Though I cannot find a source for the quote, “You are where you’re supposed to be,” a google search produces more than 260,000 entries, and every blogger and pundit seems to have a slant or rant about the concept. Pardon me for the late entry. Next month I am hosting a holiday potluck with a gratitude theme. I’m planning this in my pjs because I’m on day 6 of the crud that is causing football teams to forfeit and schools to close. So I’m listing questions that will go on a handout between sneezes and blowing my nose on the 5th handkerchief of the day:
- What talents and gifts are you grateful for?
- What have others done for you in the past year that you are grateful for?
- What have you done for yourself in the past year that you are grateful for?
And last, this is the clincher . . .
- What has happened to upset you lately (that if you dug deep), you could find a reason to be grateful for?
Isn’t that the BIG question related to being where you are supposed to be: What isn’t going your way (that may be awful) that has been put in your path to help you learn and grow? When we are upset it is because our status quo is challenged, cheated, even stolen. We see it as a problem and resist--a change of plan, a change in direction, change of mind, change in control, change that you really don’t want to make.
And here I am in my pjs. I’ve missed work. I’ve missed a couple of important events. If I wanted to be upset, body aches, burr in my nose and screaming headache are enough to bring it on. Being sick isn’t in my plan and it's awful—unless I surrender to being right where I am—where I am supposed to be. That doesn't mean that everything feels good. There's always good news with the bad and bad news with the good. Thomas Moore reminds us in Care of the Soul about the beautiful wedding that is inevitably contrasted by the mother of the groom breaking her leg at the rehearsal dinner. Change/learning/growth happens in the melancholy, in the discomfort, not in the happy place. Here are the things I am grateful for that were delivered by my change of plan:
- I have had the gift of time. When you’re running around doing, you hardly have time to think, and especially when you are a creative or an inward type, you gotta have it.
- I have had time to complete a draft of a website and a book submission, something that has been on the back burner for years. Just having the downtime allowed me to focus on the work that needed to be done—there’s a reason companies have their R&D group away from their operations, so the blue sky thinkers don’t get sucked into the daily grind!
- I have had time just to sit with my cat. He needs love and attention and to snuggle with me instead of always looking up my nose from below. He is in heaven lounging with me on the bed and it supports my value for the earth and its creatures.
- I have had time to nap. I’ve heard that sleep is for the body and naps are for the soul. I can’t remember the last time I indulged myself in a nap.
- I have allowed myself to be a receiver instead of a giver and let my sweetie be my hero (he even made me handmade soup).
- I have surrendered. I love letting go and being the river, finding the good in what's in front of me. It makes me feel alive and awake. It prepares me for future surrender. And for that I am grateful.