The Blossom

I look out my bedroom window, and the sight that greets me arrests my vision. The dogwood in our backyard is revealing its delicate and fragile blooms. Nestled between historic houses in an old city that hugs the mountains of Virginia, Spring is here. The trees are coming out of winter…as many in the country and the world withdraw and hold their breath as the winds of something else passes through—a virus that many of us didn’t take seriously until it showed us, like the blooms on the ends of tiny stems, our own fragility and how delicate our own lives truly are.

During a recent evening, we took a slow stroll to take in the sight of the blooming cherry trees that line the streets of downtown. It was so quiet. No cars or people were about. The breeze was blowing steady, and the blossoms danced along sweeping, graceful branches that dip over sidewalks while pink petals floated on the air.

In Japan, the cherry blossom has very specific meanings that symbolize the nature of life. The cherry blossom, sakura, marks the time of Spring—that the harshness of winter is over, and a time of renewal is approaching. The flowers are so stunning, one can’t help but pause and take in their beauty. And the people of Japan do take this time to pause and celebrate. Hanami is a time for family and friends to gather with each other, and they do so beneath the blossoms of these magnificent trees. Hanami literally means “watching blossoms.” And after about two weeks, the blossoms begin to fall, creating the “sakura snow” that blankets the ground and is carried off in the breeze. And during this time, the flowers represent life’s ephemerality—that all life is in transition. They call this, mono no aware, “the pathos of things.” They believe that when you are aware of the impermanence of nature, you become aware of how significant these moments are.

We are all experiencing difficulties right now in some form. Even though some may weather this particular storm better, each of us is facing our very own unique difficulties. I look out my bedroom window and reflect on my own fragility. My health has struggled. We are struggling financially. These things take a toll on our relationship. I miss the friends and family we are hundreds of miles away from. I see the blossoms opening, and I remember, “To everything there is a season…a time to be born and a time to die…a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…” Book of Ecclesiastes

This, too, shall pass.

The blossoms outside my window will fall, revealing the growth of new things. The trees are coming out of winter, marked by the blooms of spring that herald the growth of leaves. The young leaves will darken with the life giving chlorophyll that sustains them, and the trees will exhale the fresh oxygen for us to breathe in.

“And why do you worry? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet, not even King Solomon in his splendor was dressed like one of these. If God clothes the grass of the fields, which is here today and gone tomorrow, how much more will God clothe you of little faith… Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will care for itself.” Book of Matthew

I will try to rest in the assurance that each day brings something new. I cannot accomplish anything by worrying. I look outside my window, and I see the harmony of nature, and I remember, we are strong together. We can help one another through this. The love and support we show one another can pull us through these difficult times. I don’t know what tomorrow will bring, or the next, the weeks ahead or even the months. But I know that love heals. Whether we find a healed body, a healed economy, or a healed heart, we will be stronger on the other side of winter if we give to each other the most important thing we need—love.

“…the only thing that keeps people truly safe and happy is love…that’s where men get their courage, where countries get their strength, and where God grants us miracles. And in the absence of love…there is nothing in this world worth fighting for.”The War

I look outside my window, and I remember how much I can truly be grateful for. The window lets me see that the house I sit in protects me from the cold of winter and the heat of summer. The roof above the window protects me from the damp of rain and the burn of sun. I may not see my friends or family outside my window, but I feel their love in my heart. I have a partner who stands beside me, who loves and encourages me. I know that in the face of hardship and cruelty, people are doing good things. And I know that even though I may be unwell, this body was given to me for a specific amount of time. And what I choose to do with that time is up to me.

“‘…I wish none of this had happened.’

‘So do all that live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us. There are other forces at work in this world…besides the will of evil… And that is an encouraging thought.’” -J.R. Tolkien

Take heart and have courage in this difficult time. Pause to remember the things of today may not be here tomorrow. Remember the love we have for each other. And embrace the beauty you find.

