Monday, July 16, 2018

I Know Why I'm Here, Do You?

Last week I shared with you that I had finally figured out why I am here and how I am to be changed by my brush with death in April.  I promised to share that answer with you this week.  As I do, please keep in mind that this answer is tailored for me.  Each of our answers to this same question might be different, just as we are all different and unique.  I am simply sharing with you my friends, in hopes of inspiring you to find your own answers to these questions:

"Why am I here?" 
"How should my life be different going forward?"

As I told you in my last blog, my answer came suddenly and unexpectedly after weeks of searching and asking.  I will tell you up front that my answer is not an all-inclusive map for the rest of my life, simply an answer at the moment of what I need to do, and how to spend my energy.   And so I share what is deep in my heart.  Here goes:

I am still here because......God wants me to learn more, grow more, teach more, be a light to others, be a help to others.  Basically be a drop in the bucket to make the world a better place.

How am I to be different because of my experience? Perhaps I can answer this best by describing my perspective shift.  I used to get up in the morning with a list of things I needed to do that day.  Then I would pray and ask God what did he want me to do that day?  It was my day, but I was willing to do something for God during it. I would add it to my list, and work to accomplish everything on my list for that day.  I almost never got it all done, and sometimes the thing I felt prompted about didn't happen either.

Now I get up in the morning and realize it is a gift just to be here and alive, a gift God did not have to give me.  My day is His, not my own.  I pray and ask Him how He would like me to use the gift he has given me today.  I listen closely and intently for direction.  I write it down.  I make it my top priority, even if it is something that will be done later in the day.  It is my main objective.  I then fill in with the everyday things that we all do to keep life moving along. 

In the past my day used to be about accomplishing tasks.  Now my day is about doing whatever God prompts me to do, and it is so much more meaningful. Contrast this last Monday for example.  What felt meaningful to do was take my son to lunch, spend time listening to another child, and get direction about what to teach at a rehab center.  Contrast that with times past where my main goals for a Monday would have been to do laundry, mow the lawn, and figure out meals for the week.  What is more meaningful at the end of the day?  I want no regrets.  Do I still have to do laundry, mow, and figure out menus?  Of course!  But they are not the focus of my day that gives my life meaning.  Building relationships, meeting needs, being a light to whomever I can - these are the new focus of my day that gives my life meaning.

If you are asking yourself these same questions, and looking for meaning in your life - spend some time looking for the answers.  Sometimes it takes a while to get them, but be persistent.  You don't need to almost lose your life to wake up and do something more meaningful.  Learn from my experience and find that greater joy now.  The answers are inside of you.  Like I shared last week, you can coax them out, you just have to want it bad enough to spend the energy hunting.

Monday, July 9, 2018

How Answers Come

Answers to questions we are searching for in our lives come in many different forms and in a variety of timetables.  Some answers come through meditation and pondering, some through research, some through prayer, or a combination of these.  Sometimes answers come quickly.  Others take years.

Since my carbon monoxide accident in April I have been searching for the answer to the question of "why am I still here?".  I wrote in one of my recent blogs that "All the thoughts and emotions inside of me are like a large pile of tangled yarn in front of me that I feel compelled to unravel, as though I can't really do anything else until that is sorted out."  In my mind I have been trying to untangle this pile of yarn that is  my life for the past nine weeks.  I have been trying to figure out how my life is to be different because of this experience, for truly all experiences change us in one way or the other.  As I was walking with a friend on Friday we were talking about my experience.  She asked me if I had figured out why I am still here and how I am changed.  As I began to talk, the answer came to me.  So strange!  Would you believe that I did not know the answer until I said it?  I have been pondering on this for weeks, and suddenly, in the moment, the answer comes.  It was as though my brain had the answer all along, but didn't reveal it until I opened my mouth and let it out.  In an instant what my subconscious brain knew became public knowledge to my consciousness!  I have had this happen before, but not in such a dramatic way.

You have probably heard the idea that all the answers to everything we ever need are within us.  This thought is taught by many of the great thinkers of our time, as well as times past.  I believe it, and yet I had not experienced it, at least not in such a stark way.  Life coaches and therapists are excellent examples of this theory.  They listen to their clients, and ask questions, but do not provide solutions or answers.  They help their clients coach the answers out from inside themselves.  How is this possible?  I don't know.  I just know that it is.   Meditation and pondering, and prayer to a higher power are major ways to coach answers from inside us to become public to our own consciousness.  Talking through the dilemmas and questions in our lives is another way.

What questions are you seeking in your life right now?  Do you believe the answer lies within you, or that your higher power will lead you to it?  There is no need to trust me or anyone else, but simply put it to the test.  Try one of the following:

-Pray and ask for direction, then be quiet and listen not with your ears but with your heart and soul.  Keep a paper and pen close by to write down any thoughts that come.

-Meditate.  This may involve a prayer to start it, then sitting in a relaxed position with eyes closed and mind clear of all but the question.  Keep a paper and pen close by to write down any thoughts that come.

-Pondering.  Pondering is different than meditating in that instead of clearing your mind except for a single thought you are actively thinking about your question and possible solutions, like trying to solve a puzzle.  Keep a paper and pen close by to write down any thought that come.

 - Talking it out.  This can be with another person, or even just with yourself.  I have a friend who literally thinks out loud, often as she is walking around outside her house.  This does not look as strange as it used to since blue tooth earpieces have been invented, lol!  She is actually able to get a lot of clarity and direction by talking out loud.  If you know someone who is a good listener, spending time talking with them can be a great way to find answers.  Keep a paper and pen close by to write down any thoughts that come.

Whatever way you choose to search for answers to your question, know that given time and patience,  answers will come.  They may come by inspiration, pondering, meditating or talking, but they will come.  You just have to be willing to hunt for them.

p.s.  Stay tuned for my next blog to find out WHY I am still here and HOW my life is to be different.