My last blog post was a bit of a downer, revisiting old grief and new. I was talking about how hard it’s been since I’ve lost my pet Eilonwy, the animal that taught me how to open my heart after Beth’s death. I was grieving, lamenting the fact that loss is just a part of life…but Love is still worth it.
The amazing thing is? On November 2nd at 10:45pm–the very same evening the Cubs won the World Series–I heard a meowing at my bedroom window. Guess who it was? Eilonwy. She was dirty, had lost weight, and had a big cut on her back left leg…but she was THERE.
She was missing 10 whole days.
I, of course, was shocked. It seemed too good to be true. A miracle, in some ways.
And it was a huge reminder in my life that good things can happen, too. No matter how hard life gets, the miraculous, the good, the beautiful can always be around the corner. You never know when it might strike, but good does come. Life is hard, but it is also beautiful.
You see, I saw in Eilonwy’s story part of my story of the past 4 years, and especially the last 2. Whatever adventure she went on, she fought to get home. From the telltale signs, something exciting and scary and big happened…and she fought and never gave up and found her way Home. Why? Because she loved, and she knew Love was calling. Home is Love, and she found her way towards Home through Love.
And that’s what we all have to do no matter what is happening in our lives.
I know I’ve had an intense year full of death, heartbreak, health problems, financial crisis, and other issues. In October, my car fell apart—and it was an expensive repair I just couldn’t really afford. Then my cat went missing, which seemed to me the final straw in a long, long string of pain. It’s just been one thing after another after another all year.
Part of me wanted to give up. I felt that was the only option.
When my car broke down, I thought it was the end. But I had several people offer to let me use their cars, and I had friends help out in extraordinary ways. In the hardship, I was reminded that people do have such a capability of good, too. That Love can find a way.
This November, I started making a list of all the good things that have happened this year—even in the midst of all the bad. I thought back to all the people and experiences and amazing moments…and I realized that WOW, a lot of good happened, too. 2016 was been a hard year, but it’s also been a beautiful year…
A List of Good Things That Happened in 2016:
- I loved someone, and someone loved me back in beautiful ways I’ve never quite experienced before in any kind of dating relationship.
- My sister came to visit me for my birthday in March, and I got my first tattoo with her there. 😉
- I have an amazing landlord who listened to me and helped me navigate a toxic roommate situation, and I have an awesome new roommate who has been so fun to live with.
- I started a Poetry Group this year that meets monthly, and the depth of discussion and the amazing people that are part of it just makes me smile every time I think about it. For instance, one of our group members started a cool thing called Car Window Poetry. Go check it out.
- I started a Writing Group where we’re diving into fiction/nonfiction works and inspiring each other to create in community.
- My friend Abby of Flourishing Hearts Yoga and I got to experiment with our grief & healing workshop in January, and everything we’ve been learning started coming together for us in how we wanted to move forward in helping others heal.
- My deepening practice in yoga and meditation/contemplative prayer and the amazing ways my life has changed through these practices.
- Amazing adventures like camping at Lake Dillon this summer, going to shoot a wedding at Crested Butte, and visiting Florida and seeing the ocean.
- Flying to Texas to surprise my mom for her 60th birthday and seeing the look of happiness and surprise when she first saw me.
- Standing up for myself in various situations this year, recognizing toxic people and situations for what they are and getting out.
- Leading my first ever yoga/art/prayer retreat with Abby in September here in Colorado, and truly seeing how the things I’ve learned in my own healing journey can impact others in beautiful ways.
- Colorado Collective, the publication I work with and the amazing team of creatives I get to manage. Seriously, I am surrounded by the most talented, amazing people in this group, and I honored to be part of it.
- My decision to begin pursuing my yoga certification so that I can teach yoga. And getting $1200 donations towards my certification from generous people in my life who know how passionate I am about pursuing this. It was so amazing.
- Getting to see community rise up and help me out through so many situations this year (like having my car break down, and having people lend me their cars and just help me out through that rough season). Learning that it’s okay to ask for help, and to realize that I’m surrounded by people who love me.
- Some amazing friends who got to visit me, including a dear old high school friend, a friend who lives in Thailand and works at an amazing nonprofit, and a friend who lives in Germany. Woot!!!
- My cat Eilonwy, who was missing 10 days and still found her way home to me!!
And this really is just a sneak peak of all the cool things that happened this year DESPITE the hard, horrible things, too.
I’m sure many of you have had hard years. Maybe you’re mourning lost loved ones, maybe you’re dealing with health problems, maybe you’re afraid of the future.
But you can’t give up. Don’t do it.
Whatever is going on in your life, fight for Love. Fight for goodness, truth, healing. Good things do and can happen on this earth. Don’t just focus on the bad, because the bad can be overwhelming, I know. Focus on the good things, too.
Maybe we need to take time to be thankful, even in seasons where it seems like nothing good is happening. Because good is happening. You just have to open your eyes and live in it.
Find the Love. Find the good. And never give up.
What are some good things you’ve experienced this year?
Photo by Adobe Stock/Roman Sakhno