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Finding the Gems

Yesterday’s gift was a visit with my daughter and my grandchildren. Two weeks ago when reality set in and I made the decision not to spend Christmas Eve and Day with them, I sobbed. I want to witness their innocence as they experience the joy of Christmas morning. I felt devastated with deep sorrow for days. Time worked magic in the sense it all sorted out. I couldn’t see clear two weeks ago what made sense. Using patience, time and communication, we figured out a short 2-hour visit with masks would work for all of us. Like a tangled knot the whole thing seemed untenable. A new experience emerged.

Life right now is complicated. Pre-Covid days were carried out with thinking and planning and plotting and creating. Those steps are more complicated now. Last minute updates, detours of fear, reality checks, every step seems to drop in another obstacle – all based on our safety. It’s the reality of our times and it requires more planning and plotting and thinking outside the box.

It’s dawning on me I can’t figure out how every event and problem is going to work out. Equally important I realize I can’t guess outcomes. My affirmations read “I Let Go of Outcomes.” Situations may not be what I expect. Outcomes may not be what I want. Things have a way of sorting out. Is this acceptance because of my age or acceptance because of Covid learning? Who knows.

My goal every day is to breathe through the hiccups; stay steady through the roadblocks; remain centered through the perceived disasters and untie the knots. Find the gems within the rubble and keep going. Can I do it all the time? No I can’t. It’s a goal.

We drove half an hour for our visit bringing our gifts and also their gifts delivered in the last couple of weeks. We opened gifts together. What we didn’t realize is the surprise gift in our pile. A friend from California unexpectedly sent a box of face shields. This gift was the icing on a beautiful cake. I passed out the face shields and we freed ourselves from the masks and saw our beautiful smiles. My granddaughter kissed me on the lips pressing her lips on her face shield onto my face shield. It worked.

Little gems are found among the rubble of disappointments. Little moments are love bubbles filling up my soul. One foot in front of the other as I move on beyond today. Sometimes, it feels like a treasure hunt. Other days, it feels like a ghost town. Perception is the lock that opens the doors.

It Felt Love by Hafiz


Did the rose

Ever open its heart

And give to this world

All its


It felt the encouragement of light

Against its



We all remain



Participants’ Reflections:

  • It’s a gift to have this community, to see the faces, to hear the voices, and to be grateful that this practice gives back so much more. Words are limiting. I am grateful.

  • Thank you so much. Merry Christmas or whatever season of miracles people may celebrate today. I wish you a joyous season and bright, blessed new year. When my spouse was sick, near the end of his battle. One of his coworkers said his wife wanted to give us something. She was a pagan and the gifts she gave us were so beautiful and specific even if she didn’t know us. She knew us. We became close friends and her coven was having a ceremony where they sent up energy for us. I could remember where I was sitting when she said they sent up energy for his highest good. At that moment, everything shifted for me. Up until that moment, everyone told him to fight and fight. That fight killed him more than the cancer. Since then, the concept of highest good resonates throughout my whole being. when life didn’t go the way we thought it should go, the way we anticipated it should go, the way we wanted it to go it’s a fight. In hindsight, often times, we look at it now as this divine energy had a bigger picture in mind. Whenever I’m stuck in “this isn’t going the way I think it should or want it to,” meditation helps me so much. I come right back into today and my connection with the Divine, and know that there is a force working in my life that has a bigger picture. And sometimes I get tarnished but in the end, I see sometimes the purpose for it. Your meditation today reinforced this concept for me and how important it is to stay in the now.

  • Your words represent my daughter’s life and my willingness to accept what happened. Thank you.

  • Thank you. My heart is with all of you. I was thinking today about the word ‘gems.’ You are all such a gem. I don’t know what I would have done the past several months, the struggle with my family member gets harder and harder. To know you are all praying for us. It’s been years since we did anything for Christmas because he’s been too ill. We don’t bring it up anymore. My other child has been away for years. Usually during the summer, I get to see her. But with the pandemic and her traveling, it was too dangerous to get together. I couldn’t even get a little Christmas gift out to her, life’s been too hard. I’m upset about that even though she said it doesn’t matter. I wonder if deep down she does care. Thank you. I prayed during the meditation. Thank God and the Universe for all of you.

  • A gift is a gift that can always be sent. There is no time limit.

  • Last year at this time, I was spending my days in the hospital. My 94-year-old mother fell and had bleeding in her brain. All her life she’s been a humorist, telling jokes like a standup comic. When she woke up, she couldn’t talk or remember words. The neurologist said it could take a really long time for her to come back. I wondered if she couldn’t come back whether she wanted to live. Being in a hospital at Christmas is dreary and sad. I’m happy to say that this Christmas, she is herself. She fully recovered, and is cooking and telling jokes, even thriving during Covid. I’ve been thinking about the change from that dreary prognosis to coming back. We play Scrabble, she’s addicted to Words with Friends on her new tablet. I have a lot to be grateful for today.

  • Things can look dismally disastrous and who knows where they can go. Thank you.

  • I loved your reading, about the little gems found in disappointments and little moments of love bubbles. We decorated cookies yesterday with icing of blue, red, green, and white. We each had about 10 cookies and we passed around the bags of icing as we decorated our cookies. I don’t remember ever doing that. It was a really joyous thing. And then we looked at our cookies and decided which to eat. I ate one of mine. About 20 minutes later, I realized I had just broken my food abstinence. I haven’t eaten between meals since January and it was kind of a shock to me that I was so caught up that I totally didn’t connect to my spiritual center. I thought about it all evening and talked with my sponsor. I realized it depends on what I do now. Am I going to keep slipping or stay in my spiritual center? We’ll see. It’s one day at a time. Good and bad happening at the same time. Attar said good and bad are the same. Stop putting value on our view of things and just accept. It was a joyous day, good and bad. It was what it was. Thank you.

  • I was thinking about that kiss between you and your granddaughter through the shields. Neither of you will forget that.

  • Our family discussed whether to have sweets at Christmas time. The joy of the moment and the eating of the cookie—that’s all part of it. One of my family members hasn’t had sweets for a year. He was thinking this could be the occasion to have it. We all had pie to choose from. I remember I gave up coffee years ago. There’s been only one time since then that I had coffee. I was visiting a friend, she had made a fresh pot of coffee. It was already made and it was to be a nice cozy time for us to be together. I had a cup of coffee. That’s the last time I saw her because she died after that. No regrets. It was a wonderful time together. One cup of coffee wasn’t going to hurt me. You never know.

  • I’m glad you got to share that time with your friend. One of the things for people who aren’t addicted to understand is that one can be the difference between life and death. Just one slip is enough, for someone who is addicted. One of the shifts I like to put on that, especially in the 12-step program where there can be so much shame and guilt associated with relapse, is the paradigm shift on the way we look at it. In the last 11 months, you slipped up once, that’s progress. That’s incredible progress. You focus on continual progress instead of the shame and berating that a mistake was made.

  • It’s not a bad thing to be caught in joy.

  • Thank you for being part of this community. Thank you for your dedication care for yourself, enough to show up and be participating with others caring for themselves. And we create a community for doing that. Blessings to you on this day. I hope you have a gentle, self-care day, and find a gem for yourself. It’s there somewhere, I believe.

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