Love Is…

Part 14:
Love Always Hopes

 

What is hope? Hope, generally, is the anticipation that everything will be alright, that good things will happen. We’ve heard quotes or scriptures that say, “All things are possible if you believe,” and “Faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see.” By definition, hope is a feeling of expectation or desire for a certain outcome, a reason or evidence that a certain outcome will manifest, and it can be the very thing that may help or save someone. If you’ve ever seen hope leave someone, it’s like the very light leaves their eyes. It’s like, their reason for being is lost. The very thing they were clinging to is no more, and resignation to a fate like death creeps in. Hope is as essential as air and water. Without it, the human spirit seems to fade, and you feel yourself sinking. But why? What is it that we all seem to cling to? What has caused us to be anticipating something outside of our current situation?

It could be many things, I think. Every one of us is enduring something, maybe sickness or a loved one’s sickness–maybe it’s heartache or loneliness. One of the things all these have in common is that they are hardships that we hope to pass through, unscathed. But being unscathed in this world doesn’t exist. The scathing, the “refining by fire that purifies,” the obstacles we move around or climb over, they serve to strengthen us. If we have hope that we will make it through, and even better, make it through as better persons, being made better because of it, that is what I see worth having hope for.

The other commonality between hardships is the unknown. You may be asking yourself, “Will the pain ever go away? Who will I be with this loss? What will happen?” We don’t exactly know how things will turn out, and we may fear that. Perhaps, an embracing of the circumstances as what you can use to be made better can perhaps propel you forward with renewed strength, an enlivened spirit, and a soul at peace with the present moments with no fear of the future present moments. Maybe, having the hope that you will be changed, and who you will be in the future will be a wiser person, more able to express Love, compassion and understanding. Maybe, to have this hope will light your way, revealing a love for life, your Life with all the moments that are shaping and molding you.

Love reveals to you the desires of your Heart and gives intrinsic value, meaning, and purpose. Regardless of what the future may be, You are here now, already capable of great Love, compassion and understanding. To have hope means you are Alive. And where there is Life, there is Hope—where there is hope, there is Love. If you find yourself navigating the darkness, that the hardship is too much, look up and look hard, and listen to the Guiding Light that is Love. Where there is Love there is always Hope. 💛

A Belief and a Dream

img_0278
I want to learn about the role of the microbiota and our microbiome in our health, the nutrition for our individual health needs to ease symptoms in or cure illness, and learn the techniques to create the beautiful meals that our bodies need to thrive.  www.eatartlivewell.com

 

“Don’t let schooling interfere with your education.” – Mark Twain

Something that’s been holding me back for a long time is the belief that if I don’t go back to school, have the money to pay for school, get the degree to show I am educated in this thing, then I can’t pursue my dream. *Not true!* I am only limited by my limiting beliefs.

What is your dream? What is your passion? Maybe the highest calling we have is to have a dream, then make moves and choices that align with that dream. And just maybe, if you have found that place of inner-peace and self acceptance of where you are in the journey, then cool things will start to happen in your life. 💛

Believe all things are possible and that you are worthy of good things, peace, and fulfillment. Have hope that you will make it through the obstacles, because you are here today, proving you can. Obstacles aren’t meant to stop you from growing. You get strong by moving forward and through struggles.

What you feel, validate. Then validate your Self, notice what you’re feeling, ask your Self what you can do, then shift your attitude, do what you need to do, and find gratitude for the experience. You are not your feelings. You *have* feelings. You are not your thoughts. You *have* thoughts. Recognize them. And recognize your Self having these feelings and thoughts. 💖

img_6396
When one chapter of your journey is coming to a close, it’s not the end… It’s the beginning of something new, wrapped in possibility. “Nothing is lost. Everything is transformed.” – Michael Ende

Have faith that the future is yours and that you can create a life full of meaning and purpose. And Love You exactly where you are in this journey. 💖 As the sun sets on the day, and the light of day fades into the night, do not be afraid of moving through the dark and the unknown. There is purpose and beauty in the night. Move through it, find peace, and you will find yourself back in the Light.

