For many, life happens to us and we struggle to understand and accept the pain and heartache that comes with being a spiritual being in a human form. We persevere the best we can through disappointment, happiness or heartache, and awaken to an understanding in retrospect, as we look back with the perspective that age and wisdom bring. In the following story, Sharon does just that. In retrospect, Sharon realized the many ways in which her life experiences were intricately woven by love and grace and guided by forces unbeknownst to her at the time.
The Voice of Protection by Sharon
When I moved to San Diego in the early 90’s, I was thrilled to finally find a place that felt like home. I seemed to easily connect with the people, city, and my even my new job.
Shortly after settling in, I met Richard, one especially nice man. He was one of those renaissance men: he was a gourmet cook, he loved opera, and design, and whole array of other arts and sciences. Throughout our three years of dating we had wonderfully intimate times but also times of drama and turbulence. So much so that, when he gave me the key to his house and asked me to move in, I felt unsettled. However, our years of dating one another also told me that we had been able to work through the turbulence and that we loved one another. And yet what happened on the day I moved in and in the weeks, months and years that followed is what taught me what grace and protection means.
Some might call what happened a series of coincidences, others might call it luck.
I’ll let you decide!
When I arrived at Richard’s house to start moving in, I wanted to put away some of my clothes in the bedroom. I pulled open the third drawer of the dresser, moved a few shirts and saw a hand written card filled with intimate details of a relationship between the writer and Richard. It was a relationship that was obviously on-going and obviously with a man.
After a major argument and many denials on Richard’s part, we both agreed to have an HIV-AID’s test as the AID’s epidemic was raging. I tested negative. Richard tested positive.
He then admitted to his other relationship(s). Although it was difficult for me to accept that he was gay, I was crushed by his betrayal and disregard for my health and safety. AID’s was ravaging the gay community and the fact that he never got tested and freely exposed me to the virus was almost too much to bear.
And yet, somewhere deep in my mind, I breathed a sigh of relief that I had opened this one drawer with that card hidden under a shirt. At the time, I just considered myself lucky.
Two weeks later, my former boss, Matt, called me and told me that there was an opening in the Florida division of my company. My sister and mother, who was in the hospital, both lived there, so I thought perhaps it would be good to leave and start a new position in the company, and also be close to my mom.
How wonderful that Matt had thought of me!
I found a one bedroom condo two blocks from the hospital, started my new job and began to care for my mom as much as possible. Over the next year, my mother’s condition worsened and she was given only 6-8 months to live. Her desire was to die at home, so I began looking for another condo with two bedrooms. Nothing was available in my building, so my search for a new place began, with very limited possibilities. Weeks into my search, my condo manager called and said that a 2 bedroom right across the hall from my one bedroom had just opened. And so one wine glass at a time, I walked across the hall and moved my life into my new condo, and shortly after moved my mom in as well. My move couldn’t have been easier. My mom was safe and happy, and my sister and her family could visit any time.
Mom died 5 months later, content, peaceful, and surrounded by her family.
I still missed San Diego, but decided that I needed to give myself a year to process my mom’s death and be sure I had completely processed the relationship I had had with Richard.
A year to the day, Matt, my former boss, again called me and said that a higher position in my company had opened in San Diego and that it was mine if I wanted to move back.
What luck! I was ready.
So back to San Diego I moved. I felt happy that I was able to be with my mom and assist her for her last couple of years and be a part of her loving and peaceful passing. I had also had time to move through the betrayal I felt towards Richard and was ready to start dating again in a city that I loved. Shortly after I moved back, I met a friend I had known years before, and within a year we married and later moved to Denver where he was originally from. And until that moment, I considered the coincidences and opportunities in my life as pure luck, not much more.
Until I heard again from Matt’s (my former boss) family.
Matt had retired and was on vacation with his family in Hawaii. While surfing, he was hit by a massive wave, broke his neck and was completely paralyzed and on a respirator. He was in Craig Rehabilitation Hospital in Denver, 2 blocks from my Denver home. I was terribly sad and somewhat fearful, but I went to the hospital to see him. His wife had been sleeping on the chair beside him for weeks, not wanting to leave his side or stay in some lonely hotel. I realized that now was my time to reach out to him and her.
Even though Matt and his wife were very wealthy and had lived in a beautiful home and even though my house was modest by any description, I offered her my home, only two blocks away, so that she could rest each night, have homemade food and moments of relaxation. She was so appreciative, I almost began to cry.
Matt did not live long, but the family was so grateful to have had a place of peace to go home to every night. Being able to give back to Matt changed me profoundly. I felt blessed to have had the opportunity to give back and thankful for his presence in my life.
Many times, when we are in the midst of living, we see only the threads of our lives. But in retrospect, we see the ways in which those threads form exquisite patterns and paths that our souls have traveled. After seeing the larger picture of her life, Sharon realized that for years, without even realizing it, she had been watched over by visible and invisible guides and angels who helped her along the way and also prepared her for the next steps on her journey. She felt a great weight lift from her shoulders. She realized that she had been carrying around a sadness that she didn’t understand.
However as she told me later after she read her own story:
“Closing the door with Richard, opening the door to Florida and nurturing my mom, moving back to San Diego and opening the door to meeting an old friend who became my husband, moving to Denver where I was able to support Matt and his family. . . these are not coincidences; they are not lucky happenstances. They are moments of Grace.”
The grace and the profound feeling of Divine protection that Sharon now feels is helping her move forward into her years as an Elder Woman, living as a Spiritual Being in the light and love of the Universe. Her life is a testament to the mystery that surrounds us even if we are not aware of that mystery at the time.
And so I invite you to take time to think about one decision you have made in your life and what called you to make that decision. Do not place labels such as good or bad, right or wrong on the decision.
Image your inner voice or an energetic force around you guiding you through that decision. Perhaps a particular person who helped you with a decision, or a door that opened or closed resulting in you making a particular decision.
Now pause a moment and send gratitude to all those visible and invisible guides that helped you made your life choices, for each decision has been a stepping stones on your Soul’s path to Wholeness.