“If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely.” Roald Dahl
It’s a little difficult to imagine the sunbeams today when the sun is shrouded by the white sky, the white snow, the white steam coming out of the chimney and radon mitigation stack, and the white negative space between the tree branches. Even my neighbor’s siding is white, all contributing to this frozen and stale marshmallow-like day.
I smiled when I read the Roald Dahl’s quote this morning, and for good reason. For a good year, Bridget and I read almost all of Dahl’s books during our bedtime reading. I think we skipped “The Witches” and a few others that were simply too scary. A few of our favorites like BFG and Danny the Champion of the World were lent to someone at some point, and are now missing from the collection. An acquaintance recently told me that Dahl was not a nice person. I would hear nothing of it. I didn’t want to know anything that tainted my love of his books, and the shared memories with my daughter.
I thought of that concept this morning. Blissful ignorance. It would be nice to remove the thoughts that taint our opinion of others. Nice is an understatement, in fact, it’s life-changing. I found a way to do that on Monday.
I feel like God grounded me the last two weeks. As if I am being punished for an unknown offense. No yoga because of my surgery. No dog walks because of the surgery. And he sent an arctic blast to make even walking outside to grab the mail, an undesirable task. Bridget spent a week with her father, which made the house quieter last week, and without my regular treks to Essencia, and dog walks, I hunkered down and didn’t do much. My friend Alison suggested I try meditation until I can return to yoga. I meditated with the help of a Shaman in the Sierra Nevada Mountains about 13 years ago, but I’ve never truly practiced meditation. Even the idea to make the spare room into a sacred space for meditation was a fleeting thought.
On Monday night I went to guided meditation. I missed being at Essencia and I adore the teacher, Kristin. I went in with the attitude that my sister often reminds me to approach life in general, without expectation. After being guided to focus and then appreciate a recent joyful moment, we were guided to share that joy with three people. I shared my light with my mom, then with my daughter, and then with her father. I envisioned a moment of sheer joy, it was a time when he was truly joyful and happy. My mouth smiled uncontrollably, my body shook and tears filled the wells in my eyes. I successfully removed all taint, all negativity, and saw only his light.
In giving we receive, and I experienced a most joyful and memorable moment. It was a time when there were no offenses to forgive.
At Al-Anon yesterday, I shared this experience, as we worked through step 9: Make direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others. This step is not possible without forgiveness and humility. I realized that through my meditation, guided with compassion kindness, using kindness to forgive my own shortcomings, I was able to forgive him and recall and see his light. It was glorious.
When I Essencia, Monday evening, I felt like light radiated from me. I felt so fortunate for the ability to clear my mind to experience such unadulterated joy. I stopped outside my car, before driving away and snapped a video of the gorgeous full moon in an effort to capture all of its brilliance and share the moonbeams that guide us through the darkest night. When I arrived home that night I realized that God had grounded me because I needed to forgive.
Seeing our light requires a conscious choice, first to see it, then to own, and last to share it, with compassion and kindness and without expectation of it being returned. Yes, as Dahl wrote, when that happens, you will look and feel truly lovely. And, you can bet I’ll be back at meditation next Monday!