A short Sunday post. Warning: it is semi-religious. Do not read if you’d be offended.
I am always going on about being grateful to those who have loved you, picked you up from the gutter, saved you, etc etc etc. It is amazing that once you open your eyes to gratitude, you’d see how much you have to be grateful for.
Yesterday, I was grateful for the two lovely Filipino women I met in church. It was a rainy, stormy Friday night and they had come to church by motorbike taxi, drenched to the skin. We gave them a lift home and they showed us the sweet little village they live in, in a little rented room in ‘Philippine village’ in Phuket, “we love singing and family parties”, and they worked as housekeeping staff in a local hotel. They have not been back to their country for 3 years.
“Come for Novena,” they said merrily. “5am every morning for nine days.”
Oh my. That would test me.
They chatted happily in the car, filling the space with their happiness, goodness and love of simple things. A nondescript night suddenly became very special because of this chance meeting.
But I think (you might hate me for writing this) we must be grateful also to those who have hurt us and brought darkness to our lives. The wise Rumi said,
We must break our hearts again and again, until light gets in.
A popular meme:
Sometimes, people who come into our lives do this service for us, to break our hearts to let light in.
Wow. Turning something painful on its head and seeing stardust falling out.
But generally, people hurt others because they’re going through their own hell, nothing personal in many cases. Understanding this does help, I think, because it calls for compassion, not hate. Fill your brokenness with “gold”, rather than hate.
I received an email reminder today to send flowers to the people who had broken my heart and consequently, let the light in. When it happened my heart was so utterly shattered that I wandered around London for days in a daze, totally confused and broken. I couldn’t bear for my parents and my children to see my suffering.
But I survived the experience, grew tremendously from it and I appreciate what I have more than ever.
I am richer for it. I think we need to have periods of darkness in our lives, to really see the stars. Life can’t always be about good things. Thus, I send a prayer of gratitude today for the gift. God bless.