Thursday, November 28, 2013
Bless This Mess
This is my first Thanksgiving with my family in China. It feels a bit odd, diffuse and awkward.The kids had school and Stephen had work, we have no extended family to feast with and, given the time difference, Thanksgiving here will have nearly come and gone before it starts for my family and friends back in the USA.
It is a bit lonely and making my heart a bit achy. I have been feeling that kind of ache and pain for awhile now. Life has been throwing some major curve balls at me and my family, everything from head lice to bullying, missing homework and academic struggles, to witnessing oppression, dealing with culture shock, working in an unsupportive and challenging teaching environment, language barriers and sensory overload. This is aside from the normal adjustments and challenges of moving which are always hard for me, a socially awkward and extremely sensitive type, trying to find friends, places of belonging and a system of support.
All of this brings me to write about what seems to be my theme of the year (or my life), struggle.
I might sound whiny, but hey, I feel like after all this I am allowed. I am allowed to be honest and open, to be vulnerable and share what is on my doorstep and in my heart.
There it is, despite all this I can keep coming back to my doorstep, the experience of what is showing up in this moment right in front of me and then also what is steady and true in my heart.
All these experiences of struggle and turmoil are helping me grow, making me stronger, cracking me open. I feel such deep compassion along with my frustrations. I have been fierce at times and in that warrior stance sometimes skillful and sometimes not. I have been angry and deeply loving. I am growing and in growth there are often growing pains.
For all this amazing, chaotic, soul shaking, heart breaking, emptying out and filling up, in my face and piercing my soul experience I give thanks. I am always blessed, as we all are, by a birthright of breath. No matter what a person's circumstance might be, we all live in this family of breath, this kinship of experience. In this moment of loneliness I feel immense joy and gratitude as I think how every person on this earth is breathing with me now. I am held in every moment by an ocean of infinite breath, by the beating of billions of drumming hearts. We are all in the dance, beautiful, messy and painful. Together.
I give thanks on this day and every day for the miracle of life and love, from China to the USA to Australia and all the places where I have friends and family, as well as all the places where I know no one as of yet. We are all one family of the human spirit. May we all serve to uplift each other, understand one another, and when we lose our way may we light lanterns of forgiveness and compassion for one another.
Bless this beautiful mess! All love and Happy Thanksgiving!