Let it Be…

Sometimes I think God speaks to me through my car radio. Not in a creepy booming voice kind of way…it’s just that sometimes the perfect song plays at the time I need it the most. This has happened to me more than a few times – at either incredibly painful or joyous times…these songs and the way they made me feel have become defining moments for me.

I have been wrestling with a lot of questions lately – a lot of uncertainty. This is not a comfortable place for me, but I am working hard to stay vulnerable – to be conscious of my feelings, to be deliberate in my actions…to resist fear and take risks. Trying to adopt requires this… some days it is easy, and some days it is hard.

My big question lately is when does it make sense to let go, and when does it make sense to dig deep? I really struggle with this – I do not have a clear answer. I don’t think there is an answer because I think the answer changes moment to moment for me. Sometimes I want to let go of the angst, the uncertainty and to just let the inevitable happen. Most of the time, I don’t know how to actually do that. Other times I feel I need to dig deep and try harder. And much of the time I am not sure what to do. Sometimes I think I need to do both at the same time – let go AND dig deep. Ugh! Can you feel the tension?

Tonight I was driving home, lost in my thoughts on a tough day. I turned on the radio, and the very beginning of the Beatles “Let it Be” came on. Ahhhh… I immediately felt better. What a lovely song:

When I find myself in times of trouble, Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
And in my hour of darkness she is standing right in front of me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

And when the broken hearted people living in the world agree
There will be an answer, let it be
For though they may be parted, there is still a chance that they will see
There will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
There will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

And when the night is cloudy there is still a light that shines on me
Shine until tomorrow, let it be
I wake up to the sound of music, Mother Mary comes to me
Speaking words of wisdom, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, yeah, let it be
There will be an answer, let it be
Let it be, let it be, let it be, yeah, let it be
Whisper words of wisdom, let it be

The perfect song for the perfect moment. Again. God speaking to me through my car radio.

So next time I struggle with this question (which is likely to be tomorrow) I’ll remember how peaceful I felt on my drive home tonight. I’ll try to “let it be” in that moment…

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An Attitude of Gratitude

It’s Sunday morning, a time I like to reflect and write…and as I start this, I am not quite sure where it’s going to go.

I think I will start with gratitude and faith today – something that I rarely write about.

“Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.”
― Marcel Proust

Since I wrote my New Year’s post last month (Onward), I have heard from many friends, family, coworkers, and strangers who shared words of encouragement, and in many cases their own stories of heartache and joy. I am deeply touched that some said my post helped them in some way. That is why I write this blog – and I am so blessed to feel I was able to connect and help someone else.

Thank you to everyone who reads this. Thank you to the people who feel compelled to share your own pains, struggles, and joys with me. It means more to mean that you will ever know.

Last week, I had 150 nuns along with a Mormon temple praying for me, as well as many family and friends (my faith is not bound by my religion…but my religion is part of my faith if that makes any sense). I had a friend light a candle at the Grotto at Notre Dame for me. And I got to visit with my real live guardian angel, Anna Lee Crumpton, yesterday. How lucky am I?

Anna Lee is my friend Tiffany’s mother in law. I met her when Tiffany married her husband John a few years ago. I feel that Anna Lee is a guardian angel because since I met her a few years ago, I instantly felt a spiritual connection to her. Anna Lee always tells me how she prays for me (as she does for many of my friends too). She is certain that God has a plan for me – that my journey will completely make sense to me. I always feel better after spending some time with her, because she is such an inspiration to me and to people who know her.

Anna Lee has been fighting cancer for some time, but you would never know by talking to her. She emanates joy, grace, and peacefulness, which comes directly from her faith. She is one of those people who walks the walk. Tiffany and John brought Anna Lee over to see my new house yesterday, and we shared a bottle of Prosecco and visited for a little while. When we spoke about her most recent treatment, she shared a funny story about how her granddaughter Tristen went to chemo with her…and how they watched their favorite TV show and laughed their way through. Laughing through chemo? Wow – she is something else!

