Slowing Down –
The last few days have been slooooooooooooooooooooooooooow. We’ve had overcast skies, plenty of rain and this makes for a dreary season and spirit. April showers may bring May flowers but February showers bring time to a standstill. The last few months have been long. I always have a difficult time between Thanksgiving and Easter. It’s dark when you arise and when you arrive home in the evening. The darkness that surrounds me seems to permeate my emotions. As someone with Chronic Severe Depression and a Severe Anxiety Disorder the days slowing to a crawl, mess with my balance and threaten to send me over the edge into negative thought patterns and fixations on disappointments and failures.
The balance, of course, is not letting the anxiety get in there and make my brain whirl like a drugged up hamster on a greased up wheel. Again, it is balance. I make sure the things which help me; meds, exercise, talking to others about how I’m feeling, are done and not discarded even when tempted to do so.
The balance to keep life’s rhythm manageable is an everyday if not every moment discipline. If we let it we would be either swept away in a chaotic whirlwind of activity or mired in a despondent state of surrender. Slowing down isn’t the goal but balance and mindful living are what keeps us sane and steady on the path.
Today, I had a meeting at a discreet location in a women’s shelter. There was no sign and the house was off the road down a long driveway. Blink and you would miss the driveway and the house couldn’t be seen from the road. The meeting was one of our county’s Community Action Board which is made up of several organizations who partner together to reach as many families in need and/or in crisis as possible.
The leader of the house was a nice woman who talked softly but her love for the women in the house was obvious. The women who are enrolled there are from all backgrounds, religions, and nationalities. Some have experienced abuse at the hands of others and some abused themselves. Under the roof of this home, however, all were welcomed, loved and given the skills to start life anew with a sense of belonging and purpose.
Written on a huge dry erase board were the rules of the house, encouragement and motivational sayings, practical applications of the lessons being taught to those who stayed in the home. On one board, almost in the middle was the name of the leader and one of the tenants wrote; “She rocks!” I thought this was awesome. Here is a woman who has given her life to helping those in need. It did not go unappreciated.
I hope each of us can find a place where we can offer love, kindness, time, patience and give worth to those whom life has overlooked or discarded.
The Last Drop –
Yesterday morning while sitting in the worship center and listening to the pastor preach I noticed a man probably in his mid-thirties drinking a bottle of Code Red Mountain Dew. That wouldn’t be my drink of choice but it might have more of a kick than my morning cup of Joe. He finished it, placed the cap back on the seemingly empty bottle and I turned my attention back to the preacher. However, it wasn’t long before my focus was back on this man as he began staring at the bottle in his hands. He brought it close to his face, began tapping on the bottom and working his way down the bottle. I had no idea what he was doing until he finally got to the upside down cap. He tapped a few more times, opened the bottle, put the cap to his lips, turned it up and drank every last drop of that Code Red Mountain Dew.
It was surprising to see someone so intent on being sure he got out of that bottle as much as he possibly could. However, the more I thought about it the more impressed I became with the man’s commitment to his drink. Too often we only use half of what we acquire, are quick to discard what’s old for the latest model, throw away, misuse, and take most things for granted.
What if we, like the man yesterday, decided we would wring out every drop of life? What if we didn’t give up? What would the world be like if the blessings and goodness that surrounds us all were appreciated in all their beauty? I’d like to think we’d take better care of the planet and each other.