The Greatest Gift

Most of you know that I am an anonymous face in a room full of lost souls.

Or maybe I should say found souls.

We are, after all, a group of people searching for the souls of ourselves before. Before life and all the varieties of it became a burden, shored up by mood and mind-numbing chemicals that stripped us of what made us who we were intended to be. Our essence, our souls. We were naive and optimistic 5 year olds that couldn’t even fathom to what depths we would sink in an insidious quest for comfortable numbness.

I remember being 5 years old. I was going to be

Dr. Doolittle, a mother who was an Olympic-ice-skater-turned-miraculous-animal-healer, inspiring others with her art and songs, changing the world while raising my children on a farm. Yes, I was completely confident that I really was that person already; I just needed to learn everything I could on the way to becoming. I was,by most gauges, a typical five year old.

I don’t know of ANY children who answer “what do you want to be when you grow up?” with,

“I want to be a spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally bankrupt soul who has become a drain on society and the people who dare to love me”. An anonymous face in a room FULL of lost souls…with little in common except an understanding of who we were tired of being and a common desire to find who we were BEFORE.

Do you know what my greatest gift has been on the journey?

The Greatest Gift, if I had to narrow it down from the millions of gifts that have been given me, has been the ability to be open-minded. I’m not going to claim COMPLETE open-mindedness, for that doesn’t seem realistic to my very human nature. Yet I feel that being able to be open to not only the familiar and common things, but also open to considering the possibilities of a different perspective other than my limited one.

I wasn’t always able to tolerate differences. Ask anyone who has known me well for any length of time. For a long time I was shut off from anything that didn’t parallel my own experiences and feelings. I was purposefully deaf to voices that spoke of things outside of my understanding. I chose to not listen. I chose to disregard. I chose to look at the glaring differences instead of seeking a common ground to build off of. My choice.

It was only by fate, serendipity, or just plain ole dumb luck that I stuck around long enough to hear.

I choose to call it grace. A gift. The greatest gift of all the gifts found along this path. The walls I had built to keep my world intact for years became the walls that kept me locked into a very narrow understanding – of life, of love, of people, of my place among them, anonymous though it may be.

I can’t remember the moment when a small ray of possibility worked it’s way in. What I have come to understand and embrace is that life is a learning curve. And that every man, woman, and child is a story all unto themselves that if I can just hear…REALLY listen with an open mind and heart… each story has something to add to my own that enriches it with color and sound and dimension and possibilities that only happen when I’m open-minded enough to change.

Open Mind

What’s the Greatest Gift YOU’VE received so far on your journey?




5 Responses

  1. a wonderful, inspiring, filled-with-hope, grateful post.

    …my greatest gift so far, ’cause it is still fleeting yet becoming more and more, is liking me and enjoying being me…

  2. wonderfully done…
    i am beginning to work on this – very thought provoking and challenging – yes, we unmask our broken mask in order to receive the gifts that make our lives livable again.
    Great “open mind” expression!!!

  3. Greatest gift huh? Hmmmm…that is a hard one. To narrow it to one , out of all the many. I guess it would have to be the gift of knowing that I am “loved” by God. I really needed that one! And now anything is possible and I am not alone and adrift anymore:)

  4. Love this post….thought they were my own words on the page…lol.
    As for me the greatest gift of this process thus far has been me finding me again…that little five year old girl bursting at the seams with life, love, laughter, magic and dreams.
    I missed here she was so fun…so I’m glad to have had the opportunity through the process of recovery to re-connect to her (me)!

  5. Other souls traveling the same journey. I am not alone.

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