...nor is it really about learning not to want.
Our dreams and desires have the power to move us forward…but sometimes we must be willing to let go of the originally hoped-for destination.
We should not only be aware of the doors that open along the way…but also appreciate the value of the ones that shut.
Having experienced the loss of a child, divorce, the death of a parent, cancer, the passing of friends, not to mention the infinite "minor" stumbles along the way...I have learned that gifts lie beneath the pain, if you are willing to look for them. Every tear shed has been a drop of moisture to the soil of my soul…and the ever-present laughter is the sunshine.
Several years ago I'd saved enough for a substantial down payment and was actively looking for a house to buy. Then I was diagnosed with cancer. Being uninsured meant that all the money I had saved for a downpayment on a house would disappear like a puff of smoke into stacks of hospital bills.
For the first time, I really cried over the cancer thing…and, as I did with the horses of my childhood and youth, I hugged my ponies until the tears stopped.
Then, with a deep breath or two, I let go of that dream house and remembered all I had to be grateful for (including the horses whose coats I'd just cried into).
A few weeks later I was surfing craigslist and found a post advertising a little schoolhouse for rent. Long story short: my new home is better than anything I could have dreamed of…
How do we learn to appreciate the gifts that may come wrapped within our tragedies and disappointments without having to find them in hindsight (if ever)?
How do we learn to appreciate the gift of every moment and every single breath we take?
Five years ago I woke from surgery less curvy, free of cancer and soon to be bereft of savings.
Today my life is full of family and friends that I cherish, work that I love, pets that make me laugh, ponies that carry my dreams, a view that astonishes me every day, a home that I adore and life…precious life.
The hopes/dreams/loves that have been left behind are as much a part of who I am as the ones realized and yet to be.
No doubt, more heartbreak lies ahead….but I will never stop hoping/dreaming/loving.