My biggest fear is dying. Not because I fear what happens after I die – although I once did, but more now because my fear is dying without ever fully having lived. Those who might know me, might question that statement, which admittedly sounds somewhat odd coming from me. While I might not have traveled the world the way some I know have had the opportunity to do, it is not the lack of countries, states, or incredible sights that would have me feeling that I have not lived. I have certainly seen beautiful things, gone beautiful places, and experienced many of life’s wonders – even as I know there are so many more to be experienced.
Yet if my travels are over, I could be content. The world is a magnificent place, and I do hope to see more of it. But it is not for lack of travel that I feel my life incomplete. It is not for lack of experiences, places, sights, sounds or even delicious flavors that I care to live longer. It is only for people.
It has been said of me that “there is no getting enough for Jean”. And while I can understand the specific circumstances that led to that statement, the truth in it goes much deeper. I just released a poster today that speaks of that lack. It quotes me as saying “I just wish to live my life in the company of those I love”. And there is – admittedly – no getting enough of that… I so love people. I so love that feeling of sharing that love – in person – with them. Of feeling my vibration align with theirs, of seeing their smile, watching the light in their eyes, enjoying every nuance of who they are… and I do enjoy that. I enjoy that more than any sight this world has shown me. More than the Alps, more than Norwegian Fjords, more than the crystal blue waters of the Caribbean. More than monkeys and sloths, and Scarlet Macaws… More than anything.
I can only hope to have more of those opportunities – to live in the blessed company of those people who make my heart come alive. If it seems to those people I wish those moments with that I cannot get enough, then I admit the truth in that, and can only promise to temper my excitement for those opportunities with the respect I do have for them and their lives, as best I can. I only ask for understanding at my very real delight any time an opportunity arises to share a bit of my life with theirs. Those opportunities are magic to me, they are bits of miracles, they are very real blessings… They are why I wish to live…
Am I where
I ought to be,
Or was there a path I missed
That was meant for me?
Is there a goal to reach before too long?
Will I then arrive where I belong?
My heart is weary and loses sight.
And wonders if what I do is even right.
I wish there were an arrow or a sign
That what I have worked for
might someday be mine.
What if I instead just wander endlessly
In a maze where no exit might ever be.
I wish I knew, I wish I could see…
Am I where I ought to be?
When a heart that is fundamentally loving and joyful has been smothered in pain for most of a lifetime, and then is suddenly freed (in the scope of 62 years, 3 years is sudden), it is hard not to just gush happiness and love. When that heart belongs to someone who is fundamentally “intense”, then I suppose that gusher is even more so. But what a happy thing it is to be happy, after having not quite known how to get there for most of a lifetime. It is so hard not to just jump up and down and celebrate and hug everyone – especially those who helped release that hurting heart from all the weight it once carried. To all of those people, I am so grateful. To the God who I believe put them in my life, I am so grateful. Forgive me, if my love is large, and my happiness spills out all over. I am just so happy to be happy, and I so love being able to love each of you. And I feel as though I could never express enough how much that means to me.
I posted a poster today that quotes the Disney saying “A dream is a wish your heart makes” and adds my own “let all your dreams begin with love.” I have always loved that line from Disney, and all of my dreams have always begun and ended with love. Unfortunately too many of them have remained only dreams. Someone I love deeply once told me that our journey is to find our own brilliance and to let it show. I believe that, and can only think that my particular light, my brilliance, best shines when manifested through sharing love. The sharing of love, that blessing of being able to see the life of another warmed by my light, makes that light in me shine ever more brightly.
Let me hear heaven’s gentle song.
Let it guide me, my whole life long.
And for as long as my time on Earth might be,
Let others hear that song in me.
“Be Love” is the credo we read. But what exactly does that tell us we should do? The act of “being” something should imply that we are the personification of that something. That within our being is the thing that we personify. So, what exactly would that make us, if we were in fact love? The dictionary definitions of love come in many flavors… an intense feeling of affection, a romantic attachment, a feeling of pleasure, taking a great interest in something. Worldly definitions might range further even, bringing into the definition more emotions that arguably are not in fact love, but are referred to under the general umbrella of the concept of love. But what love do we refer to when we suggest that we are to “be love”? In my mind, the only definition one can use within that context is godly love. Love that in fact represents the love which in emulating God, offers unconditional acceptance – without judgement, that is unending, that is patient, that is kind, that is trusting, that in turn is honest, that is respectful, that is grateful, gracious, and that is unfailingly caring and supportive. That is a lot to “be”. Humans, by nature have weaknesses which certainly may affect our ability to be any number of those things. We are not perfect beings. But to be love within the context of being human is to keep those things foremost in the qualities we look to build within ourselves. So, to “be love” is to consistently attempt to keep those loving qualities at the forefront of all our behaviors.
As each year ends, we no doubt find ourself with regrets. “I intended to do this…” or “I wish I’d done that…” but instead of allowing ourselves to become encumbered by the things in the past that did not go our way, or that we feel we did not do right – and instead of setting ourselves up again for those feelings next year, we need to look forward with a different focus. Goals are necessary and admirable. Where we set ourselves up is by putting a timeline on those goals, by giving ourselves expectations of what we “must” do to accomplish them. It tends, not only to be discouraging, but to potentially thwart our progress as we get frustrated with what we should have accomplished instead of rejoicing over where we are. My resolution for the future, this new year and beyond, is to know what I want, and in each moment try to keep that focus and honor it in all my actions to the best of my ability. And if that moment yields no progress, so be it, but I will focus again in the next. No regrets, no discouragement. Just a continued awareness of the things that matter to me. Beating myself up about what I have not done has been the least productive thing I have done. So ending that is my only firm resolution. Beyond that one, I believe I will find my goals and dreams more readily. Love and best wishes to everyone in pursuing all your hopes and dreams.