Friday, June 26, 2009

Being Alone

I’ve included at the end of this email 2 responses from my Dad, Gene Hayes. My parents are by far my biggest and devoted fans. They are also hopelessly biased in their view of me, which makes me giggle every time I read a response from my dad. Nevertheless, I wanted to share with you some of the kindness I’ve received from them every day of my life. I am infinitely blessed.

By the way, my dad still calls me Julie, the name of my youth! It is incredibly endearing to me.

Subject: Being Alone
Date: March 5, 2008

I received a couple of beautiful emails yesterday remarking that I seem alone along with encouraging reminders to the contrary. I fear that my introspection and intense self-analysis has led some people to worry that I feel alone, whether that is physical or spiritual, I do not know. So, I thought I would take this moment to consider that. ‘Being alone.’

Many have reminded me that I am most definitely not alone because the support I have is immense. I’m very much aware of this. My initial reaction is to say, “Oh, heavens! I’m not alone! Just look at all the amazing people with me! My husband is right there with me every single step of the way as are my many friends and family and their friends and family and so on and so on. I am most definitely not alone.” This is very true and I want to make sure each and every one of you knows and understands that the emails you send, the cyber-hugs and kisses, the cards, the gifts, phone calls, visits, prayers, and so forth are powerful reminders just how involved you all are. I feel you with me every single day.

I wonder if the “alone-ness” you may be sensing is nothing more than the time I spend with my thoughts, which flood my being constantly. Often what I have portrayed here are those thoughts that fill me with doubt and insecurity and I have not done a very good job detailing the many thoughts that bring me light and cheer. There are so many times throughout my day when I think about the mini-miracles, like friends, that happen that bring be incredible joy. This morning, I walked outside noticing the patchy snow that covers our land and the smell of Spring in the air. I glanced at my rose garden where my dogs like to sun themselves. Despite the digging and the weight of large dogs, I noticed 2 snowdrops beginning to flower in rebellion! What a lovely little miracle and reminder of life’s magnificence! This kind of thing happens all day long!

Doc asked me about these emails and specifically whether I felt alone particularly in my spirit. I sensed that he was worried. I asked him if the thought of me feeling alone as interpreted by some of you hurt his feelings somehow. He reassured that his concern was nothing more than making certain I know I am not alone. I tried to reassure him that I am exceedingly aware of the support of those who love and care for us deeply. Spiritually, I don’t feel alone either and if anything, Aria’s illness and my introspection has forced me to examine just how spiritually filled and fulfilled I am. Still, I wonder if what I write, which is horribly skewed with respect to presenting only my opinion, has led some of you to be concerned. I realize that Doc’s voice is not being heard here and his presentation is not being well represented, which may give the impression that I am handling this on my own. Doc is very much with me. Please be assured of that! But, you see, I cannot write for Doc. I cannot write his thoughts even those things we share. There is a need to protect his privacy in this regard and should he decide to share his thoughts, he will. Doc’s unconditional commitment to our family is one of his finest virtues because it permeates every aspect of his life. I don’t worry about me because of his strength and his fortitude. Furthermore, I cannot emphasize the generosity of people, even complete strangers that is beyond my expression. There are so many days when I will receive some kindness that makes me feel as if I’m walking upon petals that someone has thrown before my feet, gently paving the way, adding color to the day. The force of love in this regard has been very powerful and something I am only beginning to understand.

When I think about my personal space and life, Doc and I are very much a singular unit and we function as such. When Doc and I are off kilter for whatever reason, I am not well and neither is he. It is as if a physical aspect of myself is ill when he and I are not on the same page. I cannot live in that state for any length of time, so Doc and I are constantly in conversation about what we think and where we are on this journey together. Doc is my grounding force. He is my warm blanket when I’m shivering. He is my calming voice when I’m worried. He is my reason to constantly strive for kindness and joy. Doc is someone who makes me feel that I am the most beautiful thing ever created. He is a gift to me and I to him.
I have no doubt whatsoever that there are so many people keeping us in the light of goodness and positive thinking. I cannot even fathom how people have Aria in their daily thoughts. It is extremely humbling for me to consider and I am so, so, so grateful. It is important to say, I think, that despite being surrounded by all this beautiful energy, ‘being alone’ is a comfortable place for me. There are times when I definitely feel alone and I’m still very sound. We all know there is a distinct difference between feeling alone and feeling lonely. I wrote to my cousin Bryan that although I was not born alone (I’m a twin), I am certain that I will journey death alone, so being in my own company has always been something I wanted to trust and enjoy. In my arrogance, I actually enjoy my company a great deal. Finding ‘alone time’ is something I constantly seek. I find it when I garden or when I sew or when I wander through the pasture or walk our labrynth. My thoughts are so noisy that I don’t feel isolated or abandoned in any way. On the contrary, I am accompanied by all kinds of creative people inspiring me, spiritual people guiding me as well as all of my tender and dear friends and family comforting me. In my ‘alone-ness’ I am anything but lonely!

Heavens! It is a fine thing to spend time alone and an even finer thing knowing
that the Spirit that connects us all is what keeps me focused on what the present
has to show me as I journey in solitude.

My Dear Ones,

Those of you who know me well may wonder why I make no comment on the attached email from Julie, today. Suffice to say, as with most of Julie’s messages, “It speaks for itself.” It has caused me to think, though, and I need time to pull my thoughts together. Be grateful and be challenged!!

Peace !

Gene Hayes

These messages, like Julie’s previous message on “Being Alone” seem to me to add up to a most effective reminder of what Jesus’ teachings about LOVE truly mean. She reflects a level of trust and respect for the “personhood” of others – the wishing well for them – which Jesus insisted was the basis for the greatest Commandment(s) – Love of God and Love of neighbor as one’s self. Indeed, I don’t think anyone can truly love another without loving one’s self. It is the latter part of the Commandment that so many seem to have difficulty with. The willingness to take time to be alone with who you are, why you are as you find yourself, your simple acceptance of what you find you truly are (instead of the image of what you think you are or hope you are), and your decision to commit to changing the things you find about yourself that you don’t like is crucial, here. Julie’s thoughts help to focus us on this process, I think. Finally, the realization that we are never “alone,” that God and others are with us, rooting for us and encouraging us, makes the self-analysis part of being human a bit easier to participate in.

Peace !

Gene Hayes

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