…..and I am blessed

I am so very tired.

I am so very ill.

I am so very tired of being so ill, so unable to function the way my life demands I must.

Deadlines still come in, yet my brain, my body,  my energy will not rise to the challenge.

Every day is just so hard.  So exhausting.

Yet……

In the midst of that deep grey there are some things that sparkle.

A friend who hates the phone as much as I do.  She calls in a time of need.  It’s a big thing for her to call.  We talk for an hour.  She feels better.  We feel closer.  I am blessed.

A funny, fuddy duddy step-father who sees my time of need and offers to help.  He cares.  And I am blessed.

A phone call from a real estate agent.  I have been accepted for the rental property next door to dear friends.  They will be watchful over me.  We embrace.  And I am blessed.

A beautiful text comes through from a beautiful friend who has been doing it tough.  She is going to be ok.  I smile.  I am blessed.

A student who has struggled all year has a penny drop moment.  He gets it.  He’s on a roll.  His face lights up!  His world just changed.  Maths is no longer a big black looming monster.  I do the happy dance and the class laugh.  Wow.  I am blessed.

A friend also battling pain and illness shares my moments through the day.  The highs and lows.  She gets it.  Someone gets it.  Someone gets that daily struggle.  I am not alone.  She is not alone.  And I am blessed.

A silent student finds her voice and discovers she has a knack for impromptu speaking!  A big smile spreads across her face and she blushes as people applaud and comment, “Wow!  You’re really good at this.”  Joy wells inside of me.  I have to tell someone!  I am blessed!

Golden shining moments in the middle of deep tired grey.  They shine all the more beautifully because of their contrasting dark background.  They sing a song in my heart.  And I am blessed.

The Beauty of Weakness

 

I’ve been having pretty rough run lately. Recently I wrote an email to a friend, filling her in on all the happenings in my life and home and it read like something from “A Series of Unfortunate Events”! At the moment I am kind of bracing myself thinking, “What’s next?”

I have the unfortunate disposition that when I experience enough stress for a prolonged period of time, eventually the cracks start to show and I become physically ill. I hate that! I feel like a basket case. I struggle with debilitating dizziness, physical weakness and levels of brain fog that leave me not knowing what the hell I am doing a lot of the time. To know that your physical condition is psychologically induced is hard to come to terms with. I wish I were more resilient – made of tougher stuff.

I stood in front of the mirror last week. I stared at my reflection and all I could see was weakness. And I despised that weakness.

Why do we hate weakness so much?

I don’t hate the weakness in my friends. In fact I love my friends all the more for their weaknesses. Those little chinks in their armour make them human. They make them someone I can relate to. I don’t know about you but I don’t relate terribly well to squeaky-clean people who appear to have it completely together.

For a person to allow you to see their flaws and weaknesses is a great privilege. It is a sign of depth of friendship because of the trust that comes with it. A weakness in a friend also gives you the unique and special privilege of offering them support. And in doing so, the bonds of friendship and love become even deeper. When I look at the people I love, their weaknesses are a blessing, not a curse. They are a gift.

There is a Japanese tradition called “kintsugi”, where, rather than throw away broken or cracked pieces of pottery, they are repaired with a resin and gold powder, or substance made to look like solid gold. It is born of a philosophy that the cracks and breakages are a part of story of the piece, not a reason to throw it away. Once repaired, the piece often looks more beautiful than it did before it was cracked or broken!

So why do we hate weakness? Why does our culture despise weakness? Why do we despise cracks and flaws? Why do I look in the mirror and despise my own weakness? My weaknesses are a part of my story. Yours are a part of your own story. If I can see the gold in the weakness of others, perhaps it is time to start looking in the mirror and seeing the gold in mine.

 

Kintsugi