My Husband Calls Me a Rose
My husband calls me a rose, and most people comment on my optimistic attitude. I often hear, “Are you always this happy?” – Like they don’t quite trust my cheery nature. I remember when I was young that I wanted to find a way to make each day fabulous by adding up the date on the calendar to equal 6. If I could do it, then the day was considered a special day in my mind. It seems that I have been cultivating an attitude in gratitude or joyfulness since I was little. I wasn’t just born happy, I work on it. It is a sort of religious philosophy.
In Middle school, my family moved to UTAH. I remember my mom was full of fear that I would be converted by Mormon missionaries. I assured her that this wouldn’t happen. Not because I was a good catholic, but because I wanted my mom not to worry. Ultimately, the experience of being a religious minority in Utah was a good lesson. Middle school and high School can be rough for kids who just want to fit in. I learned to really examine what works for me spiritually and gain a tolerant attitude toward all paths with religion. Although I did not get converted, I do have an appreciation for that culture and see a lot of beauty in the LDS faith.
But, the idea of dogma put a bad taste in my mouth. I really don’t like the exclusiveness’ of Christian religions. It works better for me to focus of spiritual truth like, acceptance, gratitude, non-judgment and love. Other folks can worry about the rules.
Although I was raised Catholic, my family didn’t do the usual “guilt and shame stuff’” associated with the religion. I was taught young to pray, know the stories of the bible and feel Beloved by God. These exercise’s still work miracles in my mind for keeping an optimistic attitude. This philosophy served me when my little brother went into a coma with meningitis and barely survived to become completely deaf. Again it helped when my father was deep in addiction. It was confusing, but I leaned on my faith and good attitude to get me though messy life situations.
Later when my husband’s father was murdered I didn’t lose my faith, although everyone around me seems too. The usual question of, “How can God let this happen?” was repeated. I remember that I didn’t have a good answer for that. Strangely, morality and spiritual choices weren’t topics during that time. It was an event so epic that it brought us all to our knees with intense sadness and pain.
My husband fell apart. He quit school, quit his job and left me for weeks to go into the wilderness. We lived in Oregon at the time and I was a full time student, pregnant and working with a little two year old. There was nothing I could do but let him go and morn. Normally our society doesn’t let men morn intensely. Maybe a week off of work, but then put a band aid on it. This was a powerful moment that required time for healing, and again I fell back on my usual prayers, bible stories and knowing that we were “Beloved” to get me through.
I am aware that I don’t ask the question “Why” when bad things happen. It might be apart of keeping myself optimistic. I view the idea of God and the Universe as a powerful mystery that I try to simplify down to Love. I am loved, you are loved and the universe is working for our highest good. It seems that a good attitude and prayer brings more abundance, but I can’t prove this. I just know that I am constantly being blessed. I seem to get everything that I want. Blessings seem to come in a better way than I could have imagined. I have a practice in my spirituality to witness synchronicities in my life. I do know that for me, my actions and motives reflect what I cultivate. So, since Life is like a melon, (sweet but messy), it works for me to tap into the mystery and keep a good attitude.