Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Life is a Lover

My two autistic sons participate in a taekwondo class offered through the organization that runs the group home where they live. I knew James would love taekwondo, but he is a creature of habit and doesn’t welcome new experiences. When I talked to him about joining the class, he put his hands over his heart and said with exaggerated sweetness, “Mother, you know I’m a lover, not a fighter.” Ha! (He has always called me Mother, drawing out the “er” at the end. Grace does the most hilarious imitation of him. But I digress.)

By using excellent communication skills (read bribe), I convinced him to try the class, and of course he loves it as I knew he would.

In his sermon last Sunday, our minister told the story of a friend’s funeral. The priest, in the eulogy, observed, “For him, life was not a dark mystery to be anxious about. For him, life was a lover.”

Wow. What a concept. Life as a lover. What if we greeted life as we would greet a lover – with passion, eagerness, anticipation, joy, pleasure? How would my own life change if I thought about life this way?

For so many years of my life, I treated life more as an adversary, an adversary that usually won the round. Things didn’t work out the way I wanted. My baby had autism. My relationships ended. Tired, no, exhausted with my life as it was, I finally realized that the common denominator in all my disappointments was ... me. I set out to change myself.

These days I would be more likely to describe life as a friend. A good friend. But now I have a new vision of possibility. Of relationship. I think I’ll ask life out on a date. Now where are my dancing shoes? Nevermind, I’ll dance barefoot.

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