Day 23: Embrace yourself

On my comment page someone left a beautiful quote from Martha Graham which I would like to re-share,

“There is a vitality, a life force, a quickening that is translated through you into action, and there is only one of you in all time. This expression is unique, and if you block it, it will never exist through any other medium; and be lost. The world will not have it. It is not your business to determine how good it is, nor how it compares with other expressions. It is your business to keep it yours, clearly and directly, to keep the channel open. You have to keep open and aware directly to the urges that motivate you. Keep the channel open.” – Martha Graham

This was such a beautiful reminder to me today to stay focused and embrace the beauty that I am. While in the elevator today a man asked my son what we were doing for thanksgiving. I replied that it would be just our family. I noticed how I had said ‘just’, how hurt I would feel if my husband or one of my children would have said that. I would have felt as if I were not enough for them, and yet I had said it myself. I sit with this for a moment and go deeper to find my first memories of this feeling. I am brought back to my childhood. I walk into my mother’s room one morning and there she is tired and lying in bed, she smiles and kisses me but she can’t get up. On mornings when my father came to visit she would wake up early and float happily downstairs to make him breakfast. Other times when my mother had parties at our home, she chatted happily with her guests but not us kids. I tried desperately to make her happy (as she always seemed to be when other people were around) but my attempts were futile. She remained unhappy and I felt ignored. I learned, just as my mother did, that my happiness is dependent on others, but now I know the truth; that my happiness doesn’t rely on others, it comes from within.

I’m grateful to the man in the elevator for reminding me of this. To keep a clear channel, as Martha said, is to open ourselves up, to radiate from within and feel the happiness and love that has always been with us. What a gift to have Thanksgiving tomorrow, to give thanks for my life and for the lives of others. To give thanks for who we are, and not to be concerned with what others think of us. There was nothing I could ever have done to make my mother happy. She needed to find her own happiness deep inside.

And so it is within me to find my happiness, and to enjoy this beautiful gift called life. I remind myself that I am not ‘just’ with my family, but with these people who I am so honored to know and share a life with, and as I eat the delicious food that someone lovingly took the time to grow, on the plates and table that someone so lovingly made, in the apartment that my landlord so generously rents to us, I send loving kindness to all, and to those who have forgotten that their love and happiness is to be found within. And I especially send loving thanks to my mother who so kindly carried me for 9 months to give me this gift of life.

with love,


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