Wednesday, November 07, 2007

O God of new beginnings...

and second chances

Here I am again.

I've had that saying hanging on my wall for probably some 14 years now, and I've given copies to friends and family over the years, including one to my brother. When I bought it at one of those mall craft festivals in Birmingham, it had reached out across the long mall walkways and smacked me upside the head:

You need me, Beth, to remind you. Every day, you need to be reminded that it is a fresh start, that I'm not done with you.

When Tony and I got married, we used that on our wedding invitations. It described so perfectly where we were in our lives and how grateful we are to have found each other and this new life for both of us.

When I got sick five+ years ago and recognized what an enormous part stress had played in that, we reminded ourselves about it again, and we started the ball rolling a little faster to get our house here built and ourselves moved into another new life, a new beginning in nearly every way.

My brother is filled today with the same feeling of second chances and new beginnings: he is home, he does not need surgery, there is no obvious reason for the seizure, and he has been tremendously affirmed in love and friendship by his colleagues and friends. He is ripe for change and growth, and immensely grateful to have been given another chance to do things better, and he is determined to do so.

Sometimes that's what we need: a smack upside the head from the universe. I kinda think we all get them from time to time, sort of a warning, but I don't know that we all pay attention to what they are when they happen.

I've gotten better as I've gotten older about paying attention: I know I repress stuff I don't want to think about, however, and just hope that when I finally get around to it that the consequences won't be too horrible. It would be better, yes, to deal with the fears and the insecurities and the issues when I get smacked the first time. Or even the second.

So here's another lesson in gratitude. Another reminder that it is never too late to change, to start anew, to get a better life. Another chance to love, to develop friendships, to learn to forgive yourself and others, to take care of yourself.

May you find your new beginnings and second chances today.

I finished Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. There are some lovely nuggets to remember in this book. It is about progress, not perfection, and I love that she's writing another book that picks up where this left off.

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