someone's needs were going to be sacrificed. It's interesting how sometimes I don't get the gift of that deep sense of Presence that I crave while in session with her, but in the week following when I consider what was said. I felt rather dissatisfied as I left, except for one thing she had said: to keep my focus on the outcome. "This (meaning my situation) will move, and you want to stay focused on what your life will be like afterward. You know you want to end up at a place where Scott's needs are being met, and you are doing work that includes and reflects the lifelong work you've done on yourself, a setting that supports this. A stable and peaceful atmosphere for your sons' backdrop. That's what you want as outcome, and you just have to trust that things will arrange themselves in order to provide it."
What was interesting was that in considering my situation from that perspective, immediately there was a drop in anxiety about the conflicts among the various needs. The very next day was when I went to the charter school to meet the teacher and see how he runs his classroom. The day after that was when I took Scott and witnessed the miraculous production of the sailboats.
Those boats have been a metaphor for me of just what Sharon said, keeping focused on the desired end. There were so many side dramas going on that I'd believed it was impossible that they could do it. Yet somehow all those eddies and crosscurrents were included and swept along in the process and at the end were these boats.
This morning on the NPR webpage I was intrigued by the title: "The Universe Is Conspiring to Help Us" by Kevin Kelly, co-launcher of Wired magazine, and editor/publisher of the Whole Earth Review. It is the title of an essay that was submitted to "This I Believe", the series where listeners are invited to share the beliefs they cherish. (I'm new to blogging, and I'm not sure if I can quote passages from it. However, it is in the public domain, and I've given due credit, so I believe I'll chance it.) He describes the reciprocal relationship between the giver of a kindness, and the receiver (the Kindee):
...the stance of receiving a gift – of being kinded — is vital for everyone, not just travelers. Many people resist being kinded unless they are in dire need, or life-threatened. Since I have had so much practice as a kindee, I have some pointers on how it is unleashed.
...I believe the generous gifts from strangers are actually summoned by a deliberate willingness to be helped. You start by surrendering to your need for help. That we cannot be helped until we embrace our need for help is a law of the universe. ...It's a move from whether we will be helped to how: how will the miracle unfold today? In what novel manner will Good reveal itself? Who will the universe send today to carry away my gift of trust and helplessness?
...The eternal surprise is being funneled to us daily, hourly, minute by minute, every second. Yet, we are terrible recipients. We are no good at being helpless, humble, or indebted. Being needy is not celebrated on day-time TV shows, or in self-help books. We make lousy kindees.
...I've slowly changed my mind about spiritual faith. I once thought it was chiefly about believing in an unmeasurable reality; that it had a lot in common with hope. But after many years of examining the lives of the people whose spiritual character I most respect, I've come to see that their faith rests on gratitude, rather than hope. They exude a sense of being indebted, and a state of being thankful. When the truly faithful worry, it's not about doubt (which they have) but it's about how they might not maximize the tremendous gift given them. How they might be ungrateful. (Bold text mine)
Go here to read the essay in full: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=18463814
This was a good time for me to read this.