Getting ready for the day

Eleanor in a gift box
Eleanor in a gift box

Possibly one of the hardest things for me to accept in life is that the timing of things is pretty much out of my control, and often not even something that I can see. If things don’t seem to be happening within what I feel is an acceptable timeframe, I’ve noticed that my faith (that all is working for good and that I am a part of the harmonious flow of the universe and that everything is working for me, and thus for others) starts to wear pitifully thin, and what comes forward isn’t very appealing; self-doubt, discouraged thoughts, anger, resignation, feelings of isolation, frustration, condemnation of myself.

What I’ve also come to see is this: faith that depends on events in my life making sense, and on my sense of being in control, isn’t really faith at all.

Active faith is expectant faith. For me, it means getting up everyday (whether I feel like it or not) with the attitude that I am ready to be delighted and surprised by life’s gifts; those which will be bestowed on me, and those which I will be the bestower of. It doesn’t matter if apparently nothing has happened to move my life along (in the direction that I want it to go). I still get up expecting good. This is active faith….and it is something that I need to be aware of and work on, almost everyday. To me, this is the most important part of getting ready for the day.

Yesterday as I drove to meet a colleague for lunch, I was feeling off, wondering if I was doing enough to move my life forward. I began to say things like, “My opening may not come today, but I will still be ready for it, because it might. I may have encountered 99 closed doors in a row, but the next one could be the one that opens, and I want to be ready to step through”. I felt better and better as I drove along thinking this way.

At lunch, she presented an idea that was so exciting (for both of us) that we were flooded with goosebumps. As we talked about how to approach this project we could feel the perfect timing…like everything clicked. All the pieces had been there, for several years, but things had to be worked out (in our separate lives) for us to be at this point, at this time. If I hadn’t worked on my attitude on my way over to meet her yesterday, would this opportunity have presented itself? I don’t know. Maybe. But would I have heard it? I also wonder if she would have been excited to work with me if I’d been in a bad space emotionally.

I don’t wake up every day feeling like I’m on top of the world. I don’t have a faith that works even when I have a crappy attitude. I still need to work, everyday, on feeling (inside) the way that I want to live; open, loving, accepting, peaceful….but I do it, even when it isn’t easy, even when I don’t feel like it, because I want to be ready in body, mind and spirit to embrace this new day, and all of the (yet unseen) gifts and miracles waiting to present themselves.

“Miracles come in moments. Be ready….” Wayne Dyer

24 thoughts on “Getting ready for the day”

  1. Oh, boy, do I need this today as I struggle with my own negative thoughts and emotions. Mary, thank you for this insight — or wake-up call — about what active faith means. And thank you for the wonder photo of Eleanor. What a gift!

    1. I loved that photo too…wish it was clearer, but she is so funny..thank you for your kind words and thoughts Charlotte. Sending you thoughts of love and happiness today, Mary

  2. My life has changed so drastically this year…my mom passed, my daughter who moved home to heal from cancer is moving out today back into her own life free from cancer…my dad passed 10years ago today…it’s a very weird feeling…possibilities are endless that is the message i want to feel…not of loss and controlling that feeling of loss…i love & appreciate your blog Mary…

    1. And I really appreciate your depth of sharing your life here too Janette, ….may this day be filled with surprising beauty, Love, Mary

  3. It is wonderful to be needed and to have something to do everyday! It gives meaning to and a focus for the day . There is so much need in this country and in our own communities. The doggone housework will always be there .

    1. thank you Jane….and isn’t it true about the housework!…sometimes I wonder how everything can be so clean and neat one day and such a mess the next…I’d like to blame the animals, but I know better. May your day be filled with love and inner peace, Mary

  4. The past 5 years have been difficult ones for me. First, our beloved Border Collie, Zeke, died from epilepsy at only 3 years old. I had pleaded with God to heal him, so when he died, I became bitter and angry, and I lost my faith. All I could see was the suffering in the world that God could stop if he existed and was a loving God. Zeke was a rescue, and only 6 months of his short life were good ones. It seemed so unfair. To make matters worse, our 16 year old Westie had just died 3 days before Zeke died. Within a month after all this, my MS became much worse, and we made the wrenching decision to sell our wonderful farm in Kentucky and move back to Georgia closer to family and where I could get better medical care. Five months after moving, my Mom died, and exactly one week later my horse died unexpectedly. Then 3 months later my 14 year old Border Collie died. One year after that my 16 year old Border Collie died this past July. We still have our 4 year old Border Collie, but he’s totally focused on my husband, so I was left feeling like I had a huge hole in my heart. Mary, I think your blog is the only thing that kept me from plunging into a deep depression, something I can’t afford to do because I’m also dealing with my Dad’s depression after my Mom died. Following your advice, I started trying to envision another wonderful dog coming into my life, something I saw as only happening to other people, but not me. It happened to a dear friend of mine after her beloved dog died, and it happened to Jon Katz, but it couldn’t happen me. But I started printing out your posts that I felt spoke directly to me, reading them over and over. I searched petfinders almost every day with no luck, but I started daring to hope anyway. My husband urged me to call a couple of breeders in our area, but I resisted, thinking they would only have puppies, and very expensive ones at that. But he finally got the phone number of one close to us, and I gathered up my courage and called. It turned out that she has a 3 year old that craves more individual attention than she can give him, since she has 10 dogs. I asked her how much she wanted for him, and she said she would sell me his papers for $600. I didn’t really understand what she meant, but I told her that was more than I could spend, and asked if she would consider selling him without his papers, since I wouldn’t be breeding him or taking him to trials. She then said if we were a good match for each other, she would give him to me! She said she has been praying that someone would come along with a hole in their heart that he could fill!!!! We went to meet him Tuesday, and will be bringing him home with us this weekend. I’m starting to feel a flicker of faith returning, in myself, humanity, and the goodness of God! Thank you, Mary, for helping me to open up my mind and heart enough to start allowing myself to start searching for and recognizing blessings all around me!

