I was in therapy a couple of weeks ago and my therapist and I were discussing my writing and my blog. We were also discussing the likelihood that I have ADD. There was a range of discussion.
As we discussed my writing, my blog, writing a book, and the fact that I am still sometimes unclear as to what the heck I am doing putting my whole life out in public, she said something to me. “Ashli. There is something very brilliant that you’ve probably heard before and that is this, ‘Lord. Make me an instrument of thy peace.”
I had just told her that I couldn’t understand the feeling I have in me but it feels like sharing is what I am meant to do. It feels like so many events in my life have lined me along this path of the ideas of hard meeting goodness. It feels like I am meant for something now. I used to question what that was. Now I just know that there is something. And that I am probably just meant to let time reveal what that is.
And I said, “I just feel crazy saying that… like I think I am something unique or special. That’s not what I mean. I know that I am indeed, unique and special. Just like everyone else.”
And she said it again, “You just have to repeat it daily, ‘Lord. Make me an instrument of thy peace.”
And then she added this: and let it unfold.
Yes. Yessssss, I thought as I repeated her words. LET IT UNFOLD.
Gosh. I can’t quote the Bible with much accuracy. And I can’t tell you what most scriptures mean to all the different theologians. But I’m gonna talk a little faith today. Okay? Okay.
Often we say that we are not in control. But how often do we actually admit it out loud and give that up to the universe? To God? To whomever it is that we believe/know to be in control?
How often do we say, “Lord, do with me what you plan and I will just chill right here with your blueprint and see how this all shakes out.”
I found myself realizing that day that I have been truly giving more up to the Greater Good lately. I have been edging more towards feeling like a pull-up in the dryer or a kid with the barfies or a small hiccup like that is God probably telling me, “You are so not in control, woman.”
And I’ve found myself finding peace in his peace. Ever since I was on bedrest four years ago, I’ve experienced what many call a “peace that passes understanding” more times than I can count on one hand. And I take those peaceful sparks as a memo from God saying, “Ashli. Let it unfold.”
It’s kind of incredible. And to some, it might sound crazy. But God is my jam and Jesus is, too. So it doesn’t seem weird to me.
Maybe you call it a feeling or a vibe. Maybe, again, you lift your moments up to Buddha. Or you pray to HaShem or Adonai. Or answer to the words of Joseph Smith.
No matter what your beliefs, I believe there is both comfort and power in being able to say, “Make me an instrument of thy peace.” And then, letting it unfold.
I don’t believe that my therapist, Dr Clinkenbeard, was advising me to sit on my couch all day and eat cheezy poofs because God’s got this. And she wasn’t saying that no matter what we do, we can’t have impact on it all because it will unfold no matter what. What I think she was reminding me that if we feel we are being pulled in a direction, it is up to us to put it into action and then, see where it takes us.
I have 10 essays left. And then editing. But only 10 essays until I can say that I have written the book that has been swirling around in my brain and the words that have grown in my heart for at least five years now. And for so so long, I wondered, “What if I don’t succeed? What happens after I am done writing? And even harder… what if I do succeed?” As I finish up writing my last ten essays, I feel that the normal me will hold the entirety of my book project in my hands and wonder if I’m crazy to think I have something worth selling. I know that the normal me would ask God if this is stupid. And would look for one friend or family member to tell me it will fail. Usually, I would beg my husband my husband to be brutally honest. And even ask my kids if it’s dumb.
I just know that up until about two years ago (okay. 6 months ago) I would look for ways to grow doubt instead of fostering the light of it all. And I know that in the past, for moments, I would tell myself that I am too old for pretending.
But a couple of weeks ago, my Oldest walked into my office, pulled out the folder that holds all of the essays thus far, and shared it with his friend. Two 8-year-old boys sat reading my essays and my son said, “My mom is a writer. Isn’t that awesome?” and his friend read (what is not at all targeted to the interests of 8-year-old boys) and said, “This is cool.” and then, my son said, “Yeah. She’s working on her dream.”
“Lord. Make me an instrument of thy peace.” and “Let it unfold.”
I felt in that very moment that the work and the years may have all lead to that very moment when my child would see something that I did and tell a friend, confidently and with some pride, that his mom is a writer. And she’s working on her dream.
That may have very well been the unfolding.
I don’t always know what is to come with this social media presence I have. I pray that God will continue to whisper to me about speaking, writing, sharing, swearing, and all the things that make me me. I pray that he will use me in the ways that he has planned and that I will accept his nudges with grace and chutzpah. Even if I’m not his typical instrument;).
And then, that after I do the do’s, I will be able to put whatever ideas I have in my mind out there, and let them unfold.
Only I can write my story. That is me, being an instrument of his peace, I think. Sharing my story. Connecting people. SHOUTING GOODNESS. Understanding pain, anguish, fear, and the like. And showing people that life ebbs and flows. I believe that there is something that each of us are gifted… we just don’t always see what’s under the wrapping.
I believe that while it may not be BIG work that each and every one of us are doing, I believe, with so much more than I ever did before, that it is important. Big or small, he needs us all. So I will write my book. And then, I believe I have to know that it will be what it will be.
We need to dream. To do. To be who we are. And then, we need to hand it over to the Universe and say, “Let it unfold.”