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Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Out of the Chrysalis - A Day To Be Grateful

Today is my 58th birthday, a day I feared I would not see.

This time last year I was in the midst of a frightening search for the cause of my illness. I knew I had cancer and my doctors suspected I had cancer but no one knew where and all tests had proved elusive.

This time 6 months ago, I left hospital following an 8 hour plus surgery to remove my left kidney and the tumour that stretched all the way into my heart.

It is strange the difference a year or six months or six days or six hours or six minutes can make. Miracles can blossom in those time scales. Life may be taken away or life may be granted. Time is precious but it is unpredictable.

Today I celebrated my birthday with my husband and son, amidst the greetings, gifts and blessings of family and friends across the world. 

Today I drank champagne and ate hand made chocolates, Today I lifted my glass and my heart to all those who made it possible for me to be here today. I have always spoken of gratitude but never have I truly experienced so profoundly how much I have to be thankful for.

Today I watched the woodpeckers hanging from the seed filled coconut, feeding in preparation for bringing new life into this world. I rejoiced at their return to our garden, allowed peace and gratitude to fill my soul for being here to see them once again, for the hope that they will bring their young to feed later this season as they did last year.

There are patterns in our life, so beloved, so fragile. Patterns, rituals, daily occurrences that we take for granted until suddenly they are almost gone forever. There is beauty all around us that we have become blind too, goodness that we do not stop to appreciate, joy bubbling up that we push back down with all the daily concerns of our lives. We fill ourselves up with fearful "what ifs" instead of allowing "what is".

"What if" may never happen and you will not make it any less likely too by worrying about it. By all means deal with it rationally, do what you can to prevent it but do not allow a shadow that may be without substance to cloud the light of the now.

Now is all we  have. Everything else is the past or a future that may or may not be. I chose to be fully present in the now, to experience it in all its joys and sorrows. It is but a moment and it will pass. There is no guarantee of the next or the next or the next.

Now is all we have. Live it.

Now is all we have. Love it.

Now is all we have.

Now is enough.

Maria Stepek Doherty

So what is weighing you down today?

What can be jettisoned from this moment's thoughts to lift you up again?

What if  the "what if"  never happened? Will you look back and regret destroying your happiness in the now with what never came?

What if it already has? Does it help to wallow in it or could you raise your eyes for a moment, breathe deeply and look at the beauty around and within you.

So when those thoughts come out of the darkness, take your cosmic bat and whack them out of this ball park into oblivion. It is what I do with mine. Try it.

Yesterday is history.  Tomorrow is a mystery.  And today?  Today is a gift.  That's why we call it the present.  ~Babatunde Olatunji

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