I wonder how many times the sentence "I love my life," has bounced into my head, flowed through my heart, and sprung from my lips? Many, many times, and with good reason, for I have such a wonderful life, full of love and laughter and life-giving relationships and purpose.
What interests me is when this sentence, "I love my life," is present. I don't necessarily have to be thinking consciously about all the good things in my life, but may be driving to the grocery store or folding towels or stirring the soup. I may be walking up the stairs to my garret office for an hour or two of writing time or plugging in my iPhone for recharging, and I will have to stop and take a deep breath, for I am so overwhelmed by what I am feeling in that moment.
Yes, there are times of conscious reflection--when I meditate and then write in my journal or when I pray and address the state of my heart and the needs of those I love, known and unknown, when it doesn't surprise me to have that thought--one of intense gratitude-- but how do I account for all the other times when I am sure I must be glowing? I love my life. This feeling seems to be arising in my life even more frequently these days.
Last week I attended a training session at the Minneapolis Institute of Arts called Art Adventure, in order to volunteer at our grandson's school. I will be a Picture Person and help young people learn to "see" and to discover how art can bring joy and understanding into their lives. As I left the museum, such an amazing place, I could feel that familiar feeling of warmth envelop me. I love my life. The next day driving home from a quick trip to the grocery store I saw three yards completely covered in golden, end of the rainbow, pot of gold, leaves, and I almost had to pull over for the uncontrollable joy I felt.
What is even more amazing to me is that sometimes that sentence rushes over me when I am not as much in love with my life. When I was in the hospital after surgery for my broken ankle last March, I had a lovely young student nurse whose energy and open-heartedness lifted my spirits. I was in good hands and so would be everyone in her care. I may not have loved this new fact in my life, life with a broken ankle, but this new challenge was in the context of a life I love.
"I love my life" is a form of prayer. A thank you. Sometimes, it is also an expression of hope, a way of opening to support and strength. I recall driving from Ohio to Minnesota early in December many years ago. My mother had been admitted to a hospice recently because she was dying from colon cancer. I had been back and forth many times in the recent months and only months before had had surgery myself for uterine cancer. I spent part of the time in the car composing her eulogy, crying as I did so. As I approached the Chicago area and the challenge of driving through the city, I told myself to buck up and give my total attention to the road and the cars around me. I couldn't find a public radio station, but all of a sudden I heard Bing Crosby singing "I'm Dreaming of a White Christmas," and then, amazingly, every version of White Christmas was played--the Chipmunks, Glen Campbell, the Jackson Five, the Mormon Tabernacle Choir and many others. I smiled and sang and laughed and yes, said to myself, "I love my life." I felt stronger, better able to cope with what was ahead, and more whole, and as if a piece of healing had spread over me.
What I am beginning to learn is that when I am fully present to my life, fully awake and not in the past or the future, but just the present, my response is one of awe and almost ecstasy. I am in love with my life and am open to receive whatever is in that life.
Do you love you life? When are you most aware of being in love? What are you doing in your life right now to open to the love in your life? I would love to know.