As we approach Thanksgiving here in the USA, we reflect on those for whom and that for which we are thankful. Every year, my mind immediately goes to the basics: faith, family, friends. Words of gratitude shared, hearts warmed.
This year, Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs comes to mind… for the basics - physiologic and safety needs - stand in danger of imbalance in ways I've NEVER experienced in my life. Truth be told (and at a time like this, I am best served by facing the truth), looming scarcity is scaring me... thankfully into an action plan.
That said, coming to terms with my financial reality shocks me. How did this happen? How did I let this happen? Why did I let this happen???
Recognizing these as not enough/fear based questions, I remember to bring compassion alongside curiosity. I am still good. I am still important. I still matter. Though I cannot fathom the bigger picture, I choose to trust. I choose to find my way out of this barren desert with its lessons hard learned. I believe I am right where I'm meant to be, that all will work out. I can actually feel a sense of deep gratitude for my dire financial straits.
Marie Forleo coined the phrase "everything is figureoutable" and I lean gratefully on that promise today. Next to that, my morning scripture reading comes from the Old Testament, from the chosen people, those who spent long years in the desert. Wisdom 2:23-3:9* speaks to me, calling out to be paraphrased, and I allow myself to be drawn into its somehow nourishing, desertesque mystery...
God intends Abundance Art to thrive;
In the image of his own nature he manifested it through me.
Despite best intentions and efforts, the creative livelihood fizzles, desperate.
I feel the doubt and despair of bitter disappointment.
I am overwhelmed by it.
Then I remember… Abundance Art remains in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch it. I claim this truth.
My dream, my vision, my mission may seem, in the view of skeptics, dead;
this seeming failure thought finished business
and my passion in going forth in it utter foolishness.
But wait, I too am at peace.
For if up to now, if spendingselffundingretirementmoneygoneoverwhelmingdebt, indeed, be seen as ridiculous loss,
yet my hope remains full of promise;
Pruned muchly, I shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried me
and has found Abundance Art worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved me,
and as sacrificial offerings he took every clouded dream to himself.
So that at the right time, Abundance Art shall shine brightly,
and shall dart about as sparks in the darkness.
Creativity, nourishment, love and healing shall reach nations and touch the hearts of peoples around the world,
and the Lord shall be my King forever.
I shall understand truth,
and Abundance Art shall abide with him in love.
Because grace, mercy and prosperity are with his holy ones,
and his abundant care is with me, always.
*Paraphrased from Wisdom 2:23-3:9. Actual text follows (Lectionary for Mass for Use in the Dioceses of the United States, second typical edition, Copyright © 2001, 1998, 1997, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine):
God formed man to be imperishable;
the image of his own nature he made them.
But by the envy of the Devil, death entered the world,
and they who are in his possession experience it.
But the souls of the just are in the hand of God,
and no torment shall touch them.
They seemed, in the view of the foolish, to be dead;
and their passing away was thought an affliction
and their going forth from us, utter destruction.
But they are in peace.
For if before men, indeed, they be punished,
yet is their hope full of immortality;
Chastised a little, they shall be greatly blessed,
because God tried them
and found them worthy of himself.
As gold in the furnace, he proved them,
and as sacrificial offerings he took them to himself.
In the time of their visitation they shall shine,
and shall dart about as sparks through stubble;
They shall judge nations and rule over peoples,
and the Lord shall be their King forever.
Those who trust in him shall understand truth,
and the faithful shall abide with him in love:
Because grace and mercy are with his holy ones,
and his care is with his elect.