When Anna Lee left my house, we promised to pray for each other like we always do. She asked that when I pray for her, that I express her gratitude since she has everything she needs. Wow. Since yesterday, I have been thinking about that, and am trying to learn from her example.

Anna Lee is in the middle. These are just a few of the people she prays for!
Anna Lee is in the middle. This was taken a year ago. These are just a few of the people she prays for!

My journey continues to be unpredictable and challenging, but today, I feel peaceful because of the support I feel from my “village”, and from the faith I share with them. I don’t have any more answers than I did a few weeks ago, but I feel stronger.

Gratitude is powerful. I know most of us know this…and yet it is so easy to forget or ignore. But it is impossible to ignore with people like Anna Lee in my life. Today I am grateful!

Who Needs a Pep Talk (besides me)?

Anyone else out there relieved that January is over? I am. I can speak for me and for many of my friends that it’s been a rough start to 2013. I woke up yesterday morning, February 1st, feeling like it was New Year’s Day all over again. I felt glad to put January behind me, and felt like it was another new beginning – another chance to start the year.

I am not writing this to mope about how awful January was. It was. It could have been worse, but it still sucked. I want to simply acknowledge that it was, and put it behind me – behind all of us that had a similarly rough month. I am writing this because I want to dig deep for the energy it takes to stay hopeful in the face of what life throws at us – find the motivation I need to begin again with renewed energy.

I came across this short youtube video this week and finally watched it yesterday. If you saw my post on Facebook, you already know I feel it was the best 3 minutes and 28 seconds of my 2013. Especially since my 2013 just started yesterday. This little guy who calls himself Kid President gave me the best pep talk I have ever heard:

The cynical part of me knows that someone else wrote this..and edited the heck out of it to make it funny. But guess what, I don’t care because it’s hilarious and what this little guy says is true, and it was exactly the kick in the pants I need.

He says it much better than I can! Here is how I apply it to my life. Not quite as funny, but the point in doing this is to figure out how this helps me. Maybe it helps you too in some way in case you also need a kick in the pants.

Kid President: “The world needs you. Stop being boring.”

Me: Take risks. Be daring. Make choices. Remember doing nothing is still a choice. I want to make an impact – to make a difference.

Kid President: “Life is not a game people…but if life WAS a game, aren’t we all on the same team? I’m on your team. Be on my team!”

Me: Life is too short and is wasted the more I just sit here on the sidelines. Find the people who give me energy and avoid the energy suckers. A rising tide lifts all boats!

Kid President: “A Poem. Two roads diverged in the woods, and I took the road less traveled. And it hurt, man! Really bad!…Not cool Robert Frost.”

Me: Sometimes the choice I make hurts. A lot.

Kid President: “But what if there really were two paths…I want to be on the one that leads to awesome!”

Me: I’ll never know what awesome is until I make a choice to go down one path or another. Hopefully on the other side of pain is something awesome. Like Space Jam.

Kid President: “What will be your Space Jam? What will you create that will make the world awesome? Nothing if you keep sitting there.”

Me: Nothing is going to happen unless I get off of my a$$. My Space Jam is ahead of me. I need to take some action to make it happen.

Kid President: “This is your time. This is my time. This is our time. We can make every day better for each other. If we are all on the same team, we should start acting like it.”

Me: Sounds a little like Mr. Hand…but I digress. I believe that the Golden Rule is the most important life principle ever. I believe that we get what we give, aka cosmic karma. Let’s stop arguing with each other. This is why I don’t watch Fox News EVER.

Kid President: “We got work to do. We can cry about it, or we can dance about it.”

Me: We can mope or we can have fun. I am pretty sure if Kid President were here right now, I would be dancing with him.

Kid President: “You’ve just been pep talked. Create something that will make the world awesome.”

Thanks Kid President! I’ll watch this anytime I need a chuckle, and a kick in the pants. Now I am going to post this and get going!