I adore books. Whether it is at a tag sale, a consignment shop, a library or a bookstore, books just seem to call out to me. On occasion, I apparently call out to them as well. You see, it is not unusual for a book to simply and quite literally fall at my feet. When that happens, I usually find that within the books are little tokens of wisdom at a time when I most needed it. So now, whenever a book seems to fly off a shelf or table, I go on a literary surprise hunt and get busy learning.
“The Unmistakable Touch of Grace” by Cheryl Richardson is one of those books that literally dropped into my life via the top of my head. I was sitting in the coffee shop of a local bookstore when an employee rolled a cart passed our table with stacks of books on it. The top book dropped onto our table after bouncing on my head. The paperback didn’t hurt,; it just startled me. Then we all laughed at the irony of the ungracefulness of a book about grace. The book looked interesting and I ended up taking it home.
At home, my book about grace slipped of my bed, this time due to the antics of a very large dog. It landed on the floor open to this passage: “As painful as they may be, some of our most difficult relationships hold the promise of our greatest healing. When you learn to see your relationships in this way, you might discover that the friend who constantly took advantage of you, did so (on a spiritual level) to challenge you to stick up for yourself.”
Mindfulness and this passage have a great deal in common. Tikun-olam is a Hebrew concept which means “Improve the world”. Mindfulness encourages us to do that very same thing and the above passage lets us know we can do that even in the midst of our darkest time.
Mindfulness teaches us to never take our living for granted. Each minute not only counts, it is a lesson for us. It is very easy to savor the good times but unless we get busy and learn to savor the negative experiences, we are prone to repeat them time and time again.
Recently I was taken advantage of and it hurt, especially since I had just given this person an expensive gift. About a minute into my own little pity party, I suddenly remembered to be mindful of the big picture. I realize that I was more proud of my actions and generosity than I was hurt. After all, I cannot and should not want to control others. I can only dictate my own actions. By practicing mindfulness, I realized an inner peace and calming of the soul.
When you find yourself in those dark hours or hearing that negative voice, take a moment and get bust being mindful of the complete moment, what preceded it and then realize what will make the future better. When we get busy with savoring life our life, we will realize the beauty of its being.