We all want to be wealthier, slimmer, curvier, happier, or at some other place in life than where we presently are. Life though has its own way of gently reminding us how wonderfully full we already are even without the things we think we need to get us to happy. Without the pomp and circumstance we associate with the day we arrive at our desired status in life, it is our hearts that open instead when we see through the eyes of gratitude that the human lives and experiences we share this space with are the great contributors to our already written story. As we walk through the chapters we have the unique opportunity to meet others along the way and walk closely with a select few. A no holds bar connection with at least one other person on this planet who means you well, has to be one of the greatest blessings in this life and to deny ourselves the pleasure of having authentic connections is to steal the lyrics from a song our heart was meant to sing and replace it with a different beat altogether. Take a close look in your personal corner and be honest with yourself regarding the people standing there. Is it a crowded space that leaves you feeling void or are they your every weather trusted supporters who wish for you nothing but the best?
Approximately 18 years ago two kids from neighbouring schools met in the midst of a few thousand other students. Our differences were as obvious as the similarities of our fingerprints. He was as funny as he was serious, brutally honest, yet nurturing during the sensitive moments. We were and still are uniquely ourselves yet always supportive of our differences. We have seen each other through the joys and challenges of school, the learning curves thereafter and all the ebbs and flows in between. As I packed my bags to attend his wedding I considered just how rich he has made my life by being a great friend and how overwhelmed with joy I was to see life and love being kind to such a wonderful person.
We sometimes invest a lot of time and resources into creating the stage for the memorable moments failing to realize that each scene is already equipped with all that it needs. The natural elements such as true joy and love cannot be bought but in ‘full bloom’ will leave guests on an emotionally rich high, more than imported florals or the perfect wedding favors ever can. What I’ve found to be true and this couple reminded me of lately is that the tapestry of life weaves itself most beautifully when its chosen fabrics are different hues and blends that naturally compliment each other because they were designed to. This special day was reflective of the couple I had grown to know: a very selective guest list which included only friends to the relationship, lots of laughter, and an overflowing of love and camaraderie among the guests who themselves were becoming friends with each other.
As you heard the waves rush in during pockets of laughter and chatter, there was a gentle whisper that what we really need in this world, we already have. To share an authentic-unforced-bond with another human being is to wake up to the realization that all these years I’ve been privy to see someone grow from boy to man, to father, now husband. We started as strangers, grew into friends and life gifted me with another brother. Even without always intending to he leaves me with a little food for thought and lots of reasons to believe in the good of others. The constant reminder that indeed it is possible for people to see all the layers of who you really are and without judgment they stand with you, sit with you, talk, listen, or simply are whoever you need them to be without having to explain what role you need them to play in each different scenario. To know that you can fully trust someone without any hesitation is to take steps through the unknown and count on them being right there with you. Always.
Mentally I love to stay ‘on go’ as my thoughts travel down what’s next on the goal list…what’s next professionally…when is the next run…I am so far behind…I need to do more of x…have more of y…I wonder…how…why…when, but with the beach as the perfect backdrop and way before Tequila shots and Mama Juana’s or the stunningly good looking groomsman who I have appropriately renamed Bradley Cooper caused me to lose focus, those thoughts were all on pause. The light breeze reminded me that in our quest for more we sometimes temporarily dismiss all the reasons we already have to celebrate. While my ambitions remain, and my desires to reach my personal and professional goals are still the focus I widen my lens to now more often than not raise a toast to the depth of the friendships I’ve been able to experience and enjoy. May you too, also make time to acknowledge life’s kindness and thank your “lucky stars” for all that’s great in your world. Gratitude is so potent that it can’t be contained, and like love creates an overflow from which comes more great things into your life.
Here’s to sea shell dreams and great friendships to fill your days…and of course, if the next wedding you attend has a Bradley Cooper look-a-like in it, count your lucky stars then too! The universe thinks you’re just that darn special and threw in a bonus!
I am the author of "I Have A Question...Sprinkles of What My Mother & Life Have Taught Me", written under the pseudonym Clarke James. My passion for empowering others through writing has lead me to become the guest blogger for Twenty20Something.org - one of the nation's premier leadership development organizations for young women as well as Jâ€™Adore Magazine. Follow me on twitter @clarkej and warmnotes.com/blog, or stop by my on-line greeting card boutique, warmnotes.com.