This past Monday morning I woke up thinking about two friends. One was taking a short trip to the ocean, the other was running in the Boston Marathon. Both had asked me to join them, but because of my schedule, I wasn’t able to go. As it happened, my day opened up on Monday (and it was a gorgeous day) so I thought maybe I’d surprise my friend and meet her at the finish line of the marathon. I thought about the spot where I’d stood, in happy anticipation, the other years I’d been with her, and imagined her surprise as I called her name, but decided not to do it. “I decided” to track her progress on my phone instead, and spent the day doing necessary errands, took a little drive, and got back home about 4pm, somewhat confused that I hadn’t received her finishing time (I’d gotten her times at all the major points and the last one before the finish was the 30K mark and she was doing really well).
I made a bowl of popcorn and sat on the couch to watch the end of a movie that I’d started days ago, but before I turned on the video, the network news was showing the Boston Marathon scene.
My mind couldn’t grasp it. It was as if I was in a different world. They were showing the spot where I’d stood the previous years, the one I had visualized that morning… and an explosion?! A bomb?! Right there?! I started shaking as I thought about something that my mind could not possibly grasp…still can’t. All day yesterday, I felt my heart going out to the people gathered on that spot. I was unable to reach my friend but was confident that she was OK, and was most assuredly helping out others if they would let her….she’s that kind of person, but “How can I help?” was the question going through my mind. What came to me, late in the afternoon on Tuesday was, “You cannot figure out, or make sense of this. You are here now. You are alive, and there is work for you to do in this world.”
So today I am doing what I know to do. I am first of all, appreciating Life. I can be of no help to others if I’m down so low that they need to lift me up. I was in that space Monday night and Tuesday and I had so much loving help from those not intimately involved with the incident.
Sometimes, when a tragedy strikes, we feel that we must be in despair so we can join those despairing, but we are so depleted in that state, that we have little to give. There are those despairing today. I can “join them” in my heart by feeling and seeing a more expanded view of life. This is not saying, “buck up” or “there must be a reason” or any other trite response. For me, the most helpful prayer is when I can go within and Know that we are in bodies (and in these bodies there can be terrible suffering, terrible tragedy) but we are not our bodies,…we are essentially, beyond time and space.
We truly are all part of one “Body”, one Mind, whether we are in the physical state of being or not. And so, when I am able to, I drop into that field of awareness and pray from there. It is a wonderful thing that we are all not down at the same time. This is the way we help each other; we hold a higher vision when we can, and let others hold it for us, when we cannot.
I feel that a day of appreciation might be in order. Please share your thoughts of appreciation and thankfulness if you are moved to do so, and feel free to ask for prayer if you need it.
I am very grateful for the loving community of friends gathered here today. Thank you all.
“Appreciation is the highest form of prayer, for it acknowledges the presence of good wherever you shine the light of your thankful thoughts.” Alan Cohen