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Jorge Aguilar, Unsplash

“We look for the gift within whatever has been given. That gift could be some type of opportunity — an opportunity to reflect, to experience beauty, or to grow and learn through hardship.

And then we Go. We take whatever action might be called for.

It’s not happiness that makes us grateful. It’s gratitude that makes us happy.” — David Steindl-Rast

Honesty is grounded in humility and indeed in humiliation, and in admitting exactly where we are powerless. Honesty is not found in revealing the truth, but in understanding how deeply afraid of it we are. — David Whyte

The last five years has been a process of stripping away all superfluities from my life, an exercise in honesty. As David Whyte says, humiliation and humility entered my life, in this case through a side door quite unexpectedly, shockingly even. But now I see reason to be grateful for this turn of events. In fact, I now notice all the many ways on offer to create, using my best talents. I also see how, starting from this bedrock foundation, I can build a life I could call my own, using only things that spring from my true nature. That realization gives impetus, inspiration.

For some reason, my old life had compromises and pretenses I always felt queasy about. Inherited money gave advantage, but it was associated with pretending to be something I wasn’t. Stripping all that away meant I could strike out like a twenty year old with nothing but raw, untutored ability. I get to see what I can do without a finger on the scale.

Something to be grateful for.

For someone who has lived almost eight decades, this is an unusual situation, no doubt. I see my siblings living in that fish bowl and I’m glad I somehow got out of it. It kind of threw me out, to tell the truth, so I can’t necessarily take any credit, but here we are in a beautiful Mexican town, where we can actually afford to live.

I can only put my hands together, bow and say thank you, thank you.

Thank you for this modest apartment with its large terrace looking out to the Mexican skies. Thank you for the copious hummingbirds. Thank you for the vendor’s cries in the evenings. Thank you for pageants and parades. Thank you for the superb tequila and Mexican chocolate. Thank you for the peaceful nights in our little matrimonial bed. Thank you for the neighbor who plays such beautiful music. Thank you for the kind landlady who has given us more than we asked for.

Thank you for the simple Mexican meals that cost a pittance. Thank you for all this and more that we can actually afford. And thank you for the time to write and think and talk to my beloved.

We are graced. We are favored by the gods.

Again, I say thank you.

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