“When we see life as it really is, it all suddenly makes sense. Then the changes that are occurring are seen as gifts and not burdens. And then future changes will be demonstrations of creation, not tests of endurance. Life is intended to produce for you a direct experience of who you really are, and then, an opportunity to go to the next level in your expression of that.” ~ Neale Donald Walsch
I mentioned in my last post that I lost my mom to cancer. Before that happened, I had a job designing catalog pages for a large art supply company. The office had a photography studio, we were surrounded by art supplies and we were encouraged to experiment and play with art! After many jobs in print shops full of highly toxic chemicals and junk mail waste, I thought I had finally found somewhere amazing to work.
After about 9 months of working there, my mom was diagnosed with cancer. In a quick blink of an eye, I quit my job and moved six hours north to Wisconsin to be with her. She was given 3 months to live. While I had thought that I had some hard times in my childhood, this period in my life really was the hardest thing I have ever gone through.
She fought and survived for 9 months and during that time I cared for her as best as I knew how. I also worked two part time jobs – neither of which had anything to do with art or creativity. There was little to do to help ease her pain and discomfort besides just being there with her to hold her hand. I watched her deteriorate to the point of being nothing more than skin and bones.
How could I ever see this experience as a gift and not a test of my endurance? How was this a demonstration of creation and not a heavy burden?
Her passing will always sadden me. Thinking of how she suffered will always hurt my heart. However, since that time in my life, I have made so many life-transforming decisions. I have realized so many things about myself and about life in general that I could never go back.
The most prominent lesson learned: Life is short. Nothing is gained from living life in a state of bitterness, unhappiness, hatred or regret. Everything is wasted when you wait for things to happen to you instead of making things happen for yourself. It was almost as if her passing had forced me to wake up to these insights. I took so much for granted prior to her passing. I had hate in my heart for things out of my control. I shuffled my feet in boredom and wasted time playing video games or watching television. I was using such a small percentage of my potential abilities.
Gradually over time, I’ve learned to apply this very valuable lesson. I’m now completely dedicated to my dreams. I have created a destiny for myself from my imagination and I am motivated to reach my goals. I have strong intentions now. I am motivated. I am awake and conscious of how my feelings are reflected in my day to day life. I am productive and spend very little time sitting around doing nothing.
As soon as I realized that life wasn’t happening to me, but instead life was for living, it all made sense. I now know who I am; what I’m supposed to be doing; and how I should be doing it.