Week 4, Day 7
I hate when things end. I used to be one of those people that would start a million projects, or books, but would never finish them. The fear of being alone when it ended was hard for me to handle, so I would just let the book remain unfinished next to my nightstand or on the shelf, knowing that it was always waiting for me. I’ve gotten better, mostly.
There were a few days through the last four weeks I was afraid I wouldn’t make it to the end. The accountability, of having you read my words and insights, was the only thing keeping me going. If I couldn’t make it through the journey, how could I expect anyone else too? So, big THANK YOU for holding me to my word and allowing me to work on the areas of my life that needed changing and/or improving. And, for those of you that were more than just cheerleaders or quiet bystanders, thank you for doing your own work and opening your heart to go down the rocky path with me. If it weren’t for you, I’m not sure I’d be writing right now. And, I’m not sure I’d feel like the black cloud that was hovering over me was turning gray and clearing away.
It doesn’t mean I’m happy that this is over, though. I’m not. I’m going to miss this group. You know more about me right now than anyone else in the world. I feel connected to you and want to keep you close. Seeing your name reminds me that I’m not alone, and there is someone out there that knows, and maybe understands, me. Tomorrow, that will no longer be the case. Tomorrow is a new day, with new challenges and new inspiration. We will all move on and we will never have this moment together again. And, I don’t want to say Good Bye. I don’t like to say Good Bye.
SO – For our final day and post, I’m going to do a little cheating. Partly because I don’t want the journey to end, and partly because it is so much better than what I could write over my tears today. (I’m not really crying, at least not yet – but, I wanted to add a little dramatic flair to today’s post!) Appropriately, I’ve had an unfinished (and amazing) book waiting for me for nearly six months. Last night, I was thinking of how to approach today. That’s when I felt the nudge to read the final 40 pages of the book, No Man is an Island, by Thomas Merton. Over the course of the final pages, I was underlining, circling, starring and shaking my head at the amount of inspiration in his words. I’d like to share a few of them with you here:
*On the need for inward solitude – “If I cannot distinguish myself from the mass of other men, I will never be able to love and respect other men as I ought. If I do not separate myself from them enough to know what is mine and what is theirs, I will never discover what I have to give them, and never allow them the opportunity to give me what they ought…if I am less than a person I will never give others what they have a right to expect from me. We ought normally to educate one another by fulfilling one another’s just needs. But in a society where personality is obscured and dissolved, men never learn to find themselves and, therefore, never learn how to love one another.”
*On the need for silence – “Those who love their own noise are impatient of everything else. They constantly defile the silence of the forest and the mountains and the sea. They bore through silent nature in every direction with their machines, for fear that the calm world might accuse them of their own emptiness. The urgency of their swift movement seems to ignore the tranquility of nature by pretending to have a purpose. The loud plane seems for a moment to deny the reality of the clouds and the sky, by its direction, its noise and its pretended strength. The silence of the sky remains when the plane has gone. The tranquility of the clouds will remain when the plane has fallen apart. It is the silence of the world that is real. Our noise, our business, our purposes, and all our fatuous statements about our purposes, our business, and our noise: these are the illusion.”
For 28 days, we’ve taken a few minutes to mindfully sit in a quiet place of solitude. We’ve used the natural settings around us to inspire and uplift. We’ve encountered inward peace, clarity and healing. The need for inward solitude, to know thyself and to stay silent are the secrets we will take with us tomorrow. Please join together in a final moment of peace. Breathe a breath of freshness. Ask yourself one last time, ‘What are you thankful for today?’
New to the series? No problem. Start the 28-day journey to renewing your Spirit of Giving from the beginning with Week 1 – Learning the Basics , Week 2 – An Attitude of Gratitude, Week 3 – Livin’ by Forgivin’ – OR – Week 4 – Make a Difference.