Someday, I’d like to tell you more about my friend Stephen. Stephen was addicted to heroin for eleven years, from the age of 19 to 29. In his former life, he stole from, lied to, and abandoned the people he loved. I didn’t know him then, but I know him now. My first thought when I met him, before we ever spoke, was that his eyes looked like those of a newborn baby, just full of wonder. There’s a certain gentle, open-heartedness about him that can’t be faked. Stephen is still a brave and independent person like he was in his youth, but his new life leads him toward adventures that inspire rather than ones that devastate. He’s going back to school to be a counselor, and I know without a doubt he will help many people over the course of his lifetime.
How did that transformation happen? Well, first I also want to tell you about my friend Creta, a former firefighter who has become a dear friend in Colorado. For a long time, Creta suffered from health issues related to her thyroid. After putting it off for years while the condition worsened, she went to the hospital for surgery two weeks ago. When the prepartory lab tests were run, the blood work suddenly came back normal. She was sent home because she didn’t need the surgery anymore.
These are both absolutely beautiful people with fascinating stories to tell. The specifics are different, and I won’t go into them here, but I can tell you they have both experienced great healing of the heart. I knew I wanted to share their stories with you all, but I wasn’t sure how to talk about them without writing a whole dissertation on self-healing. So I told my eight-year-old daughter these details about our friends, and asked her. “What do you make of this? What’s the moral of these stories?”
“Find your connection,” she said.
She is so right. That is what they both did, and they are not the only ones either. Look around you, and you may start to notice. The darkness in our world today is bringing out some brilliant light. The miracles are here if we are ready to listen to and see them. It doesn’t matter what name you give to what you are connected to or if you think you are connected to something or not. What matters is the feeling of connection.
Knowing love in your heart and believing in it more than you believe in the permanence of your suffering.
It’s very hard to believe in love when you’ve had your heart shattered. It’s hard to believe in connection when it feels like your life is falling to pieces. But I’m talking about a different kind of love and connection, more even-keeled than the human form. It is fundamental to radical transformation and healing. This dialed-in, equanimous way of being doesn’t come easily to most of us, but it can be learned if the intention is there. One thing you can do to feel more connected right now is to start looking for miracles. Notice the big ones, like the healing Stephen and Creta experienced, and the small ones, like the perfect spiderweb I saw on my window pane this morning. If you are on the lookout for miracles, you’ll find them everywhere. Maybe you’ll take a little extra time to listen to a stranger, and you’ll be that miracle yourself.
What’s the moral of your story, dear one? What do you want it to be? That story is being written right now, and I bet it deserves a good read. Meanwhile, I’ll be wishing you the felt knowledge that you are not alone here. Whether or not you’re aware of it right now, you are very loved.
PS—Inspiration is beautiful, but the real work is an investment of energy towards the shift you are ready, or want to be ready, to make. If you’re a woman struggling with anxiety, grief, or big life transitions, and you feel called to dive deeper into self-healing and empowerment work together, 1-1 or in a group, let me know.