On the post for the 19th, I said I was done celebrating Nancy’s life, and today was a strange day for me. I felt lost and was reflecting on the blessings that I received from my life with Nancy. I asked myself, ‘what did I learn?,’ ‘what benefit was I to Nancy?’.
It seems logical that when someone is gone that was there for some time, that we would reflect on questions such as these. It doesn’t matter how they departed, it is just that they are no longer there.
So, I reflected on what I learned, how I benefitted. I cannot presume that I would know what exactly or how exactly I was of benefit to her. I have some ideas, my opinion and such, but I will concentrate on the post by focusing on my own perspective, which I can know very well.
I reflected today that at the top of the list is that I had the opportunity and honor to practice my concept and activity in the idea of unconditional love. It is easy to love someone who is loving, but when someone is fighting you or looking at faults and such, it is much more of a challenge to offer unconditional love.
In my own life, I’ve experienced it personally, and also participated in divorce. It can be treacherous or not as is chosen by each, but in any respect, it is generally not a pleasant experience. It is a lesson in NOT unconditional love, or rather a very conditional love generally. But it can be other as we choose.
With Nancy, I had ample opportunity and contrast to practice my own personal goal and ideal of being a living example of unconditional love. I may not have succeeded 100%, but I got better and better and better, and I am proud of the progress I’ve made.
I learned patience. I was not a patient man. Indeed, I had a short fuse from time to time, but I had a goal; a desire; a willingness to practice in being more patient and calm. In the last year and a half, this patience was tested to the extreme. I refused to give in, give up, and let go. I wanted so much to be a patient and calm person, to exude these attributes that go along so perfectly harmoniously with unconditional love.
I am proud of the fact that I kept on keeping on and continued to find joy in the opportunities to practice patience.
Joy. I chose joy as much of the time as I could. In the practice of choosing joy, I found more joy continually. Joy is not something that someone else can give, it is something that we give ourselves only. It is very personal in that way. Regardless of the challenges that I was given, I found opportunities to practice allowing joy in my life. Yes, it is a very selfish thing, but that is not at all a bad thing, but a good thing. In the midst of tragedy, I found joy enough for me, and it was always my hope and desire that this example would inspire others to allow joy in their own lives among their own specific examples.
Meaning. It wasn’t just the many challenges with Nancy, but I found opportunities to practice all three of these most important attributes, everywhere that I went. After a brief testing, I actually looked forward to these opportunities and rejoiced in them. Each one brought me further along and more improved.
I rejoice in the love I gave and accepted, the patience I demonstrated and practiced, and the joy I chose for myself regardless of other’s choices or points of view. These are the best lessons, learning, and growth attributes I could imagine receiving in any relationship.
“You Are What You Practice Most.” — Richard Carlson
Spread Some Joy Today–What qualities of life will you practice? You get to choose.