The US mail and Federal Express delivered two surprises to me today. In the mail, I received a note from a friend’s mother, filled with kind words and support. Years ago, I gave her a book. Today, she sent that same book to me. It’s unclear from her note if she remembers that we’ve shared the book already, or if she’s passing it to me at a time that she believes that my discovering it will be comforting. Either way, I am pleased to receive the book, sent from her hands to my own.
Federal Express delivered a package that my friend Pete put together for me. She put all sorts of things into a beautiful woven leather box: two beautiful cards filled with love and supportive words, two bottles of champagne, chewing gum, chocolate, English biscuits in the shape of champagne corks, bubble bath, and a book, Richard Bach’s Illusions. This is a book that she and I read years ago in college, back when the boyfriend was cheating on us, each against the other. Had I not been reading this book at the time, I might have gone off in a direction other than I did, a less-evolved direction. But at the time, and from new ideas I was learning in the book, I was open to Pete and found that I liked her and wanted to give our friendship a shot. She felt the same, so we pursued it from there. Together, we’ve shared our pleasure over the years, our certain shared pride that we were able to rise to that occasion and discover the gift of each other there. By sending me the book today, she sent me on the journey of that memory, as well as launched me into some new thoughts.
From page 5: And he said unto them, “Within each of us is the power of our consent to health and to sickness, to riches and to poverty, to freedom and to slavery. It is we who control these, and not another.”
Isn’t that a bit like the Serenity Prayer? It’s realizing the power of our consent. I’ve learned that the serenity prayer is braided with the steps of grief and recovery. You know, denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance, and hope. Around acceptance, emerges the second portion of the serenity prayer. What can you change? What can I change? I can change my perspective, my attitude. I can decide what is best for my physical body, my emotions and spirit. My life is within the power of my consent.
I sit here and realize that my feelings, epiphanies and actions have been absolutely predictable, almost as if someone could narrate my course on this site, tapping the screen with a lecture pointer, “ … and here, she’s obviously entering the depression stage…” and oddly enough, I’m comforted by the whole normalcy and predictability of the stages I’ve traveled through. I trust that what I am supposed to be doing with my grief and my life will be shown me. I trust that I will be granted the serenity, the courage, and the wisdom. In time.