Life Giveth

As you all know, I am an awkward, nerdy, sci-fi she-geek with a loud mouth, very few filters and the inexplicable ability to make a humorous (if not interesting) story out of just about anything.

So it probably won’t surprise you when I say the inspiration from this post came from watching a science fiction movie. I won’t say which one because I don’t want this to inadvertently end up as a Google search result.

But it had a line in it that made my ears perk up. The line was this:

“We seem to have reached the age where life stops giving us things and starts taking them away.”

I’m 46 and the last five years have seen their share of things being taken away. Pretty much everything on which I had built the foundations of my life. My job. My home. My marriage. My beloved dog. Two family members. One dear friend.

It is very easy to allow those losses, particularly when they come in such a consecutive manner without much time to emotionally recover in between, to become your point of focus.  It is easy to start thinking of yourself as more of a survivor and less of a thriver.

(I know…there is no such word as thriver. So noted. Just bear with me and keep reading; this is a blog not English class ; )

The truth of the matter is that life never stops giving us things. We just have to learn to be more mindful and to proactively look for them.

For example, the last post I managed to write was regarding Mother’s Day. A day that it can be a challenge for me to see what has been given rather than what has been lost.

Years of self-work have allowed me to get to a place where I can see the fact that I even got to have a mother like I did (because let’s face it…some people in this world don’t have good mothers let alone great ones – or even know their mothers at all) as the true and utter blessing that it was, and to quell the sadness by digging deep for every joyous memory and thought in my heart (and there are oh so many) about her and put my energy into the gift rather than the taking away.

But you know what else? I was amazed at how many in this community were also struggling that day, in one way or another. A lot of whom reached out in response to the post I put up.

What a gift – all of you.  Life may have taken away some people over the last few years who were very dear to me…but it also gave me YOU. And somehow without ever having met most of you, you have become so very dear to me.

Life didn’t just take, I thought to myself that day…. It gave.

And ever since then I have realized more and more that it has been giving all along.

Imagine how my heart swelled yesterday when the new man in my life, brought me down to celebrate Father’s Day with his family. I was welcomed into their home with open arms and as we drove home after a truly wonderful day, I found myself thinking it would make me very happy indeed to celebrate many more occasions with these people.

Several years ago, life took away the person I thought I would grow old with (and by “life” I mean another woman, but I digress…) and after 7 years I had come to a place of peace, being pretty convinced I was going to travel the remainder of my path alone  – but yet deciding, consciously, to be grateful that I had known love at all (because again, some people live their entire lives and never do).

And voila, here I am in a burgeoning relationship that in a mere few weeks has proven that, not only am I capable of…well, everything I thought I was no longer capable of after my divorce…but also that anything really is possible so long as you never give up hope.

Once again, life gave. Just when I needed it to.

I used to feel that every hard lesson that came to me chipped a part of me away (I don’t want to say ‘every bad thing’…there are no bad or good things; only lessons to be learned, challenges to overcome, opportunities for growth to be discovered). They have made me stronger, certainly, but because you can’t un-know things, there is always a cost to that strength. Innocence perhaps? I don’t really know what, but it is there none the less.

But now I realize that sure, life may break off bits of me as I go along, but it also gives me what I need so that I always come to balance. It might not give the same things back that it takes…but it does keep giving. You just have to know what to look for. What to focus your attention on.

It’s not what we don’t have. It’s not what we’ve lost. It’s what we have been given…what we continue to be given. Each and every day there is something.

Yes, life takes. Accept it. Deal with it. Move on. Don’t let it also take your power away. Because it can’t – that is what I have learned – it can’t unless you allow it to.

I have come to realize there is no such thing as ‘the age where life stops giving’. But there very well may be an age where it becomes easier to really appreciate the gifts. Even the subtle ones.  Especially the subtle ones.

They are there, no matter how hard things are right now. They are there, I promise.  Look for them.  See them.

…And thrive!

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Caribbean princess
    Jun 18, 2012 @ 14:05:21

    Wonderful post and so beautifully written!! Thank you.

  2. kanalt17kanalt
    Jun 20, 2012 @ 12:51:28

    What a lovely post!

  3. J
    Jun 20, 2012 @ 15:43:22

    Wow, I totally thought I commented on this already…

    Anyway, another amazing post! Totally inspired 🙂

  4. thezeitgeistofzoe
    Jun 21, 2012 @ 15:50:07

    thanks you guys <3…and thanks too for being among the precious gifts that life has brought me : )

  5. Anita Lim
    Jun 29, 2012 @ 22:29:28

    Thank you for a wonderful post! 🙂
    I was only thinking something similar the other day. Some times it’s been hard losing things/people in the past, but with hindsight, time & experience I realise that some of them needed to go to help me to where I am now.

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