I have been very blessed through my life to always be loved and protected, not only by my family, but by friends as well. In fact many of my friends have become my adopted family, with some being held so close to my heart it hurts when I think how very far away they are today. I have forged bonds so deep through circumstance, be that travelling through a foreign country or depending upon each other during our hours of care for other people, that whenever I have felt lost or alone I have know always that somebody, somewhere loves me and that there will always be someone there to pick me up when I fall.
But never have these special bonds held me back and taken from me my independence. My father, the wisest man I know, has always said that he knows he cannot save me from making mistakes and even if he could it would be unfair to do so. He knows instinctively that if he were to wrap me in a bubble and keep me from harm I would never grow. It has been so hard for him at times to stand back and watch me struggle through things on my own, making mistakes he could see before me and fighting the unfairness of the world around me - yet each and every time he has stood by, watching and waiting for me to turn to him, knowing that only when I ask should he act. And I have always known, without a doubt, that when things fall apart and I feel I can go on no longer, as soon as I turn he will be there, ready to pick up the pieces alongside me, brush me down, pat me on the back and see me back onto the path. His love is, for me, the ultimate expression of a father whose love and protection understands that mistakes are a part of life and trying to banish them from my life would do more harm than good.
And that love reminds me of an even greater security I have in my life - my belief in the unconditional love of god, the universe, the angels, spirits and all that live in our world. I don't know what your own personal belief is in regards to the unseen energies in our world, but for me they have always been a great influence in my life. Through the years I have learnt to see each mistake, each hardship as a chance to learn and grow, a chance to build up compassion for others in similar situations, to understand that life is made up of both aspects - good and bad, light and dark, health and sickness, joy and sadness... and through the years I have come to see the blessing in being allowed to experience both sides of life. Without my most painful experiences I would no more understand my happiest times than I would an expression of love without ever having experienced the lack of it. And without those trying times I would have no idea of how strong I am or just how loved I can be.
But the one thing that keeps me going through both the good times and the bad is the knowledge that on all levels I am loved and protected. Nothing can harm my essence, so long as I remember the love sent to me from all sides. I might forget this, I might feel like a helpless victim at times and I have certainly felt like I may never find my way through the pain at certain moments in my life - but each time some part of me has come through to remind me of the safety that will never be taken away from me. And so I leave you with the following poem that I wrote some years back, which seems to fit this Sacred Sunday posting so well it's as if I wrote it knowing one day it would be shared this day with you.