I'm so grateful for the loved ones in my life. I'm so grateful for my friends and family members who so gloriously reflect back to me that which I'm unable to see in myself... both good and bad. I feel blessed by the presence of so many amazing people in my life and, as I see myself through their eyes and get to know myself more by loving them, I'm learning what an amazing person I am myself. It's such a beautiful gift!
Over the last nine months, I've had the opportunity to go within myself in a way I never have before. Everything I've held dear has crumbled around me - several friends ended their relationship with me all within a 3-week period; friends have died; other friends are in the final throes of dying. I've given up everything I once thought was important. I'm without a stable job and income. I'm without a place of my own to live. I'm without almost every worldly possession I once called my own. I'm experiencing the least amount of money I've ever had since I was 15 years old. I've taken a leave of absence on my relationships with my family members. Even my daughter is spreading her wings and taking flight. This has resulted in me going within to dredge up the final sludge - the dirtiest, stickiest and most foul-smelling grime - that has been holding me captive so that I could free myself from my own bonds.
Last night I attended the "Farewell to Life Skills with Megan" class and experienced immense healing and closure of a very pivotal chapter in my life. Many people there last night have willfully and publicly chosen out of my life and terminated close relationships I had cherished. I've been hurt and I've felt sadness so deep that I knew I was pulling up from the depths of me that which had never been released. Walking into that space was one of the most terrifying things I've done. I chose to just sit with what was, feel my feelings and STAY. In the end, I was grateful that I had gone within, to find MY home and that, because I had, I was safe. I was saved. And I walked away knowing I had completed that which I had come there to complete. I had found ME.
This morning, I called a dear friend, Auretha, to get clear on a couple things we had been discussing via email. Through my relationship with her, I've come to understand huge things about myself and have uncovered many of my flaws as I've stumbled, time and again, ungracefully in her presence. Bumping up against her, going head to head and, at times, turning completely away from her has shown me the grace within me that I had been refusing to claim.
As she and I talked and laughed, I shared with her some of the healing aspects I had experienced last night. I shared about the transformation I witnessed within myself and, at the end of my sharing she said, "Angie, as I listen to your voice you feel... found. To me, you feel found."
I laughed and said, "Yes, Auretha! I do feel found!" I started to share with her about the closure aspect of the evening's events and found myself getting really distracted. All around me there were cop cars, stopped and blocking roads. I continued to try to carry on conversation with her, growing evermore distracted by the flashing lights and uniforms. Streets to the side of me were closed. Streets up ahead were closed. Cops everywhere. And still I kept trying to talk to her.
Suddenly, around the corner came an entire brigade of motorcycle cops with their lights flashing.
"Is there a famous person's funeral or something going on?" I distractedly asked her, as I gave her a blow-by-blow of what I was witnessing. She was quiet on her end. I rambled on about the lights and the uniforms and, still kept trying to complete the thought I had been in the middle of expressing.
Two dozen officers rounded the corner as I came parallel with them. Then I saw them. There were runners. Lots of runners. And cyclists.
"Is there a marathon today, Reth?" She had no time to answer because I blurted, "Oh! There's a torch! They're running an Olympic torch. Are we having the Olympics somewhere this summer??? Oh! How cool! A torch!!!"
On her end, she was quiet, but I could feel her smiling.
"I'm so sorry, Reth," I said, coming back to myself and realizing I had totally lost track of where I was. Judging myself for being rude, I apologized again. "I certainly got distracted there. So sorry!"
I could hear the smile in her voice when she asked, "Do you remember what we were talking about?"
I felt my Good Student pop up and I scrambled frantically for the answer, afraid to disappoint my friend. "Oh, yes! You had just finished saying that I felt found and I was wrapping up my experience of feeling found."
"Yes. You were sharing that you are found. You are complete, my friend. And look at what God sent you!"
I got chivels as she continued, "You are ready and God sent you a brigade of beautifully uniformed officers, flashing lights and an Olympic torch to show you you are ready for the games to begin. This year is going to be so big for you, Angie!"
Tears ran down my cheeks and I realized, once again, how very blessed I am that I have so many eyes through which I can see myself. Thank you, Reth, for being my eyes in that moment. And thank you, God, for sending me such a clear message.