“Chosen” never felt accessible to me, when I allowed others to determine what the weight of it should mean.
I think back to my life as a child. My bedtime prayer was, “God bless everyone and everything, living or dead, in this world or the next.” I was taught many prayers and much about faith in my formative years; but this was a prayer I’d created for myself. It’s been the core of my beliefs every day since. In prayer–like all belief systems–we have an opportunity to transform. We ebb and flow. We are reaffirmed. We learn, we change, we grow.
I remain the woman my parents raised who believes all people deserve a life that affords them opportunities to provide for themselves and those they love, those who love them and those we don’t love as much as we should. This choice is not always easy. In my accessible memory, I was chosen before I asked to be. I was chosen before I agreed to be. I was chosen when I didn’t want to be. For those of you who believe I did ask, agree and want whether I recollect it or not? Fair play to you; my story is as much about humanity as it is divinity.
It’s a lot to ask one person to carry the burdens, fears, judgments, loves and hopes of a whole society on their back. I have been that person. I will continue to be that person. To me, that’s what chosen is. I am chosen the same as anyone else, but it’s taken time for me to own it.
I believe people can come together in the circumstances of humanity to embrace and move forward as one! Despite what on the outside would appear to be polarizing differences that might exist at times in our life, or within our communities; we can put aside judgments, and realize that we have more in common than our differences.
Within that ambitious intention are days-simple, repeating days. There are no servants to dress me in robes; I pick up my own laundry off the floor, too. Every now and again, I open my eyes and immediately plan and plot for the minute I can crawl back into bed. More often than not my dog ignites a fire under me to get out the door to start our day.
We begin with my stretching, her assessment of my morning breath, our search for her leash or my sock. These things are not a grand miracle, but they are at times an attempt against seemingly insurmountable odds. Once outside, she sniffs and I take in the stillness of the morning, and the sunrise. We both enjoy the birds.
I know I am chosen, not for what I can do with the rest of my day, but for the reality that in that moment, I am actually given a gift in the presence and the power of an entire world going from night into day, all of which happens with or without my permission or acceptance.
The mundane nature of most days–working out, breakfast, dishes, emails, writing, grocery shopping, errand running, phone calls, meetings–these too are things I could compartmentalize and speak to as gifts, blessings and opportunities from which to learn and grow. In the grand scheme of things, they are. But when I’m stuck in traffic, the tub won’t drain or I don’t know where my next paycheck is coming from, my go-to is not typically a move associated with gratitude.
This is why I mediate. I didn’t used to, but I actually need to mandate that silence in myself; otherwise, I’m prone to distraction or the temptation of calling someone an expletive outloud and to their face. My brand of chosen is more like an old shoe; it’s worn but still walking and shows signs of occasionally kicking ass.
Whenever we can, my pup and I team up again for a sunset stroll, taking in the sounds and sights of the day, observing people winding down, and settling in. Invariably, there are things on TV I want to watch: news of the day both in reality and in theory. The impactful to the less impressive stories in the global community each have merits. Every voice is one of a person who believes they have something that needs to be heard.
When I turn out the light and put my head on the pillow, depending on my energy, I say prayers. Some are traditional and in my brain from childhood; others more a wish for people who spoke to me that day.
Regardless, I always say thank you. As the world goes once again from day to night, I may be chosen, but I’d be an ingrate not to acknowledge that which remains greater than me.
In this light, I welcome you to my story. It took me a while to get here, to this place where I live in a mindset that I am as human and imperfect as I am Chosen and worthy. It’s a total package deal with no expiration date and plenty of opportunity for continued growth.
The world we live in can feel at times to be fractured; but if we look at human behavior, we learn that we all have basic needs, understandable wants, hopes and dreams worthy of respect. Victim or survivor, thief or hero, parent or child–we all deserve to be heard, honored and loved.
As you pick up and put down this book, trust that you’ll always be reading what you’re meant to. Because, you see, I think we are all chosen; we all end up where we are supposed to be.
And some might say that’s a miracle…