Yesterday I read an article on a travel site that high-lighted life-changing trips and those words sparked the thought “What life-changing moments have I experienced?”
Certainly I experienced true bliss and joy when I once stood in a village made of slate stone erected on the side of a mountain in the beautiful country of Portugal. While there, I leaned against a slate wall and all I could see for miles and miles were vineyards, green fields and dots of cork trees. There was a complete silence. Suddenly I could faintly hear in the distance the sound of bells – sheep bells.
For sure I experienced utter joy when I gave birth to my beautiful twin boys so many (many) years ago one October day.
Absolutely when I set eyes upon my husband (even more years ago).
The telephone call that told me that my sister’s mammogram results weren’t good. And the moment that I fell into my husband’s arms, crying with relief, when the physician assured my sister that the operation was successful.
And without a doubt, when I cared for my father who had Alzheimer’s, and then sat by his bedside for a week, all day and all night, when he slowly but surely died.
And just last December, when our beloved mother died in our arms, surrounded by family and loving staff…life-changing? Yes.
So what do we mean when we say something is life-changing? Well, for me, it means in that moment, I was transformed. That something deep within me resonated and I felt it. I knew without a shadow of doubt that my soul (my spirit) was touched. We know because we can feel the reverberations – it’s like a gong that is resonating deep within…over and over. And it feels – well, like something really, really big is happening!
And always those moments can be resurrected easily: I just go into my memory bank and pull them out and easily I am transported to the moment as if it were yesterday. I just pull them out, breathe them in, and savour them. Yes, even those overwhelmingly emotional moments at my parents’ vigils.
I savour those moments because they comfort me. Those moments remind me of what makes our life so precious.
Those moments are filled with love. Love. And Grace.
When I stood on that mountainside in Monsarez, I felt joy that brought me to tears. I knew in those moments that the Universe was beautiful and that I mattered, even in my insignificance.
When I glimpsed my babies for the first time, I smiled at my husband (through the tears) and knew for sure that we were forever changed – we were now connected to two beautiful beings that we were to love forever.
Love transforms us. It completely changes us and our lives. It changes our thoughts, our perceptions, and our energy (our power).
So, yes! We do all have life-changing moments. Sometimes those transformative moments are the biggies – birth, death, illness, marriage, loss. But often those moments are very simple instances when we are hit by an insight or a eureka.
I once walked into a vacation rental that was plain, sparsely decorated and had a terribly uncomfortable bed and I turned to my husband and announced that “wherever I am, I am home.” He still teases me about that one. But what he didn’t realize is that when I walked into the rental apartment, that I had this sudden flash that I was happy and content – no matter where I landed. It was a huge life-changing moment for me! I cling to that thought whenever I am feeling uneasy or uncomfortable…I just remind myself that I am enough!
I suspect that when we choose our professions or careers that some of us have had those life-changing moments. When I opened my first children’s clothing store, I felt something deep within. I remember my husband and I sat on the floor of the store one New Year’s Eve, toasting the New Year, and thinking that I was meant to be there. But I also remember the moment when I knew, just knew, that I was not to be there any longer and that it was time to close the store. Strangely enough, only two months after closing my store, my father’s health and my mother’s inability to cope led me to caring for them full-time.
Life-changing moments or events or challenges (because often it is the challenge that defines who we are and who we are meant to be) are significant if we choose to see their significance and meaning.
Whether those moments are momentous or simple, it is those moments that are gold! They are precious. That’s why we savour them. They’re alchemy.
(Note: The travel site I visited was AFAR.)