“Bad times have a scientific value. These are occasions a good learner would not miss.”
–Ralph Waldo Emerson
Last week – ah, such a lovely miracle week that culminated on my birthday. It was the best. I was feeling strong, centered, enthusiastic and energized. To cap off the week – a wonderful Sunday dinner surrounded by my loved ones left me walking on a cloud. Then came Monday.
Remember when you were a little kid in kindergarten, and you take all this time to build a big castle out of blocks, only to have some mean bully come along and kick it over? That’s what happened to me spiritually this week. As this year mercifully draws to a close, I’m feeling shaken and fragile. But I decided to use last week to rebuild my reserves, to find my hopeful place and start again. It was working, too. I could feel myself getting stronger, getting back to my true self.
And then…WHAM-O. It’s amazing how we can be surrounded with love and goodness, but one act of cruelty can kick that tower of hope down so easily. It only took one person’s hateful words and judgment. It was someone that I thought loved me, someone who mattered a lot to me. Before I knew it I was physically knocked flat by a stomach flu that lasted three days, all the while her hateful words churning in my gut, and the why? why? why? circling in my brain… Add to that a spate of bad news emails of illnesses and deaths. Add to that two more rejection letters from agents. I was down, in the downest way. (Know what’s worse than getting rejection letters from agents? Getting them while you have the stomach flu.)
One of my girlfriends wrote me this morning from Arizona. Where are you? Why aren’t you blogging? I need some inspiration here! Girl, I hear ya, but hang on a minute while I crawl out of this hole and figure out what the hell just happened.
I’ve always believed that LOVE is bigger than FEAR, but I learned something this week. What we believe in most is what is biggest. For the past few days, I let that hate become bigger in my soul than all the love that surrounds me. Even though I knew they weren’t true, I let her words infiltrate me, inhabit me, fill my gut, my heart, my mind until I was physically ill. And then I was mad at myself for letting it happen. FEAR won.
So I got up with the sun this morning and spent some quiet time alone, looking for the lesson in all this ugliness. What I realized was that yes, sometimes I might be weak and let fear in, but I always have the choice to turn it around. I decided to let the LOVE in my life be bigger, let the LOVE consume the fear and the hate. I even imagined the love like a hungry little pac-man, gobbling up all her ugly words. I know I can’t control what someone says about me, nor whether they love or hate me, but I can choose what I believe in. I believe that I will be okay, no matter who hates me, no matter how many agents reject me, no matter if my own family of origin never embraces me – I have love in my life. LOVE. Love is the light in my life…and like the old gospel song says –
This little light of mine
This little light of mine
Let it shine, let it shine, let it shine…