“Three passions , simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the suffering of mankind.” ~ Bertrand Russell
My best friend since childhood, Lisa, is in the Intensive Care Unit in a Boston hospital. She’ll probably come home and everything will settle down for a while.
But maybe not.
I stared at the Facebook this morning at 4 am and felt so sad. Even though we live fifteen minutes apart, we can’t see each other in person much. We get together at least once a month for a good laugh at my polar plunges, but those are over ’til it gets polar again…a few months from now. So, we meet on Facebook, joke around, and then end up logging off and talking on the phone.
Another close friendship in my life has ended. It was one that enriched me, fed my soul, and sustained me. It must not have been mutual.
So, this morning I sit here. Staring at the screen, missing my friends, asking myself what I’ll do with this sorrow, hoping for transformation and healing.
Slowly, overnight, I’ve heard whisperings from God about this pain and how to heal it – about how He sent me here to accomplish great Betsy Things, and how the stuff that’ll serve the world best will come from my deepest suffering and longings.
It’s the same for you, by the way; your gifts will transform your pain to service that heals you and others like you.
I know that all that I have to offer the world is my love, my joy, and my willingness to stay connected and continuously build relationships that’ll last forever. I get that. But what if it feels like no one’s there, or that people are slowly disappearing?
That is my pain.
My gift is to connect two worlds, the “now” world and the “forever” world, healing the pain of separation.
Does that make sense to you? It does to me because I’ve lived it. I can connect the dots in my life experiences that show me what my life purpose is.
A simple conversation at 6:30 yesterday morning with my mom brought me back into the world of the eternal. We both had to get to work and were having a hard time hanging up as I searched Ancestry.com for information on my great grandfather and found new pieces to a very old puzzle. That search had started as we’d begun to hang up the phone and she asked me a question about him – Edward. An hour and an half passed like lightning.
I was blown away that my mom had a family history question for me when I was overwhelmed with sadness. It was one of the few things that would shift my focus away from my pain and toward my gift for the world.
When I hung up I knew why I felt a “hole” in me – one that is only filled by giving my gift to the world, no strings attached.
I’d neglected to be me wholeheartedly because I didn’t understand what that really meant.
You see, giving yourself (pure love) has no conditions attached. It doesn’t say to the recipient, ” I’ve given to you, now give to me.”
It means giving yourself wholeheartedly because you feel a divine joy in the giving. And that joy attracts others who feel it and want to share it.
It means staying open and alive and whole no matter what.
So, having been stripped bare of what was filling my life, I’m left with my life work – family history, however it shows up and evolves.
I find it very interesting that there is a general complaint by some that online connections and relationships aren’t as real or fulfilling as those where you can be with someone in person, and yet millions of people are driven by an unseen yet palpable force to seek out and connect with those who’ve crossed over into the eternal world – people they haven’t met in person either!
And my belief is that patience uncovers the miracle all of us hope for; that each of us matters in the forever scheme of things, not just in the here and now.
We all matter to someone. We all have to be patient, knowing that there are those who accept us just the way we are – that we are a gift to them.
We all have gifts born of pain.
We just need to stay connected with those who want to stay connected with us so that we can share the gifts, heal the pain, and transform the world.
May you find and share yourself wholeheartedly and be open to receive those who need, love, and want to share their life with you now and forever whether it be in this world or the other.