Today a homeless woman with three children reached out me. We were sitting in the library, my daughter playing with one of her daughters. She told me how she had left her husband, leaving her and her three children homeless and she didn’t know where they were going to get food today.
I didn’t have much to give, our family is struggling too. So many families are struggling right now. I wanted to help her though. We had some fruit in our car that we had just received. It was fruit that was supposed to last us through the week. We have other food at home though and I knew what our dinner would be, and that I am blessed to have a kitchen to cook that food in.
I pulled my daughter aside and told her that her new friend and her family didn’t have any food and that I was going to share what we had in the car with them. She agreed. I checked out our library books, went to our car and brought the fruit up.
I gave it to the mama and told her where it had come from. I told her this was all I had to give and I wished so deeply I had more. Tears welled up in her eyes and she thanked me. We didn’t speak another word until my daughter and I left and she mouthed the words “Thank you” to me again, with tears in her eyes.
My heart has been breaking for this family since we left them this afternoon. I am grateful that this mama reached out to me, and I am grateful that I was able to offer her something. I am mostly grateful for the gift she gave me.
You see, I’ve spend the last several days cranky. I was complaining to my husband this morning about how I’m so bored with the food we’ve been eating, how tired I am of cooking, how frustrated I am with the constant dishes and laundry and cleaning. In the last few days I have complained about how I don’t like our dining room or living room furniture, how our bed “needs” new bedding. I’ve been ungrateful for what I have, seeing so clearly what I do not have and wanting, grasping for more, more and more instead of being satisfied with the blessings we have.
We have a kitchen, dishes, a working dishwasher, a working stove and food. We have clothes, a working washing machine and a working dryer. In fact we have an over abundance of clothes, enough to get each of us through a couple weeks of me not doing laundry. We have multiple bedrooms in our home and we have comfortable beds to sleep in and sheets and blankets and pillows to rest our heads on. I’m in a beautiful, healthy and loving marriage and we have an amazing, healthy and wonderful daughter.
It is easy to get wrapped up in lack though. It’s easy for us each to forget all the abundance that we truly have in our lives. It is easy to see all that we don’t have, all that we want, all that we hunger for. It’s easy to tell ourselves the story of how our life would be better, happier, shinier if only we had this or that. It’s easy to sink deeper and deeper into a sense a lack, even when on paper and to others, our life looks amazing and perfect.
With practice, we can step into a place of abundance. We can see all that we do have. We can become satiated with what is, what we have in our life now, this moment. We can learn to unravel the myths and see them for what they are: stories, pieces of fiction. We can feel, deep in our souls, the abundance of our lives, even when on paper and perhaps even to others, it may not look or sound all that amazing.
I’m grateful for the family I met today. I am grateful that I was able to help them, in some small way and that in return they helped me a very profound way. I am grateful I was able to offer them food and that in return, they offered me my Soul.
One of the things I’ve been working toward is leaving this sense of lack I seem to have. The clearing I’m doing in our home is a piece of that. There’s this odd sense of anxiety that was once very prominent in me, and slowly, with time, is becoming almost non-existent. The anxiety is completely lack related: we don’t have enough of this or nice enough of that. Our home isn’t fancy enough. Our clothes aren’t nice enough. Our car isn’t expensive enough. On and on the list once went. I have come to the place with many things of being good with what we have. No, we don’t have a new or big or fancy car. We have a little eleven year old honda civic, that is often dirty both inside and out. Our little car gets us from point A to point B. She’s a good car. She’s what our family needs. More importantly, she’s what our family WANTS. She fits us as we fit her. This is true of many of our things: they may not be the biggest/best/fanciest, but they fit us, as we fit them.
On the road to unschooling I’ve had my share of bumps. I recently started hyperventilating a bit because my daughter is turning five this spring. You know, kindergarten age. And I see friends, both near and far, struggle with figuring out all the schooling options out there for kindergarten. Because, as society tells us, if we don’t get our kids into the right kindergarten we are dooming them for a life of homelessness and or a career at McDonald’s. Hell, if we didn’t get them into the right preschool, that is what we have set them up for.
That’s the thing. Why, would a decision made when a child is FIVE YEARS OLD ruin opportunities for them more than a decade down the road? Opportunities, mind you, that we cannot even begin to fathom because of the rapid pace technology and science are moving at. [Read more…]