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Gifts from Family

Why do we resist life as it is?

Why is it that campaigns which promise to help us be, do, or have more, carry such great appeal?

What if we could just thoroughly investigate who we are and examine the unique set of gifts and talents we bring to the mix, instead of hoping to imitate someone else?

This weekend I attended a family reunion. I had the opportunity to meet some, previously unknown, people and to chat with others, who because of choices made by my parents and grandparents, became a part of my genealogy. Some of the people evoked warm, fond memories, and some reminded me why I never went out of my way to attend family reunions.

In all fairness we were only at the event for a little over two hours so my schedule did not allow for a lot of in-depth exploration. In the short time allowed I was unable to uncover anyone who spoke my language. Most of the ‘remember when’ dialogue just did not appeal to me. There were a couple of people I would have loved to engage, but my self-imposed time limitation did not leave room for such investigation.

All in all, I am very glad we attended. It was a remarkably perfect day in an incredibly beautiful part of the country and it offered me another opportunity to be real amongst a group of semi-strangers, each with diverse recollections of the past. Family, that group of people legally recognized as being “related” because of birth, weddings, and procreation, is a fascinating social structure. While not a perfect microcosm of society, it does, nonetheless, tell its own story by the diversity or lack thereof of the players.

I started this piece asking why we resist life as it is because I had intentions of tying this into writing by a poet I had planned to share. Because of the direction this reflection has taken, I will be dropping the other work, but the question is still valid.

My family, like many others, was not well skilled at teaching its children of their intrinsic value, just for being. Many of the conversations, I had, yesterday were about failed dreams; life’s overbearing challenges, and regrets over what could have been. Only a couple of the people spoke of the enjoyment found in everyday life. Simple love of life was not a course in the average Teters’ curriculum.

The self-help industry commands billions of dollars a year because we do not teach our children that they are enough, just as they are. We brag on their achievements, we taut their degrees, jobs, successes, etc., and we glow as we retell the awards and accomplishments they have gathered. Very seldom do we let the child or the rest of the world know that they are a blessing to the planet, to all of humanity, just because they are here, just because they are Love expressing as the unique form they are.

There is nothing wrong with changing things about ourselves because we enjoy learning or developing new or stronger skills and talents. In fact it can be a very enjoyable use of our time; but to engage in these activities from a place of lack; to hope to become more through completion of some course, can just reinforce the pain felt when we believe we are not enough, just as we are.

Each one of us comes equipped with a unique set of gifts and talents. Whether or not we ever discover these tools and whether or not we ever do anything with them, we are, regardless, the Universe’s gift to itself. We are Love, the only true power from which all of life manifests, expressing as ourselves. As such we deserve all the respect that people reserve for gods. All we are is God, regardless of whether or not we ever step into the role of becoming as we imagine God is.

We must give ourselves that respect. It is the beginning point for true self-discovery. It is ground zero for growing and sustaining a life lived in joy. Once we own the truth that we deserve love simply because we are Love we open the way for peace and harmony in all areas of our lives. Knowing such Truth changes everything, even everyday conversation with someone you haven’t seen in over twenty years. Life becomes about what is happening right here, right now, not about some fragmented story assembled about the past and carried around with the care normally devoted to treasure.

I am grateful for my cousin who worked hard to put this family gathering together. I am grateful for the cousin whose bucket list was the impetus for this birthday party. I hope she truly was surprised and I hope she feels loved as she continues her cancer adventure.

It was a most excellent day and a wonderful challenge for me to remain in Love through each new and old experience. My prayer for the family members I met and all of those unable or unwilling to attend is that you take the time to find the inherent joy which resides inside you. Once you are able to remember that you are enough, just as you are, you may learn that life is joyous, just as it is. There is nothing to resist and no one else you will ever need to be.

Being real offers so much freedom. While it may offend some people because you are no longer dependent on their approval, they will eventually be blessed by your example.

I am grateful for all who set the stage for me to practice staying in-Love and being who I Am. May the Love I Am help you, in some small way, to remember the Love you are.

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