“Be the change you want to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
I love this quote. In the past I thought of it in global and or political terms, like the idea of peace on earth with no war, or I applied it to organizations like the Peace Corps or the Clinton Global Initiative.
In the past few years I have looked at being the change from a more personal perspective, applying it in my daily life. Like many others, I was divorced in my early thirties. In my case, I was married to a good man, but he was unable to deal with disability. We parted amicably and did our best to make the transition easier for our daughter. Six years later I married a wonderful man who has seen me go from a cane to a wheelchair and is just happy to be with me. Unfortunately, his ex-wife who left him for another man, wanted their daughters to be on her “side”. This led to much heartache and stress in the past. In order to do what was best for my step-daughters, I felt I had no choice but to take the high road and become a better, stronger, more spiritual person. There was no way I was going to be able to handle the situation without assistance from a higher power! Looking back, I see that through it I have come to be the person I am today, able at times to rise above the drama resulting from fear and ego, to act from love and compassion. Sometimes I fall short, but I know I am doing my best.
As my husband prepares for open heart surgery next week, it is more important than ever that I be at peace with myself so that I am not shaken, hurt, embarrassed, or disappointed with the behavior displayed by his daughters in such an emotionally charged situation. And the fact that it is in the middle of the holiday season adds to their stress. I am grateful that they have learned to get along and that they no longer visit us separately at Christmas. I constantly remind myself that just because he loves me does not mean that they will. And it is difficult for them since their mother, who now lives out of state, feels threatened when they spend time with their Dad and me. When I was younger, my step mom tried to turn me against my mother, so I know how hard it can be for adult children of divorce. As difficult as that situation was with my step-mother, years later I am thankful for the lessons I learned as a result of going through it. How else would I have been able to see their point of view?
So today I am setting my intention to be peace, because that is what I want most for my blended family. Peace.