December 7

LOVE MONTH: DAY 7: “If there is a day to act on the Love in your soul it is today, it is this moment.”

— Mike Dolan

Life is an interesting parade of events. Some of them are terrifying, some are beyond joyful. When they intersect one-another, it is powerful and heart opening.

There have been 3 days of no power and no breathable air where I live. The beauty of my life is in the way that this experience has played out for the people around me. So, so many have lost their homes and all that they possess. And those are the ones who fought the hardest to help others.

Community is a wonderful thing. I seldom seek it out for the sake of being in a community. But I have strong and deep ties to some of its members.

And, we all came together to help each other in a terrifying situation. Without power, there is no real sense of connection to the outside world. Technology gives us a very shallow connection, but it is not real. Real is when there is someone in front of you who needs a meal and there is another person, perhaps yourself, giving them food. Real is when you are hugging your neighbor because you just watched them lose a pet or their home or just a nights’ sleep and you are both sad and lost in the vastness of the experience.

Real is when you realize that all you own is too much and you share it with another family who has NOTHING and no real sense of when it can come back to the way it was before.

We all have the instincts to help. We just don’t do it. It is amazing to watch those who DO. Love and gratitude are all about ACTION. Don’t tell me you love me if you aren’t doing something so that I see and feel that. It is wonderful that the kindness of those who DO the loving things are most often strangers.

I left home yesterday to get away from the horrible smoke and ash. We have been on evacuation orders for 3 days, but I wanted to stay and take care of animals and help my neighbors clean up this mess. I went to breathe. It is amazing that just breathing and drinking a hot beverage is so wonderful. Our water is contaminated, but I was drinking warm water anyway. It just doesn’t seem to matter in the face of the things going on. Anyway, in going out, other people were a great deal kinder than normal. It was a beautiful thing.

It gives me a sense of community. Taking things I don’t even use to the shelter every day made it an amazing picture of how grateful we are when all is lost. The rest of the time, we take it all for granted. So, I believe, we are given these incredible situations to remember what it is that we are here to do. At the very end of all these steps, at the culmination of the process of 12-step recovery, we come to love. I mean LOVE! That is a huge step in the evolution of those of us who are innately selfish and self-centered.

I can sit in my little world and not take a minute to have the deep gratitude I should have for lights and clean water and breathable air. I forget. A hot cup of tea is taken for granted, even when I say thank you for it each morning, I don’t know how much I love it. And miss it when it is gone. How much my heart hurts and I cried for days because animals were dying in the fire.

And the trees and my beautiful city. So much devastation and horror. And I wanted to show the love I have by doing things that made sense for others. It is astonishing how much we can grow here. But it ain’t happening online and it ain’t happening sitting in front of a screen of any kind. It is putting on our tennies and walking out our door to DO something loving. Words don’t get us there. Another lesson I needed to remember. What a beautiful time for it to come.

Published by: Kelly

I am a therapist and counselor with long-term recovery from addictions and personal trauma. My writing reflects these experiences and the road I have traveled in 12-Step recovery settings, along with the work I have done for over 30 years in the field. My love of dolphins includes the stories of them being healers in places all over the world. I long to offer every broken spirit and body the experience of a healing hug. May my words and stories inform, uplift and delight your spirit and soothe your weary heart.

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