A pretty common thing that happens when life falls apart and you fall apart and breathing is your number one goal for the day is that your life just gets really small, really contracted and really self-centered. I hate that it’s true, but sometimes when you’re healing you get so centered on your own suffering that you can’t/don’t see the miracles happening right in front of your face. You just get really selfish.
I need to say that this is true for me. I thought I was so alone, but the truth is, I was surrounded almost all the time by earth angels and angels from other realms too. I wish I could have recognized it while it was happening.
The Road I Walked With Angels was a long and crowded road, actually.
I have been loved deeply by others who were brave enough to sit beside me when I wasn’t a whole lot of fun to be with. It is one of the errands of angels, I believe.
One of the greatest acts of love I know of is sitting with a person during times when you’d really just like to avoid them until they’re in a better state of mind. There is something very angelic about running toward the places \everyone else is running away from because you know there’s someone in there that needs help getting out.
I was a mess for a while there . . . a blubbering, crying, hopeless mess. And I couldn’t move because of the mental and emotional paralyzation I felt. So if you wanted to see me, you had to come and sit by me. And I pretty much had nothing to offer to anyone during this time.
I don’t know why anyone showed up, but they did. I needed help getting out.
Today I started making a list of all of the angels who showed up for one minute or for days and weeks and months. And the list is long and incomplete. I know I have missed some of the names and I know they will come to me later but I was astounded at how long the list was. The acts are not enormous if you just looked at them on paper, but if you could see the impact that just showing up and sitting, or sending encouragements and reminders has on a person . . . I think we’d all see that we are surrounded by angels all the time. And that we have opportunities every day to be an angel ourselves.
We have opportunities to truly help others to literally stay alive another day. And it’s easier than we think.
I know that I cannot list every single one, but I want to tell you about a few — with the hope that you’ll both see how often YOU have been an angel and how often angels have shown up FOR YOU. And that’s what this road is all about.
My friend September bought a plane ticket to Idaho when I was packing up to leave. She didn’t even ask first, she just showed up because she knew. These were not good days. I was not a fun companion. I will never forget the way she came and helped me pack up my beautiful life and give some of it to Goodwill, throw some of it in the burn pile, and sort through the rest to find things tiny enough to fit in our RV. She helped me in very practical ways, but it was the sitting with me that mattered most. The showing up. The not being afraid of the grief and sorrow oozing out of me like a horrid infection. She just sat with me and loved me exactly as I was, where I was.
It was sort of a tag-team as I look back, because Hilarie, who had been beside me for 10 years of running retreats and making courses and making art and just general sistering, sat beside me every minute of every day . . . and sometimes spent the night on the worst days just so I wouldn’t be alone. She continues to be the most sparkling example of angelic sisterhood that I could ever try to describe. You just have to know her to understand what I mean. She has never, ever stopped showing up.
And Shannon would drive for a large portion of the day to come and visit me before I left — so many times. I know it wasn’t fun for her, but she just kept showing up anyway. We’d sit in my RV and I would just cry. And she would hold my hand and tell me about the days when she had to leave her beautiful life behind and all of the complicated mess that went along with it.
And my sister Lynda would drive out to the country from the city, in her beautiful business clothes. And sit next to me in my RV for hours and hours and hours. Like it was a hospital room. She just kept showing up.
And my friend Vicki who listened to more tearful accounts of what had happened since the last time I saw her, and my excruciating crisis of faith. No matter what a mess I was, she just kept returning. Never giving up.
And Kolleen. Always always always, no matter what. Sweet love and tough love. She’s the one you’d want beside you if you were on a long journey and you wanted to quit. She’s a cheerleader and truth speaker. She won’t let you drown but she will also remind you of how strong a swimmer you are. She’d send songs and notes and the dorkiest GIFs she could find. Because she is a master at medicinal laughter.
And Jenny Gray. Ohhhhhhh, how I wish everyone had an angel in their life like she is. Perfect timing. Perfect words.
And Lori always knew when I was slipping down. She’d send care packages and record her voice saying motherly words and reminding me of what I needed to remember to stay afloat.
And Terry, and Maria and Shelley. I remember for months that went into years, Shelley sent me messages and texts EVERY DAY from her home in Canada— beautiful, encouraging words. And though I didn’t write back nearly enough, she never stopped sending me reminders that everything was going to be okay. Every single day, without fail.
Terry has been doing this for more than 10 years all the way from Texas.
Maria has been doing it for even longer, no matter where we both end up and how long it’s been since we’ve seen each other face to face.
And Robin. My Anam Cara. Even when she was sick and struggling, she’d always send a life preserver. She still does. Soon I will take you on The Road to Anam Cara and you will understand.
And my nieces, my beautiful nieces who have been my very close friends since they were just little girls. A text, a casserole, a sweet reminder.
And Mary-Anne, and Orly, and Lisa. And Lisa Lisa. And D’Wana. And Janet. And Joelle. And Lavi. And Tamara and Keesha and Nancy and Trina and Angela and Amy and Amy and Amy and D’Laine and Kat………….
And EVERY SINGLE BRAVE GIRL. Deep in my heart, deep in my soul.
And of course Pixie and Flora and Kelly-Rae and Katie and Lynx and Anahata and Shanny. Ohhhh the ways they’ve sat with me and I’ve sat with them.
There are so many others. The list goes on and on. And on. YOU are probably on this list.
…and now West and Kami and my kids…and of course, Marq. Every day they are angels to me.
I tell you this because you never know how 10 minutes of your time when you feel prompted to reach out to someone just might save their life. I’ve told you on other roads how good I have been at smiling and waving when I’m falling apart inside. So the ones who can see past that dog & pony show and aren’t afraid to look behind the curtain are truly angels.
And if you believe in world peace, it’s a great investment to make. Because now that I am on the other side of that long nightmare, all I want to do is show up for people. It’s just what happens once you’re nursed back to health . . . you want others to heal too.
I once gave my keynote speech at Symposium about the dream I had where a giant pair of hands showed up and made a sort of boat. And asked me to get in the boat and just flow down the river. The hands asked me to rest. They just kept saying SHHHHH, JUST LET ME HOLD YOU.
Be still and know that I am here. Rest. Just let me hold you.
I hear the angels saying these words. I will sit with you, they say . . . for as long as it takes. I am not going anywhere.
The stillness, the quiet, the willingness to do everything that matters by expecting nothing, the patience, the gentleness, the respect, the love. It’s unforgettable and medicinal even if it only lasts a few minutes. It’s what we need so much from each other. It’s angelic.
I will spend my lifetime looking for opportunities to pay it forward, to repay this time in my life when so many angels showed up. It kept me alive.
And even as I am rebuilding my life, as Marq and I are rebuilding our shared life and ourselves . . . so many of the same angels have showed up. And so many new ones.
On The Road I Walked With Angels I learned about those miraculous minutes of lifesaving love that might have seemed so small to the one giving it, but were everything to the one receiving it. The way we look at a person at the store matters. The way we touch the arm of someone who feels alone matters. The way we save a seat for someone matters. The way we love others in their darkest hour matters.
We are indeed surrounded by angels, each other.
So, wonderful soul
When have you been in the presence of angelic love? AND
What was a small act that someone performed for you that was SO BIG in the grand scheme of your life?
Thank you for walking this road with me, it was a beautiful one.
Tomorrow we will travel to The Road Where I Got So Sick of Myself
I love you – thank you for being an angel.