Sometimes, crying is the only way to cleanse ourselves of the doubts that are blurring our mind so that our vision becomes clear again.
Coming home from job hunting this morning, I was feeling discouraged. So, I parked in my driveway and I cried for some time. I don’t cry often-I used to get angry instead-but now when I’m feeling discouraged, sometimes, it feels like the only appropriate thing to do.
However, it didn’t take long for me to realize that the impromptu pity party I’d decided to throw myself needed to be cut short, that what I needed to do was change my train of thought and find the good things happening in my life rather than focusing on those I can’t control.
For starters, it was so windy and chilly outside that as soon as I got out of my truck, I began to realize how blessed I am to have a vehicle to transport myself around and to be coming home to a warm house.
Then, as I got around to making my bed I thought of things I hadn’t thought of in a long time.
I remembered being thirteen years old and, at one point, sleeping on a cold dirt floor in my grandmother’s make-do cardboard shack with no electricity or indoor plumbing-on the outskirts of the city in the photograph below.
It reminded me of how grateful I am to have an actual bed to sleep in and a roof over my head that I’m not afraid is going to collapse during heavy rain.
But I am also grateful for the freedom to sit in my backyard, or my front porch, at any given time without the fear of someone being murdered in front of me, or of being murdered myself, because that is how things were when I was growing up (we lived in a Mexican region with a crime rate almost as high as it has presently grown to be in the entire country. My older brother was viciously murdered there in 1998).
I realize that when we escape things like that, after a while, we become used to things being better until the better things eventually become almost trivial to us. So, we begin taking them for granted even when they are the reason our life is as good as it’s become.
I don’t always share all of the things I experienced growing up because I realize that a lot of them would be difficult to believe-in retrospect, they seem hard even for me to believe and I was there. Also, because some things tend to lose meaning when they are shared.
I feel as though sharing certain things, would lessen their significance and leave me feeling as though, I have no right to be who I am because of having been through them-It’s difficult to even articulate exactly what I mean by this.
So, there are things I may always keep to myself, not necessarily because I am ashamed of them, or because they bind me to the past, but because they are things that laid out the foundation for becoming who I am. If those things lost meaning under someone else’s scrutiny, I’m afraid that who I’ve turned out to be would not make sense, either. So, I hang on to those thing, possibly not even as I lived them, but most certainly as I experienced them at the level of consciousness in which I was at the time.
Hanging on to them is what keeps me moving forward-not wishing that the past were any different but humbly grateful that because of it I am different that I used to be.
Life has shown me that for every piece of ourselves that we lose in each tragedy we endure, there comes a blessing later in which we recover those pieces and become stronger than we were before, that is how we are able to keep moving forward.
I believe everyone goes through their spiritual process at their own pace and I don’t like imposing my beliefs on anyone because I have no way of knowing what lies beneath a person’s surface or what their journey’s been like. I can’t judge from my limited perception of them what their spirit’s like.
So, when people approach me and ask me if I’d like to get to know Jesus, I’m intrigued by how it is that they’ve concluded that I don’t already know Him.
Some instances such an invitation leads me to discover how very deeply rooted some people’s pre-conceived notion of how one should get to know Jesus is-as if there is only one way to do so. But better yet, other times, it’s led me to discover how very deep the roots of my own judgment of self-proclaimed Christians run!
Nonetheless, each time, I’m reminded that we are all only living as best as we can at our current level of consciousness and that every single one of us has their very own spiritual journey to fulfill. God’s already laid out the plan that’s going to make it happen, all that we must do is respect each other’s process and honor each other’s progress without judgment because when we stop and judge others, it isn’t their progress we are hindering but our very own.
I’ve learned to accept others for who they present themselves to be, and I simply choose to keep learning from my own experiences and making a genuine effort to live the best way that I can at the level of awareness that I’ve reached in the present moment.
And right here, right now, my heart is genuinely grateful because the one thing that I do know for sure is that when we make peace with the past and learn to be grateful for where we are, God never fails to lead us to where we need to go from there.