I’ve watched more than my share of mindless television on days when I just can’t seem to crawl out of the bed. My go-to shows seem to be on HGTV. And maybe because I have been home so much lately, I am viewing where I live with a renewed appreciation for the refuge that it has become. I think that most of us feel that way, whether we dwell in a one room studio or a rambling mansion, we take pride in where we hang our hat at the end of the day, our safe haven from the demands of the world. Heck, even the turtle happily hauls his shell on his back, retreating to its safety when threatened.
I have learned that am a sucker for those makeover programs, the ones where they take abandoned and neglected homes and turn them into something magnificent. Perhaps it is because I am undergoing my own transformation that I find myself so enamored with the idea of making something old new again.
And much like the remodeling process, personal change is riddled with challenges, unexpected detours and alterations. Sooner or later, we have to decide what is important, what to keep and what to discard. When the walls come tumbling down, surprises are often revealed. And we regroup as we problem solve, fix what is broken. Much of what we think is important or irreplaceable, really isn’t, especially when something even better is offered in exchange. It is quite the metaphor.
So as I lose my hair and eyelashes and taste buds, I am also setting my sights on healing, residing in a place of spiritual awakening and learning to approach the world with gratitude. There is a strength that has come from this kind of vulnerability, a power that has flowed from my weakened state. The world is composed of opposites, I suppose. This is mine.
I try to imagine the next step of my life, although imagining any time past this moment sometimes feels difficult. Perhaps that has brought me to the greatest epiphany of all. I have always been a planner, mapping out a to-do list with thoughtful precision, motivated by the need to accomplish something. And yet, this place where I find myself has me emptied of all ideas of what has to be done. In fact, in the quiet moments where all that matters is that I am alive, I feel energized yet not compelled to act. During this important time in my life, I have found peace. I don’t need to do anything but “be” right now, commune with God, and nurture my spirit. I only have to spend an afternoon with loving family or friends to see how blessed I am. Ultimately, I have come to understand that love, the most powerful source in the universe, trumps everything.
My “house” is being altered, remodeled and improved. I am familiar with the “before.” It will be interesting to witness the “after,” the unveiling of the new me. Since there is no escaping difficulty, we can only hope to emerge from challenging times stronger, rearranged by the lessons imprinted upon our souls. And that, my friends, is the gift.