This weekend a friend and I were sending each other emails talking about where we are in life, where we thought we would be in life and where we would like to be in life. We met some thirteen years ago when we were at pivotal and transitional periods of our lives. When we became new mothers. When we changed our lives to become full time mothers. To understand what our new roles meant. To conquer motherhood as we had done in our pervious lives as corporate women.
We used to walk and talk for hours, pushing our boys, trying to right the Universe. Trying to understand where we were in our lives and what motherhood meant to us. We spent lots of time together talking philosophically about everything. She from England. She from a creative career. Me from Bermuda. Me from an analytical career. Two different women from two different cultures, backgrounds but brought together for a common cause to provide companionship to each other during a period of significant growth. To help each other. To direct each other. To contradict each other. To pick each other up.
She was in my life for three solid years. Then she left. Went back home. And though we stay in touch, it changes according to where we are in our lives. According to whether there is a need for us to be in each other’s live consistently or not. Lately we have been more in each other’s lives because we are on the cusp of something again. Something we can’t figure out. So once again we are fully immersed in each other – some ten years later. Living vicariously through each other. Challenging each other to be the best woman, mother, wife, friend, sister that we can. Sending each other long emails about life, people, opportunity, marriage, motherhood, psychology, spirituality. She in England. Me in Bermuda. Two different women from two different cultures brought together again to help each other grow.
On Mother’s Day we connected in a major way. Both of us confessing some pretty raw emotions to the other. Separated by distance. Brought together by technology. Hearts open. Souls bare. Because when we have true friendship we can ride the distance. We can ride the times when we are not in each other’s lives. We can ride the challenges we face.
For my birthday she sent me a book called Radical Acceptance, Embracing Your Life With The Heart Of A Buddha by Tara Brach PH.D. I have to admit when I got the book, its title intimidated me. Scared me even. I love the concept of Buddha but to actually receive a book about it, I was afraid that if I read it and did not find the answers I needed I would be disappointed. So I put it to one side. On my night stand near me but I did not touch it. But for some reason after our exchange over the weekend I knew she had sent it to me for a reason. I knew she was back in my life for a reason. So last night I opened the book to a random page after asking the Universe a question. And this is how the Universe answered me through the book.
“The bodhisattva’s aspiration, “May my life be of benefit to all beings” is a powerful tool for remembering our belonging and widening the circles of our compassions. In resolving to help all suffering beings, the bodhisattva is not assuming a grandiose role or holding to some unreachable ideal. If we see ourselves as small and separate individuals trying to take on the world as our responsibility, we set ourselves up for delusion and failure. Rather, our aspiration to be of benefit arises from the radical realization that we all belong to the web of life, and that everything that happens within it affects everything else. Every thought we have, every action we take has an impact for good or for ill. An aboriginal woman from Australia speaks from this sense of relatedness in a powerful way: If you have come to help me, then you are wasting your time. But if you have come because your destiny is bound up with mine, then let us work together.”
“When we feel togetherness, there are countless ways to express our care. …While it is easy to get caught up in believing we should be doing something more or different, what really matters is that we care. As Mother Teresa teaches “We can do no great things – only small things with great love.”
And then I knew. And then I understood. The Universe is providing for me in every way. It is giving me direction and answers every single day. Just not in the way I imagined the answers would come but they are there. And I am important. I am here for a reason. I am playing a pivotal role in my life and the lives of others every single day just by caring. Just by being all that I am. And I cannot force anything. Cannot change fate. But I can be grateful, thankful for all that I have and I will continue to live out my life as a caring being. Doing small things with great love. And I am. And I shall.
This blog is dedicated to my dear sister friend from England who helped me to shift my consciousness. To retell my story. From a physical distance but in a spiritual closeness. Thank you sister friend. Thank you.
About Catherine Duffy – A woman in search of truth. A wife trying to love unconditionally. A mother trying to raise good citizens. A writer bursting through. Enjoying life’s journey. Catherine can be found @duffy_catherine and on her blog from Bermuda · http://bermudacat.blogspot.com.