I realize that I have not been writing as much lately as I have in the past. However, after the last few weeks and after a few events today that I witnessed as well as one of those connections or moments I write of so often, I think I need to begin getting back to myself.
I will not go into long details about the events over the last months or really the events of today in much detail. What I want to do is to remind each of you, myself included, that it is not life or the events that occur in them that knock us in the dirt. What knocks us down from time to time is ourselves.
When we give up and give control of ourselves to external events, people, negative thoughts or fears, we become what others see or want us to be or not be. We are no longer ourselves. We lose who we are and can be and become lost. We lose our ability to be content. We lose our ability to continue moving in the direction that we want to go.
Today, I witnessed how criticism given by demeaning another can change a life in the blink of an eye. I witnessed heartbreak and a dream and a sense of pride vanish before my eyes. All I could do was listen and console. I gave some advice the best I could and prayed with them.
Later in the day as I was on my break a woman was walking by on her phone crying and somewhat arguing with the person on the other end. She asked me if she could have a cigarette, no I have not quit yet. I gave her one as she sat down crying she asked how my day was going. I said, “Apparently a lot better than yours is”. That began a 5-minute conversation that changed her from hopeless, angry, and confused to walking away with a smile and a new goal for her day, to be content.
Long story short, her husband had cheated on her and began using her daughter as a tool to hurt her and mind you, the daughter was only 3. . Her daughter is mad at her. I reminded her that kids get past it and what he does he does, not her as a mother. All she can do is do what she has to do for herself and her daughter but I wanted her to understand one thing above all else. I wanted her to understand that how she feels is up to her and no other thing or person. Get pissed, get angry and then get gone.
I wanted her to understand that there is good in all things even during the darkest of times so I asked her what was good today. She sat and thought for a second and said that she was back home and that felt good. At that moment, she realized she let the good go. She then told me that she was going back to school and had 3 months left. A smile was now upon her face.
After her story, I asked her to look out across the parking lot into a wooded field and tell me what she saw and what she felt. Again, the smile returned and she said, “LIFE”. In something as simple as a patch of nature, she saw life and the contentment that she had allowed to be taken from her.
Before she left I told her that many times in life we have to slow down or maybe even stop for a bit to get to that place the we want to be. If you think about it that is a true statement. We always go, go, respond, and never just are. We have lost our contentment.
So, tonight I ask each of you to think about this tonight, what is your peace and contentment? Do you remember where you want to be? If not then maybe it’s time to slow down and just be to get to where it is you need to be.
When you find your contentment, you have once again embraced a sense of satisfaction. You again see the cup half full as well as the bounty and the beauty that surrounds each of us if we just slow down a look. You can again take pleasure in what you have and who you are and not what others say you are. You become free.
All of this comes from within each of us and we are the richest when we find contentment even in the worst of times for there is always good if we slow down and look. Our contentment is directly related to your gratitude and your wonder. I challenge each of you to slow down the next few days or weeks and discover who you are once again. I know that I am.
Sleep well my friends and I pray that my words may have made a difference to you this night. May God be with each of you and bless each of you and all of those to whom you are or will ever be connected to.