A year ago tonight, I put my sweet baby to bed with a severe headache. That was a Sunday night. I planned on taking him to the pediatrician the next day, Monday morning, thinking Sean had the flu. Little did any of us know what was to come. That by Monday, mid-morning, our lives would be forever changed with Sean’s sudden diagnosis of medulloblastoma (a cancerous 4-cm tumor lodged in his cerebellum) and we would be launched into a journey I never, ever could have expected.
To say this year has shaped and stretched me in profound ways seems somehow absurdly bland or trite. This path of discovery has influenced my perspective in myriad ways on life and suffering and the significance of what it means to be fiercely committed (even if imperfectly) to each present moment.
These days, as our micro and macro worlds have been upturned by unexpected viruses, fear, and anxiety, my personal experiences with worry and suffering have led me to this: we only have now. Right now. Yes, there will be stress and worry and anger, and fear. There will be time for action, but first we must make time for quiet and contemplation. The more￼ we can create spaciousness in our hearts and minds, the better we are prepared to accept the “as-is-ness” of whatever manifests before us, which is to say whatever we co-create.
As I contemplate where I was only a year ago, I am again reminded that sometimes (usually) life cracks us open when we least expect it. Source can tap us on the shoulder or shove us through a portal we never knew existed. Regardless, this launch into newness and chaos is always an invitation. Even if we can’t see it at first, it is at these moments that life asks us to leap into a field of potential and evolution we never would have dared enter nestled in the comfort of “everyday life.”
Now is as good a time as any to prepare. To contemplate. To be ready. To know who we are. To know we can accept our invitation whenever it arrives.