We all love "do overs" or new beginnings, do we not?
I was one of those school geeks who loved a new semester, or a new class and would always honor it with a new notebook and pen.
Yet, today is not much different than yesterday. And we do get new beginnings with each breath, each moment. We get presented with another opportunity to live a full and meaningful life. Is it a wonder that we choose to package each year as separate and distinct when they are in reality, a series of days, of moments, of breaths.
But this year, I am choosing to do so.
Upon reflection this morning, I realized what a traumatic, yet what a blessed year this has been for me. Since I was busy living it, I don't think I was cognizant of all of the changes that occurred in my life this year and how fortunate I am to be right where I am today.
I am a survivor of life and clearly not a wimp. I have survived child abuse (by a man I discovered, 58 years later, is not my biological father), an armed robbery, a burglary (actually two where all of my things were taken - one by a stranger and one by someone I trusted), a rape (by the cop I called for the first burglary), a terrorist bombing in Manila, a traumatic divorce on my 40th birthday when I was also unemployed and recently relocated to Florida where I had no support system. Many many experiences -- all adding up to the person I am today.
But these do not compare with the hurt and disappointment and betrayal I worked through during the end of 2010 and the beginning of 2011. Most of these feeling are because I value and cherish friendships. I trust people and hope I always will, yet I do so almost blindly and naively.
It's funny.....as I am writing this, it is hard to believe that the hurt, disappointment and betrayal were just a year ago -- and some, just months ago. In fact, I had to pause and go check with my beloved, Gordon, to make sure. They truly seem like another lifetime ago, and I guess that is because they are.
Once I had a congregation, and people who I thought were my friends - people I trusted and cherished and valued and held dear in my heart. Then in the Fall of 2009, there was a back-stabbing betrayal by a person I trusted that set this whole calamity of bad things in motion.
I didn't want to believe it. I didn't want to let go. I fought in my heart to hold on. I felt like I was in a fast moving river clinging to a branch by the river's edge and because I wouldn't let go, I kept getting pummeled and dashed against the rocks -- the tighter I held on, the more pain I received. I held on for months.
Friends who were dear to me jumped ship. I suppose they were friends of "the rabbi" and not me personally -- that hurt. I had to work through betrayal, anger, disappointment, grief -- all of the stages of mourning.
But through the Grace of God -- I finally let go.............and when I did, I was carried with the Flow to a most beautiful and loving life for which I am grateful and truly blessed. In the words of a very special woman, I had to learn to Flow With The Glow.
I think I realized my recovery from this drama when I was laying on my yoga mat in a class and a beautiful (inside and out) woman was on the mat next to me. I was drawn to her as a possible friend, but I told myself that I never wanted to have friends again. I had a good life, a wonderful sweetheart, precious dogs, a fulfilling career -- I didn't want to open myself up to the hurt of another friend. Weeks went by and one day I just felt myself open up. I was ready. Nadya became my first new friend -- my confirmation that it is okay to trust again and to hold someone dear in my heart.
How very blessed I am. The sadness of the drama and trauma of that tumultuous time has faded to a distant and vague memory. I have once again opened myself up to friendship, and I have let go of false friends.
I am blessed with a meaningful ministry -- one that I work when I go to the hospital and one that I can leave behind when I come home. I am blessed to work with a team of heroes who live life and safe lives and are dedicated and awesome and giving and just cool.
I am blessed with a loving and dedicated partner, whom I will marry this Spring, who makes every moment of my life easier and more wonderful by the gazillion million thoughtful and loving things he does for me.
I am blessed to have a wonderful son who is making his way in this world.
I am blessed to share my life with dogs who make every moment richer and full of love and laughter.
I am blessed to have friends, some new, and some old (as in long term) who truly love me and whom I truly love.
I am blessed to live in a beautiful place. I am blessed to have good health.
And now -- it is time for me to leave this computer and go live my wonderful life. I am also grateful and give thanks all through the day for this opportunity of living and loving, fully and completely.
Shalom and namaste. 1.1.11