Love Is…

Part Thirteen:
Love Always Trusts

 

 

To trust another is to be vulnerable. You open yourself up to receive Love from others and to share the Love residing in your Heart. If we open ourselves up to receive, we may incidentally receive someone’s pain. Then, we ourselves experience the pain, whether it’s the pain of others you take on or the pain that manifests from growth and experience. Is the pain worth it? If we are always fearing pain from the experiences of the past, we can cut ourselves off from the healing Love that we can share and receive. To Love is to Trust. Love is not concerned with the past. Love is concerned with the present moment. You actually exist in the present moment, and yet, sometimes we get lost in the thoughts of the past. The relationships built on solid foundations are built on Trust. To Trust is to build a bridge between Hearts. When we doubt, we dissolve the ability to move forward or grow. And when we doubt, sometimes we manifest the things we fear – the seeds of doubt were already sprouted, crumbling the framework of what you were building. When you live by doubt, is it because of what has happened in the past? If you trust your Self, what have you to worry? Certainly, there are experiences given to us for our better understanding and growth. There are shaky bridges and foundations you do not have to cross. Trust your Self and honor your Time and the path You are on. And when it comes to the time you must decide and choose, choose Love. Trust Love.

Love Is…

Part Twelve:
Love Always Protects

 

When we feel the need and urge to protect something, it’s because we believe we are holding something valuable and precious. When we recognize the value of others, we try to protect them from harm. When we value ourselves, we do the same. This protection may come in the form of shielding, or it may come in the form of moving to a place of safety, a different location or higher ground. When we value ourselves, we take care of what offers protection. Love does not mean “hoarding”. When we hoard our Love or our loved ones from encountering others or the world at large, we are really trying to control or possess, which comes from a place of insecurity. We are afraid and are acting out of fear. Love is recognizing the free will of others and valuing their right to choose for themselves, not losing sight of Love. When we lose sight of Love, we are disconnected from our True inner strength, what really protects. Yes, with Loving comes vulnerability by baring our True Selves. Yet, when we are secure in that, we need not fear the insecurity of others. Will they hurt me if I Love them? What if something happens to whom I love? Is it easier to form a wall around our Heart, by not connecting to Love, not letting our Love show through? What else fills the void left between the wall and others? What else fills the absence of our Loving? What do we allow to show through, instead? What do we begin to connect with? As hard as it is sometimes, because of the pain we’ve experienced, we don’t have to behave in accordance to our fears. They may hurt me. They may leave me. But if we’ve been True to our Hearts and True to others, there is nothing to regret. There is immense strength in Loving. And when we believe that, there is security. We protect when we Love. Love is protection. And Love will protect us from the real harm, the harm we inflict on ourselves by not Loving. Allow Love to be the strength It Is. Protect Love. Be Love.

Love Is…

Part Eleven:
Love Rejoices with the Truth

 

Truth is what is in accordance with reality. We make assumptions all the time without the true knowledge of what is reality. When we see things play out with our open eyes, we are perceiving real time events happening. We believe we know and understand these events because we’re seeing them. What about what we don’t see? We can still believe in certain realities, but does that make it real? To get to the truth of things, you may have to do some digging. You may have to ask questions. And you may still not know the truth of what you seek. You may wonder, what is the one thing I can rely on? What you see and what you feel does not always reflect the reality of the situation. You may believe you have reason to doubt what you’re being told. You may give weight to the doubt you attach to yourself. If we could peel back all the layers, if we could dive deep below the surface, beneath the insecurities, the anger, the pain, the fear – what would we see? Would we find our True Nature that is sometimes hidden? “If you never know Truth, then you never know Love.” The Truth is there, even though it may be hidden. To be True to your Self means you don’t feel the need to hide who You Are. You don’t feel the need to withhold Love, and you don’t concern your Self with the lies others may speak to you and about you. Truth needs no defense, it just is. And Love does not seek being right. Sometimes when you win, you lose.  You can reveal the Truth of your Nature, the Reality, without arguing for your stance. Sometimes our choices and actions speak louder than what we could say. Show Love. Sometimes we use the concept of what is “right” to justify our behavior towards others. But if this behavior is outside the bounds of Love, is it right? You need only concern yourself with the Truth of what you know to be. If you are at peace within yourself, you won’t have a need to prove others wrong. Rest in knowledge of your True Nature. When you connect with your True Nature, you can rejoice in the knowledge that you are seeing Love. You are meeting with Love. The Truth will set you free. Be True to your Self. Rejoice in Love. Be Love.