Hi friends. I've had something on my mind for a while now that I've felt like sharing here. A few weeks ago my favorite uncle died. While he had CHF and a pacemaker and I don't even know what else, it still came as a complete surprise to us all because he lived life so fully, with no apparent intentions at all of leaving us any time soon. I drove 1000 miles round trip in a 48 hour period on very short notice so that I could pay my last respects to him. I realized about halfway down there that I was going to stand up and speak, if we were invited to. Something I've never done before and may never do again. (It's scary!) I want to try and repeat what I said that day. I was pretty nervous getting up there so I forgot a couple of things I meant to say, and it's been a few weeks so I've forgotten even more, but here's the gist:
I've known Uncle Jimmy for 52 years, and I can't even begin to tell you what his political inclinations were nor how religious he may or may not be. That's because he never talked about his views. I don't think he found such things important, really. He just lived Love. And as a result he always had that big shining smile on his face. I've seen him extend love to those who no longer even loved themselves. After 18 years of marriage he and Aunt Donna had Ashley, and raised her so remarkably in pure love. No disappointment. No expectation. And as a result she is remarkable and loving and accomplished and amazing. What if we were all raised like that? I never heard him argue. So many of us argue. Be it political or religious or just needing to be right. He always let the other person be right. I recently heard a saying, "You can choose to be right or choose to be Love." I never saw Jimmy choose to be right and I don't think he ever once felt like a Loser. Like they said in one of my favorite Beatles songs, "And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make." This crowded room today is a testament to the love he put forth, and a light has surely gone out in this world.
I've been thinking a lot lately about how much better would this world be if, instead of complaining about others and trying to think of ways to change them, what if we changed ourselves? To be self confident. To think we were awesome. To feel beautiful. Have you ever met someone who felt good about themselves, and then went out to make others feel bad? No. Because it just doesn't happen. I was sharing this idea with my sweet friend Stefani who sat with me at the craft fair this weekend and the following day she forwarded me this quote from Marianne Williamson:
“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
Wow. I was reading it to John and I couldn't even finish without my voice breaking and tears coming. Because I wish more than anything we could all work toward this way of existence. Because there's no reason in the world NOT too. He says I cried because I've been trying to minimize myself, be smaller for the comfort of others, for so long, and it's just not something that makes me feel good. I'm ready to let my light shine. Will you join me?
They say no blog post is complete without a pic so here it is:
with love, jen