The Magic of Mindfulness

I was at a crossroads-stuck on Earth but wanting to be in Heaven with my son. I tried to get there on my own a couple times, and for a long time I hoped God would just take me there. When I first tried to commit suicide, I was forlorn that it hadn’t “worked.” And for months afterwards, I didn’t care if I lived.

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I had such a distorted outlook that I didn’t see the pain I was causing my husband- my kids. I was blinded by death and I couldn’t see a life for myself. God entrusted some knowledgeable professionals and armed me with His word to make me see the error in my thinking. And I was selfish. All I could think about was being in Heaven and seeing my son again. And being with Jesus where He would put a balm on my wounds. There would be a reunion with all of my deceased family and I would live for eternity in the arms of the Father.

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I didn’t know that there could be Heaven on Earth with Jesus- not real Heaven, but Jesus can take our sorrows and turn them to joy. I had yet to know that Jesus can do that anytime, here on Earth, if I just ask. He can put me in touch with people who are meant to help me, he can show me how much my family needs me here.

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This is what the Lord says, “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest in your souls.”         Jeremiah 6:16

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I learned that Mindfulness is a way to be in Jesus right where I am. I learned to look at my surroundings and participate in them, completely forgetting myself. That by doing this with God, I can change the urge to do something harmful. I can rejoice in what IS, right now.

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At my brother’s house in Wisconsin, he has loads of bird feeders on his deck right outside a big picture window. When I was recuperating, I spent some time with him and his wife and I would marvel at the birds and squirrels outside that window. This Summer we decided to get a bird feeder for our backyard, nothing as elaborate as my brother’s, but a nice one just the same.

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Have you ever seen a cardinal? How perfectly red they are? The cardinal is our state bird in Ohio and we have a pair of them that like to feed on our birdfeeder. They seem a bit shy, not afraid of the other birds but they don’t linger with them once they’ve got their seeds.

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Recently I was feeling very restless as I sat on my deck swing. I had a magazine called “Mindfulness” that I was paging through. Just reading about mindfulness calmed me. I began to see the backyard and all that was happening out there. I began to participate in the goings-on, laughing at the birds, watching the squirrels walk the tightrope of cables in the sky. These are things I saw every day, but today, I was in it with them.

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I saw the trees in their Summer glory with the years old trunks and their thick leaves. And I saw the grass that needed watering from the past over- ninety degree dry heat.

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That’s what mindfulness can do. It can slow your heartbeat, help you to appreciate the NOW. Participating in my backyard helped me see how God takes care of all that is on the Earth and I am part of that. He feeds the birds and squirrels, allows them to build their homes and sleep soundly. Every summer He brings leaves and grass and every winter He brings rain to soak the ground. I am part of that as He feeds me with His word and calms me when I am struggling.

I don’t want to die too early. I want to take the ancient path and see what God has in store for me today and every day.

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