I’m 24 years-old standing in a bathroom no bigger than a linen closet, staring at my bloodshot eyes in a mirror. I’m at work, crying over a breakup I was sure I’d never survive, trying to pull myself together to go back into my office. I’m a bookkeeper at a construction company and my desk is in the owner’s renovated garage. He’s not the warmest guy in the world and I know I need to suck it up and get back to work but I feel devastated and inconsolable.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner.
And I wonder how I’ll get through the holidays alone.
As I recall this memory, I see myself standing in the mirror trying to talk myself out of my suffering. This tough time will end, I tell myself. You’ll find someone better. The guy was a loser and didn’t deserve you.
None of it works and when I finally blow my nose and splash cold water on my face before heading back to my desk, I take one last look in the mirror – straight into my eyes – and something stops me from moving.
I hear a voice that says, “Sweetheart, we’ll get through this. Be grateful. Your pain has brought us together.”
At the time I had no idea who the voice belonged to or where it came from. All I knew was that I instantly felt better. The voice was kind, comforting, and confident. Its strength was reassuring and some part of me knew I could trust it and that gave me hope.
That day, pain introduced me to my Self and we’ve been connected ever since.
Nearly forty years ago and I still recall that moment of sweetness, a strange relief at knowing I wasn’t alone even though I was. The experience launched a love affair with a presence I’ve come to rely on and it’s given me a reason to be perpetually grateful because I know she’s always with me.
As we head into the holiday season, may you meet or feel deeply connected to the Self who always has your back. And your front. And everything in between. She’s there. He is, too. Always has been. Always will be. You just need to look deeply into your eyes and listen.
There’s so much to be thankful for when we search the landscape of our lives. Many thanks for your presence with me on this journey.