2021 has been a pivotal year. During the ongoing universal challenges of managing the insidious COVID 19 pandemic, my 91 year old mother left this walk and entered into eternity with God. As for many who have endured the loss of a loved one, her death has led to a complete "remaking" of my life. As her proxy and caretaker, my everyday decisions were made as an extension of her needs and I have experienced (and continue to do so) every primal emotion that grief brings and is the result of loving the way we do.
As I was thinking about writing this post as another year is upon us, I continued to reflect on the teachings of a childhood friend who I will refer to as "the gift". I did not want to find some "catchy happy new year" tips but rather outlining the "Four Ps" which are a "blueprint" for our daily existence and have meant so much. Without a doubt, I know my friend provided these from his heart and I want to do the same.
Here they are:
Purpose - our reason for "being". When we understand the "why", the "how" will come naturally. Of all the P's, our purpose fuels the other three. This usually involves a greater understanding of our existence here and we have to ask ourselves "what are we willing to do to find our reason for being here"...and then do it.
2. Peseverance - Our ability to "stay the course" and endure the most painful or difficult life circumstances. When we understand our purpose, it will become clearer on who and what matters.
3. Patience - There is usually a difference in what we "want" versus what we "need" in both timing and circumstance. We live in a "jacked" up world where our "MO" has become laddened with regular bouts of adrenaline and noise. Learning to "be" and "rest and digest" are equally important for the body and the feeding of the soul. Having unrealistic expectations of others or assuming anything can lead to chronic disappointment and becoming disillusioned. The answers come in the silent whisper of the stillness
4. Passion - To live with chronic "apathy" or "not feeling anything" for prolonged periods eventually will cause the body to become unhealthy and the soul to whither. While this emotional state is completely normal in surviving overwhelming life circumstances or traumatic loss, living in a state of continued "stagnation" will take an inevitable toll. Passion is the "fuel" the "zest" and "effort" in which we tackle anything Prioritizing our sense of balance is critical for us to function well.
My mother exemplified her daily existence through living all of the Four Ps based on what and who mattered to her. Her final "hurrah" involved a fractured pelvis which was the result of an insistence on remaining independent and stoic..regardless of whether her aging body was able to maintain. Quality of life and my mothers right to self-determination was at the core of everything she did, said or thought.
Who can deny that when it is your mom or a loved one?
In closing, I am grateful for the opportunity to share the 4 Ps and to my mom for the permanent imprint she has made on my soul. And the story and seeds will continue. ..
In the words of the beautiful McDonalds worker who fixed my son's chicken biscuit this morning, I will finish in sharing her wisdom:
"Have a beautiful day and year"