Day 164 - Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Not the title I was really thinking about at all but then I realized that today is the day that used to mark a week of drunkenness for me. So grateful that is not the case today.
Remembering what it used to be like, what I used to be like is a helpful reminder for me for putting things in perspective today...
25 years ago on this day, I was in Savannah, GA participating in the St. Patrick’s Day celebration with full vigor. I was pretty much insanely drunk for 7 days. Partying like my life depended on it...I remember very little of that entire week. A few late night drive thrus, standing in a crowd on the street watching the parade, fighting with my boyfriend in a drunken stupor, getting thrown out of the Irish Pub I hung out in for the last time. No bar room brawls that week though...by some miracle. It is all a blur.
I am fairly confident that my day today will be more like the last 24 St. Patty's days I have experienced rather than that one. I had a spiritual awakening 4 days later and that changed my life forever. One day, drunken disaster, the next, sober disaster. What happened?
I had a spiritual experience. In that experience everything changed for me. I didn’t see any bright lights or burning bushes, mine came with this slow yet sudden realization of exactly who and what I was. I saw myself laid bare, no colorful story telling, no ideas that things were really this way or that way, I just saw myself for who and what I was...without any defense against myself.
Thus began a journey that would not only save my life, but give me one worth living. I have heard many people describe this same process for years now. What happened to them, their spiritual experiences. I have heard everything from profound drastic changes in thinking to much more subtle, slower changes. As we say, sometimes quickly, sometimes slowly...
For me, I can sum up my spiritual experience very simply...on March 21, 1995, I thought that everything happened in my life to me. I was just this hapless victim in it all. Everyone was always doing me wrong. I was trying to be a good person but I couldn’t show up because of him, or her, or that or this. I was forever at life’s circumstances mercy.
Then on March 22, 1995, I realized that maybe, just maybe it is happening FOR me...and that my friends changed everything.
Why am I telling you this now?
Because I wanted to share what happened for me and has been happening for me ever since. Life can be counted on to bring into your day all the people, things, beings you need to learn your life’s lessons. Everything that happens, happens for your higher good even if you don’t see it now, it doesn’t feel good, is hard, painful, gut wrenching. My experience for almost 25 years has been that everything, every thing that I labeled bad or hard or painful, has turned out eventually to be one of the best things that ever happened to me. All of it. No exceptions.
For me, the virus and all its related life changes are no different. It is happening for me, not to me. For, not to. Simple, but life changing. I have been given the choice since that day to look at all that happens as this great unfolding, this mystery that I cannot know despite my incessant need to know. I have been given this ability to see and believe that everything that happens is occurring for my higher good regardless of how much I like it or don’t.
This thought process has become the background of my life. It has become the manner in which I go through all the ups and downs. Always, returning to this place where I can see that all the events, are occurring to bring me the lessons I need to learn. My old manner of trying to make life comply with my selfish demands doesn’t work, it never did. My new blueprint for living, simply to allow what is happening to be what it is and do my best to find the good in it. To see that I am not a hapless victim, completely at life’s mercy. I really do have quite a bit of choice about it all, not necessarily in altering the course, but how I feel and think about the never-ending, constantly altering course.
I believe the virus is happening for us. It is here to re-order things. It is here to shake us up. It is here to teach us things that perhaps we didn’t want to know. It is here to re-prioritize life and living.
Michael A. Singer said:
Many people feel that death will take something away from them. The wise person realizes that death is constantly giving them something. Death is giving meaning to your life.
For me, this is what the virus is doing. Sure it is taking some things from us all, some our lives. But it is also giving something to us, an ability to find meaning perhaps where it was lost before. A chance to wake up and see that all of this is happening for us while it is happening to us. It is really up to us what we do with it.
Today, I will embrace the fear and move forward anyway. I am going to bring myself back to this moment, right here and be fucking happy. I am going to enjoy the hell out of this day as it unfolds. I am going to do my best to share that with all I come into contact with. I am starting right here, right now, to see that though there will be things that will occur in this day that I will not like, find hard to accept and will make me afraid, I am going to just allow that all to happen and be happy anyway. It is all happening for me. Just like 25 years ago, my simple, yet profound awakening is to see that just changing one tiny word, to to for, can change a life forever.