Can a relationship filled with endless miscommunications ever shift back to what it once was? What do you do if every time you pick up the phone, you hang up wondering how in the world did the conversation deteriorate like that? Stop talking? Give up? Walk away?
I had one of those conversations last night. After months of missed opportunities to connect, I found myself once again soaked in the frustration of not being able to hear or be heard. The conversation ended with, “I don’t like you.”
On that note, I hung up and made dinner. As I sat down to my plate of poached salmon and rice, I picked up my nightly source of grace prayers, A Grateful Heart by M J Ryan. I asked for the perfect prayer for the day and got this from Iyanla Vanzant:
“The ancient Africans taught that if a person is good to you, you must forever speak good of them… In order to keep the good flowing, you must speak of it. Everything we receive in life is food for our growth. If we eat from the plate, we must give thanks. Remembering, without that food, at that time, we may have starved.”
I’ve had this book for a decade. I open it every night to whatever page Spirit selects. Over thousands of meals I’ve never been led to this prayer. Spirit waited for the perfect day to hear it. I was, at long last, ready.
I swallowed Iyanla’s words whole. I was reminded of how simple it could be. Just focus on the vast good that was in the relationship. Remember and speak of when we supported one another, laughed together, cheered one another on. Remember the hope and blessings that poured through both of us in our dark times and in our joys.
I whispered “thank you” to Spirit for this perfect reminder to remember and speak of the good and let everything else dissolve in the ether. Simply let go of the hurt, the frustration, the pain. Open my fist and drop all the pain.
I know that this is possible. And I know it has blessed results. As my ex-husband lay dying in a sterile ICU room, our son and I stood beside his quivering body and made a vow. I told him that we would forever remember the good and only the good. Even as I spoke the words, I felt a release and a relief. It is such freedom to see and remember the good. And there was good. There was. And, thanks to our vow, there continues to be.
I choose today to do the same. See the good and name it and be thankful for that and let everything else fall away. I am free.
Have you done something like this? How do you shift, let go, get free?
I grew up celebrating the seven Catholic Holy Days of Obligation–holy days like Ascension, Assumption of Mary, All Souls, etc. By mid grade school these “celebrations” seemed a whole lot more obligation than celebration. Just something else to do. At nineteen, like lots of other Vietnam War era college kids, I stopped celebrating my entire religion, never mind the Holy Days of Obligation. The whole thing seemed meaningless.
But enter the gifts of time–gifts that came in so many mangled packages. Packages labeled Loss or Fear or Starting Over. I didn’t want these “gifts.” But they kept coming. It seemed the more I tried to avoid them, the more piled up at the front door. An odd thing happened. When I worked up the courage to open one of these “gifts,” I found something beautiful.
Like the gift of 11-11. Today may be just another page on the calendar for you. Or it may be the American holiday of Veteran’s Day. For me, it is something more. It is the anniversary of a miracle. Several miracles actually.
My first clue that today is a precious day came on Nov 11, 1988. I was 39 and suddenly and unexpectedly pregnant. This was not immediately welcome news. Pregnancy and marriage were not on my life list. I was terrified. I didn’t see how I could possibly juggle all the balls needed to continue to be the major breadwinner and raise a baby. The father reacted by crawling into a shell of silence. My doctor added a healthy dose of fear with scary statistics on Downs Syndrome, Spina Bifada and all kinds of other horrifying possibilities for a woman with such “old” eggs. He insisted I have amniocentesis.
After plunging a horror movie needle into my belly four times, he finally extracted enough of the precious fluid. He handed it to me in a paper bag and told me I had 90 minutes to get it to the lab in Tampa. I arrived at the medical complex of the University of South Florida with twenty minutes to spare. But the front door was locked. The side doors were locked. I scrambled through dense bushes knocking on windows and calling for help. With five minutes to go, I did the only thing left: I sat on the sidewalk and cried.
A taxi pulled up. A man got out. He walked up to me, pointed at my bag, and asked, “Is that for the lab?” I nodded. He took the bag. Dumbfounded, I watched him enter the building. Only when I got home did I realize I never asked the man’s name, I didn’t tell him what was in the bag or what it was for, and I had no way to know that it got to the right place. That is, until several weeks later when we got the glorious results that I was carrying a perfectly healthy baby boy.
If you’ve read Writing Down Your Soul, you know that my ’88 miracle was the portent of miracles to come. I declared my Covenant with Spirit on Nov 11, 2000 and three years later, the miracle check arrived dated November 11, 2003.
Since then, I’ve treated November 11 as the holy day it is. I clear my calendar, say my prayers, have long chats with my Divine Voice on the page, ask for guidance for the coming year, and place my requests for miracles, knowing that miracles are real and they happen. They happen to me. And they happen to you.
On the page this morning, reviewing my 11-11 miracles, I had a flash: This is a Holy Day of Obligation for me. It is holy and I am obliged to remember. Remember and be grateful. So I asked, what are all my Holy Days of Obligation. And guess what, there are seven! For me they are:
1-1 Begin Again Day New Years Day
1-11 Michael Day The day Michael showed up at Wings
6-16 I’m Here Day My birthday
7-2 Laurene Day The anniversary of my mother’s death
10-6 Atonement Day The anniversary of my husband’s death
11-11 11-11 The holy of holies for me
Friday 13 My Lucky Day Good things always come on Friday the 13th
No accident that there are seven. Seven in every spiritual tradition is the number of the divine.
I celebrate each of my Holy Days of Obligation by setting aside extra time to connect with Spirit. I always receive guidance. I always feel grateful-ness and joy. I always experience a deep sense of peace. And I always ask for–and expect–a miracle.
How about you? Have you considered the possibility that the calendar contains several precious and important days? Days Spirit has named just for you. Pick out those days. Name them. Then, on your next holy day, take a moment to reconnect with Spirit, remember your miracles,
re-explore your divine purpose, and renew your partnership with Spirit.
And expect a miracle.