The Gift – Part IV – The Final Chapter

“The Center” courtesy Pexels.

When we work on a painting, we often work from the center or point of focus outward, and when we work on a puzzle, we often work from the outside edges inward. There is no rhyme or reason why we do it, but it is just the way we tend to see things. If you look at the picture above, you are drawn to the center, and if you were to paint it, you would likely start from that point.

As we go through our lives, many things happen to us that start at the outside edges- some absolutely beautiful like making friends and falling in love, and some start at the center, like losing a good friend or loved one who may be lost in some unexplained way. And then there are the horrible things that happen in life – wars, or people with mental problems who hurt others mentally and physically, perhaps even ending their lives. These things affect us both on the outside edges and the center, until no part of the puzzle or painting feels safe.

I guess in my lifetime, I have lived both sides of life. I’ve been through the utmost joy in life – falling in love, bearing children, and working to serve others. And I have been through the horrors of life too. I have had those bad days when I did not believe I had the strength to go on, but life somehow had my back. There was a purpose for me in the long run. Perhaps suicide was an attempt to rid myself of those horrors in life, to reach out and fight them in the only ways I knew how at the time.

But in the end result, despite those things, I have taken the high road. I have served my fellow human beings – women, men and children, all of my life. I taught illiterate and ESL adults how to read; loved, cared for and protected special needs children for 15+ years; and advocated/mentored physically challenged artists with starting their own own art businesses for 20+ years. I have served as a volunteer in one capacity or other since I was 14 years young, and will likely serve through whatever time I have left here.

“We resonate with one another’s sorrows because we are interconnected. Being whole and simultaneously part of a larger whole, we can change the world simply by changing ourselves. If I become a center of love and kindness in this moment, then in a perhaps small but hardly insignificant way, the world now has a nucleus of love and kindness it lacked the moment before. This benefits me and it benefits others.” ― Jon Kabat-Zinn, Wherever You Go, There You Are: Mindfulness Meditation in Everyday Life


13 thoughts on “The Gift – Part IV – The Final Chapter

  1. Thank you most kindly, Laura. Never feel sorry for me though, because those things I lived through taught me to appreciate the little things so much more, and also because I did go through it, I am so able to help others and to have compassion for them as I have told others often. We can’t have rainbows without rain. Despite these tough challenges, I manage to be an artist and to do good for others, so I am ok. Every now and then I have a touch of PTSD, but overall I am managing. Peace and blessings, Anne


  2. Hello Anne,
    Nice to meet you here. Linked into your blog from a comment of yours on Lauren McKay’s blog.
    Real synchronicity at work I think.
    As part of a recent attempt at self care I have started to revisit two mandalasi did more than 10 years ago as part of a trial coaching group at a local women’s centre. This article will really help my reflections.
    Thank you so much 🌼

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so kindly. We learn over the many years that it is best to keep such things to ourselves, and I am sure many people, even the women, found it difficult to respond at all, even though I KNOW that many other women suffer the same things or worse even. It is like a poison, and by “bleeding it out” so to speak, in the best way, even without going into all the horrid intricacies, is still very freeing. I am so glad you did the coaching and I hope you continue to do it. It is much needed for a lot of women, for we are very emotional people and it is truly harmful to keep it all inside us. Thank you for the services you have done and also for your wonderful sharing with me. I welcome knowing more about it. Are the mandalasi related in some way to mandalas? I have done some mandalas, and also I have worked with Labyrinths, which are very healing in so many ways, especially painting them in canvas tarps that can be used in many types of facilities, no matter how small they are. I love these things as they help bring us back to our centers. Any help I can ever do or be, I always welcome. I am very much an advocate for all types of women who are suffering in some ways.

      Liked by 1 person

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