    1. Laura, my heart goes out to with all your losses. I hope this dog brings you much joy, and you him. How wonderful that your paths crossed at just the right moment of need.

    2. Laura, I know what it is like to loose a dog before its time. We have Australian Shepherds and they are also prone to epilepsy and to hemangiosarcoma. I don’t believe in a punishing God, I believe that life is what it is and reaching for a spiritual source is where I gain my strength and peace. I ask only for the strength to help me deal with whatever life puts in my lap.And loosing dogs, which I have, is a very emotionally painful experience. Very. This new dog coming to you will help heal the hurt you’ve felt and in return, he will receive the love he needs and deserves. A symbiotic fulfilment and blessing for you both,
      SandyP in Canada

    3. Laura, there is nothing more I can add, after reading the spot-on replies to you of some of our flock. I can only marvel at what you’ve been through and the fact that you are standing tall, still.

      I hope for you only joy and love going forward, and healing from this wonderful new dog coming into your life. This will truly be the first day of the rest of your life. And you have all of us here in your corner.

      Many blessings to you!

    4. Dear Laura…I, like anyone who has read your comment, am in awe of your story and how you have opened up to life and love. I’ve been thinking of you all day (wondering if this is the day you will pick up your new friend). Please keep us posted and you will be in my (and many other people’s) prayers. Love, happiness and peace to you, Mary

  5. Dear Laura, anything I thought of writing five minutes ago has totally slipped my mind after being so touched reading your letter. I am so so happy for you that this breeder sent out that silent invitation for someone who would love this little guy, (and do you think puppy cares a whit about papers? Fun to pee on maybe as he gets housetrained!!) And I am so happy you found White Feather Farm and ‘our’ Mary and all the wonderful friends who gather here and share of themselves. If this isn’t the best Christmas gift ever, Mary – stoking up the embers of faith that sometimes threaten to extinguish themselves, but oh how the human spirit longs for that breath, the true Spirit, to fan them back into being. Blessings to everyone! xoxo

    1. I choked up when I read your words, ‘our Mary”…how sweet Susan! I Love that, and you! Sending you thoughts of happiness and love today, Mary

  6. This post means a lot to me. I have been sick for almost six weeks with virus after virus, migraines, and bronchitis, at the same time as I agreed to take care of my daughter’s 10 week old baby and twin four year olds while she went back to work. It’s hard to understand the timing and purpose of being sick, and why this has to be so hard when I am doing a sacrificial thing to help my daughter. I’m very discouraged and tired. I’m ready and waiting for that miracle of healing!

  7. Mary , your words (that express such humanity ) and those of Susan’s response to Laura , just are so real , compassionate and touching. Life is unpredictable and hard.
    I just thought I’d share this poem I came across while in a dark hour of my life. It reminded me of the transient nature of our dark places and reminds me that nature ( dawn ) and the beauty of life ( new hopes, new dreams, new faces) will still shine through.

    Nay, do not grieve tho’ life be full of sadness,
    Dawn will not veil her spleandor for your grief,
    Nor spring deny their bright, appointed beauty
    To lotus blossom and ashoka leaf.

    Nay, do not pine, tho’ life be dark with trouble,
    Time will not pause or tarry on his way;
    To-day that seems so long, so strange, so bitter,
    Will soon be some forgotten yesterday.

    Nay, do not weep; new hopes, new dreams, new faces,
    The unspent joy of all the unborn years,
    Will prove your heart a traitor to its sorrow,
    And make your eyes unfaithful to their tears.
    .. Sarojini Naidu ( an Indian poet)

  8. Ahhhh…flooded with goosebumps! One of the best, deeply spiritual, happiest feelings in the world! Like all of our senses peaking in the very same instant and surrounding our heart! This just might be my new morning prayer…”I wonder what will give me goosebumps today?!” And today it is this very post! Thank you!

  9. Mary, for heaven’s sakes, I’m amazed at how you manage to pull this ‘stuff’ out of you and it seems to land right in the middle of my universe. And mind. What a relief that I don’t have to wake up feeling grateful for every darned thing in my life good or bad but that I, like others, have to work on my attitudes every day of my life. When things go smoothly, life is great; when they don’t; I’m aggravated…I figure after going through enough poop in my life, it should. Doesn’t seem to work that way though so why am I surprised when life comes up and bites me in my backside. This is a good post Mary, one to keep.
    SandyP in S.Ontario, Canada

  10. “Even in the mud and scum of things, something always, always sings” I always think of Emerson’s quote when I’m feeling down and droopy. Thank you Mary and all the comments today from the flock. WOW, what a group of magnificent people.

  11. Mary, you sure nailed this one. Aside from your lesson to us, you also helped me by letting me see that you don’t get up every day filled with sunshine and daisies. I sure don’t and it helps me to have an example (you) to follow in holding my life together when it’s cracking into pieces.

    Thanks so much for today’s post. Love to everyone this weekend!

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