Stepping onto the porch, I spy a small package sitting by the door. It isn’t flashy or revealing of the contents within. Yet, upon further investigation, it makes a statement that causes my heart to skip a beat. Something catches my eye and speaks to my soul, whispering don’t underestimate the value found within. Likewise, I have found this to be true about some key relationships in my life.
The first relationship I formed was the one with my mother. That relationship built the framework for future relationships. In my youth, my mother was loving, caring and extremely gregarious. There were plenty of occasions where my pre-teen and teenage self wanted to fall into a hole and disappear from the pure humiliation. She spoke too loudy. She wasn’t afraid to start a conversation with anyone, and she rarely cared how she presented herself. If she felt modest, comfortable and warm, she deemed her outfit a success. She puts everyone first, to a fault. She has poured her love into mentoring hundreds of children through selfless decades of volunteer work. She has spent hours teaching, mentoring and leading small groups. Her creativity and pure love for her church, community, and family truly exemplifies how to live out love. I had the unexpected pleasure of taking care of my mom for several months, due to an unexpected health issue that presented itself during a recent visit. I was so blessed to be able to give back a small portion of the love she has continuously lavished on our family. I began to realize the gift I was being given- the gift of time. During this time, she shared with me
insightful stories that provided me with even greater wisdom. We sat together with no agenda, and built a whole new level of an adult relationship. We let go of the pain that we had unintentionally caused each other. We were able to be more vulnerable and more honest, first with ourselves, and then with each other. I don’t know how much more time I will get to spend with my mom, but the time I do get will be spent enjoying every moment; the tears, hugs and laughter alike.
I distinctly remember the first time I met my best friend. I was interviewing for a job. We were strangers and upon initial inspection, I did not feel like she was “my people.” She dressed a little awkwardly. She didn’t give much importance to appearance, but valued comfort. She valued intelligence, honesty, and above all, external professionalism. At this time, I was walking away from a failed marriage, and struggling with
identity and self-worth. In the past, I poured every ounce of energy into making sure I looked like the perfect mom, wife and career-oriented professional. I had lost sight of the fact that looking put together and
actually living a life of order is not the same thing. The unexpected gift that was waiting for me within this relationship was unconditional love. She has loved me at my worst, celebrated through my best, and continues to listen to my thoughts and views, void of judgement. I believe the most blessed people on the planet are those who have a best friend with these qualities. And during the days when I am struggling the
most, I say a small prayer of thanksgiving that I looked beyond my initial impression of how I thought a person should look, and I embrace the gift I have in my best friend.
I believe the most unexpected gift that has shown up in my life recently is companionship. He is the armour bearer who has my back no matter what, who will pick me up when I fall and will wipe away tears when my pain can’t be articulated.
After working so hard to build myself back up from a depressed, unloveable divorcee to a business owner, who inspires others to follow their dreams and passions, and to own their space on this planet, I refused to hope for or provide a space in my life that might foster romantic love.
I focused on my kids, my clients and my friendships, and believed that was enough. And yet, I have realized that having this relationship has enhanced everything else in my life. All other relationships have been elevated. I am constantly filled with joy, laughter and gratitude. I can now function at a frequency that is optimal for thriving. I am grateful for this “package,” who showed up at the most unexpected time, providing me with the best gift of all.
I have intentionally changed my mindset. I give myself permission to imagine a life full of joy. I ask myself if the goals I am setting are fearless, powered by laughter and guided by curiosity, and if they will feed my passion. If the answer is yes, I am making good and healthy goals. If I make a decision today to live the life I have never even dared to imagine, what possibilities could I conjure? Having the right relationships to support my purpose has given me the freedom to soar higher and sustain the winds longer.
As each of us imagine the life we desire, are we making these decisions by default or by design? When we examine our 5 closest relationships, how are they influencing us? Do these interactions fuel our purpose? As we listen to our tribe’s advice, does it align with our calling? Does our support network get down in the mud and encourage us to rise again? Because we desire alignment, can we bestow grace for our progress and accept all the love we deserve? I challenge you to take a deep cleansing breath, celebrating your future self. Then, breathe out gratitude for those unexpected packages.