You would think everyone would get excited about receiving a gift. Someone was thinking of you when you were not there and took the time and effort to procure said gift, possible package it in an attractive way and then presented it to you.
Wonder what it is?
Is it something you have wanted for awhile?
Is it something you will love and would not get for yourself?
Will it be useful?
Will it be delightful to look at?
How many hours of pleasure might you get from the gesture of receiving this gift?
If someone presented you with a gift, would you just stand there and not take it? Would you ignore the gesture and not receive it? Highly unlikely. Yet we deny and ignore gifts all the time. Mainly because we do not recognize them and we resist change to accept them.
Events happen in our lives and in our state of humanness, we get wrapped up in the trauma drama without seeing what is really in front of us. We let the events and often the reactions of others around us dictate our reactive choices, when we could see the gifts life is handing us with pretty bows on top.
I’ll share one example and you can think of your own and ponder on the great gifts you may have waited quite some time to receive.
I got that call. The one you never want to get, that someone I love was in a horrid accident. My oldest son had been driving his motorcycle home from work, when a woman in a southbound Lincoln, turned directly in front of him, in an intersection. The blinding Tucson sun, possibly kept her from seeing, an approaching motorcycle, and many lives were changed, forever. Now I have blogged about different aspects of this before, as it changed my life in ways I could not anticipate.
I could have dwelt and gotten stuck in the fact my son was seriously injured, or that I was told repeatedly that he was going to die. Motorcycle accidents with head injuries are called OD’s in ICU, Organ Donors. A nurse told me that. A doctor told me even with the medical staffs best efforts, Jason’s prognosis was still death. These incidents plus others, including seeing my son hooked up to tubes and apparatus’ all over his body are things not easy to forget. This is exactly where people get stuck. They play these scenarios over and over in their minds, allowing them to set patterns that control how they think, feel and behave for the rest of their lives if they are not mindful.
I was meeting with an employment counselor a year after all this and cried when I spoke about it. I thought Jason’s accident had something to do with my ability to find a fitting work position for myself, to support my family. The counselor kept asking me why I was crying. I said I was crying because my son was in an accident. He said, but your son is fine now. Why are you still crying? I said, because my son was in an accident. Do you see the cycle or pattern here. I was stuck in a past event and why? I sat there, calmed myself and considered… why was I still crying? And it hit me. I was really crying because this awful event had happened and I did not have someone who really cared about me in my life to be there for me, as in a guy. I had adult children, but no man person who loved me, beside me. When I realized that, I saw how ridiculous that pattern was, for, literally, crying out loud!
I saw how amazingly I had handled that entire incident with continuous conversations with doctors, nurses and staff for Jason’s care, time with him, his father and his brothers, and so much more and I stood the test, persevered and rocked it. And in that moment, I could let go of the trapped pattern and stand in my own powerful place. And that was a gift.
Recognizing that my son, with a traumatic brain injury and not expected to live, did indeed live opened my eyes to miracle after miracle. Walking into his hospital room when I first got to Tucson, I knew Jason was not gone, as his father had told me on the phone. I knew I was not there to make the decision to take him off life support. My gift of intuition told me something different than everyone around me was telling me. And that was a gift.
This one life event has left me with innumerable gifts that I, over time have come to recognize for what they are valuable insights, understanding, and reasons to be grateful and who would think you would get those gifts from hearing your son was dying?! I see the gifts in the events of life and I am grateful.
You see, the things we think are the important things are not the important things. It is in the spaces around them that we find the important things. It is never the destination, but always the journey where the value lies. It is not on the beach sipping Mai Tais that we grow into wise productive humans but in the process that we learn, in the hardship where we grow.