I am Carried on Wings Every Day
It has been a rough week. Christmas is a tough time for a lot of people. People are alone, they are hungry, in pain or frightened at every time of year. But it seems that when the cold winter winds are blowing, if we are standing outside looking in, looking in through cold glass windows (whether they are real windows or the virtual windows of our television set) to scenes of warm winter cheer — families celebrating their bountiful love, bountiful gifts and bountiful numbers — looking in like Scrooge on a journey with a ghost, it seems then that the pain in our lives is felt deeper and is made more prominent and sits in the center of our focus.
I know it to be so. You know it to be so.
But I am convinced that it is during those painful times that we can learn the most about the value of the lives that we have been given and the gifts that we hold.
I know the idea seems silly to even contemplate, but I think that when the pain hits us, we need to turn into it. We need to turn into it like we need to turn the wheels of our car into the skid when we slip on the ice.
It seems that it is the very opposite of what we should do. It seems we should avoid the pain, go around the pain, push the pain down and distract ourselves from the pain. But we need to feel the pain.
“Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.” –Someone Once Said
Pain is good. That pain that you feel when you have stood too long or walked too far, that pain tells you to sit down. Stop what you are doing. Sit down. Take a moment. Care for yourself.
“Take care of yourself — you never know when the world will need you.” –Rabbi Hillel
The reason I am alone today is because I have failed to take care of myself.
Oh, I know, it looks like I’ve taken care of myself. I’ve done what I thought I wanted to do, I’ve had things I thought I wanted to have and I’ve been a person I thought I wanted to be. But I missed the mark entirely.
I am not where or who or what I needed to be. And without the pain that I received as a hammer to the head blow, the pain that sat me down and forced me to examine my path. The pain of the arrow to the heart, the pain-filled words from a pain-filled man who loves himself even less than he loved me. Without that pain I would have continued to limp through life, broken and numb.
My life hurts a little more, sometimes a lot more, than it used to. But my life also has higher highs than it did before. I am carried on wings. Every day I am carried by wings that are not my own.
My Anne inspired me this morning. She said:
“… And listen, until a few years ago I always woke up alone on Christmas. You will find your way again to joy at the holidays, without or without that someone. It’s about what’s in your heart, and your heart is plenty capable of singing solo. Just had to say. And I love you. Big time.”
Anne, that is so very beautiful, I can’t tell you what those words mean to me … though I suspect you know.
I have so many angels around me, flapping their wings, fueling the fires of love with their words and easing the pain of my loneliness with their presence. (And now that I have said that, I doubt I’ll ever forget to think of my “angels” when I feed my birds and I hear that “thup-thup-thup-thup-thup-thup” of their wings as they fly in to enjoy my offerings to their beauty.)
My Dana and her Dr. M., the Karens and the Cindys. Jayne, Patricia, Bobbi, Heather, Diane (O Diane!!!), Robin, Suzan, Carol and Claudia. Bev, MaryBeth, Janet and Bonnie Jean. All of the Nancys, every one of them (yeah, even my MOM, most especially my mom, and even the mean one). And Pat! I almost forgot Pat! Oh my, Cathy and Laura too! (If your name isn’t up here, it’s because my brain is frozen along with my toes, follow this link to find out why.)
And, most of all, my blessed Santa Marie with her “Merry Kimmas!” and her constancy, patience and love.
You are angels, every one of you. Never forget that. Never.
And take care of yourselves, cuz you never know when I, I mean, when
the world might need you.