Before my life’s challenges set me on the path to finding sanctuary, living in the moment often was maddening. The noise in my head screamed reminders of all that was wrong. All that had gone wrong. And all that would go wrong. Being me wasn’t easy. Is it, for you?
If not, I offer you this mantra: All is well. Sound far-fetched, maybe unbelievable? Please bear with me.
As unlikely as it may seem to you when you’re smack in the strife, I am here to promise you that everything, right this moment, no matter *what* it is you are experiencing, is okay. I’m asking you to trust me on this. The surety of assurance—a deep, abiding faith in the rightness of the moment—is one of the pillars of sanctuary.
That is living the sanctuary life. It’s an essential foundation for bringing in a stillness and calm to replace our inner turmoil; for clearing out the clutter of worries to open up mind space for decisive, clear intention; for freeing up our emotional circuitry for the easy flow of love.
How do I know all is well? And how can you know?
This is a fair question. I don’t know your life. Hopefully we’ve met, but most likely we haven’t had the chance to share the deep truths of our lives.
But here’s how I know: I’ve had those times when it feels like the world has melted away beneath my feet, and all I’m doing is falling into an abyss of pain. I’ve had those moments when it seemed like everything was going wrong.
And I’ve had those moments when I realized that the most challenging, difficult, wrenching things I’ve been through were also, paradoxically, the biggest gifts I have ever received.
Is it a blessing that my daughter has seizures along with everything else she’s enduring? Well, if I could choose for her, I would choose that she not have these challenges.
But I cannot choose that for her. And helping Chloe navigate her teenage years and transition to adulthood has been one of the most challenging times of my life.
But therein lies the gift as well.
In order to help Chloe, I had to really dig deep to find the patience, the love, and perseverence that it takes in order to prepare her for as much independence as possible. In discovering these reserves within myself, I discovered so much joy and happiness that was buried right next to them.
I believe that every single one of us have these untapped reserves, just waiting for us to dig deep enough to unearth them. And every single good thing buried right along side.
And so here’s how I know that all is well: being Chloe’s mother is the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and doing it has created a gift in my soul.
Getting divorced from her father was also challenging, and yet it also produced a gift in my soul when I dug deep enough to find the strength to face it with dignity and grace.
If those two big, seemingly overwhelming challenges have both given me such gifts—added joy, more peace, more abundance in every aspect of my life—then I don’t have to even worry about the little things like a traffic jam, an angry person, or dealing with a disappointing situation.
Every single challenging situation has a gift to bring. We will have the situations whether we want them or not. Our choice is if we will receive the gifts that come with them.
So when you are feeling overwhelmed, think of those times that challenged you the most. And while it may take some thinking, take the time to look for the gifts that such times brought you, gifts that have made you the person you are.
Eventually we realize that everything we are going through now is simply another opportunity to unearth another gift within ourselves, and find those deep reserves of love, patience, gratitude, dignity, grace, and joy.
That is living the sanctuary life. And that is how I know (and how you can know) that all is truly, deeply, and decidedly well.