My daughter, Emily, told me about a book she recently read. It was My Stroke of Insight by Jill Bolte Taylor. Dr. Taylor, a brain scientist, suffered a stroke. In the book she details the things she experienced during the stroke and tells the story of her recovery and attempts to live fully, using both sides of her brain. Emily really enjoyed the book. I am planning to read it soon. Amazingly, just after she told me about the book, I came across this TED Talk by Jill Bolte Taylor and decided to watch it.
As I listened to Dr. Taylor talk, I became very excited. What she was saying about her experience of her stroke resonated with my own experience of grace since my vision began to deteriorate. The physical occurrences were different, but there are a lot of spiritual and emotional similarities in our stories. She says that her stroke was a great gift. I believe her when she says this, because my vision loss has been a great gift. With the left hemisphere of her brain damaged by the stroke, her right hemisphere was able to bring her to a sense of being connected with all the energy in everything around her. She calls the place of peace that she attained “Nirvana.” When I achieved this same sense of connectedness and of peace with the world around me, I called it “grace.” Moments of grace were occurring all the time because everything, every second, every experience filled me with amazement. I could no longer see clearly, but I could SEE in a new way. I had a new insight into people and the beauty in everything around me.
In the last few days or weeks, I seem to have lost that sense of grace and beauty. I have become stressed by the steady drip, drip, drip of mundane daily tasks. I guess I began to take the amazing wonderfulness of my life for granted. I have become more focused on the “losing vision” and less interested in the “gaining insight.” I stopped looking for the silver lining in the cloud.
I am so thankful that Emily mentioned Dr. Taylor to me and that I took the time to watch the TED talk when I saw it. This talk renewed in me the spirit of gratitude that I lost along the way. I remembered that God has not blessed me a little bit, but has blessed me exceeding abundantly. Dr. Taylor reminded me that I have a choice. I can choose to live the way I have been living the last few days, with worry, with my “internal chatter” stressing me out and listing all the items on my to do list. OR, I can choose to search out all the grace and beauty that is so abundant in the world. I can open my eyes and heart to the blessings all around me. One of my blog readers once commented that I have a “fairy tale life.” I want to return to having a positive attitude, to having the sense that something wonderful is just around the corner, to believing that everything really will be okay.
I recommit myself, tonight, to looking for the blessing no matter how strangely it is disguised. I recommit myself to finding the rainbow, seeing the silver lining, uncovering the grace in any situation. Already, having written this, I can feel my spirit lightening. I can feel myself smiling. I can feel myself believing that I have, indeed, made my choice. Today is going to be a great day. Tomorrow is going to be a great day. I will be looking for grace everywhere. I know that I will find it.