In celebration of the past---I am who I am largely due to my past. OH--SURE--there are some genetic factors which contribute --but life and how it has played out are a big determining factor of the person I am today. So what has the past taught me--
To cry with ease--
My heart was hardened and I did not allow myself to cry for much of my life---a learned lesson in restraint from long ago. I sucked it up and suffered in dignified silence. Only sheer exhaustion or desperation would set those dammed up tears free. God allowed me to suffer then--and I suffered more anguish--more heart break than I ever imagined possible. And the dam broke and the tears were set free. It was a good thing to learn to cry--to learn to release those tears. Today I cry when you cry---I understand your pain---and I cry in empathy with your grief. And I cry when I am happy---great tears of joy. And the best thing about all these tears---God knows---and He counts each and every tear in sorrow and glee---He holds them all.
To laugh often and with joy--
I learned an important lesson from a dear friend who laughs with such freedom and glee that the entire room around her will turn to see who is having such fun. I look for laughter each and every day. There is so much to laugh about when you purposefully begin to seek the good in each day. And when the laughter comes---I release the brakes and fall down the hill of mirth---in total abandonment to the joy of the moment. We are instructed in Proverbs that laughter is good medicine for the heart--and I take at least one good dose each and every day.
To quit staring at my navel--
I finally learned to quit worrying about me and look up and out and discover the world around me. The secret to happiness in life--serving others. I am my most discontent, most miserable, most unhappy when I begin to think about how unfair life can be and what I think would make me happy. What makes me really happy---making others happy--and that will not happen as long as I am staring in the mirror of discontent.
To be open to adventure and spontaneity--
The fun I have missed in the past by being cautious and giving in to the what if's. AND the fun I have had the past few years by saying, "YES!"
And finally to love many and love them dearly and deeply
Bottom line---the only thing which truly has eternal consequences comes from our love. In the final day---who will care if you have gone? Relationships are what it is all about! God has lavished me with a wonderful family and more friends than I can count. What a blessing and how I respond to that blessing--how I treat those He has placed in my life is the determining factor to how deep our relationship will be. Give of yourself---love them dearly and deeply--and find contentment.
I have learned much from my past---but the most important lesson---is GOD! Who has been faithful---who has provided---who has been my comforter---who has stood by my side---who is the alpha and omega of all I need---God. God is always the answer---He was in my past--He is in my today---and He will be in the future. GOD has been my teacher--and the One who hold my future in His hands---God!