Because ...
By:  Aria E. Appleford

We are , each of us angels with only one wing; and we can only fly by embracing one another."    - Luciano de Crescenzo -

Throughout the tragedies of my life I have learned such wonderful lessons.

Because I was so abused as a child, I spent most of my time alone and in my play, I was always the "hero" or the "princess."  I never learned that "I couldn't."  My inner voice has no use of names that label me in hurtful, demeaning ways.  Instead, it cheers and whistles, and constantly assumes I already am whatever I undertake.

Because I was so different from the other children, I turned to nature and let it teach me the secrets and meaning of life.  Chocolate brown earth embraces and wild, prairie grass caresses.  Flower tumbles spilled down the hills, endless blue canopies with popped-corn clouds, and mountains etched upon the horizon.  Liquid pools of cool green glass and the shout of water racing to escape its chiseled banks.  Beneath my tiny planted feet, I knew my roots were strong and the wind always carried the promise of the wings I needed to fly. The earth is limitless and so am I.

Because I had no-one but me to play with most of the time, I performed my songs and stories for my dolls, the kittens as they nursed, or the ever-ready crowd of imaginary friends who could be gathered at a moments notice and always counted on to provide me with the standing ovation I so richly deserved - my imagination was given voice in song and stories, in thoughtful plays of significant meaning and emotion.  I learned to be creative.  I learned that the end product was never as important as the process.  I learned to laugh.

Because I was so unloved, I learned to love others freely.  Because I was so desperate for love, I learned to forgive easily and completely.

Because no-one ever noticed anything special about me, I learned to notice everything special about others.  Because no-one ever thanked me for the things I did, I learned to appreciate everything others do.

Because I felt such pain, I learned to cry - not just for myself, but for others I saw suffering.  I learned compassion.

Because I made so many mistakes, I learned patience.  I learned to never judge others.  I learned that through the tragedies came lessons and blessings.  I learned to surrender to those greater things.  I learned to be a teacher.

Because I never had a mother, I became a mother.

Because everyone gave up on me, I will never give up in my children.

Because no-one gave me answers, I learned to search for truth.

Because I have been so sick I almost died, I learned life is worth fighting for.

Because of all the problems my children had/have - I have gained in wisdom and understanding of life.  I have learned to respect that everyone has their own choices to make.  I learned people are so much more than the sum total of all their mistakes.  They taught me about stewardship - where mine ends and theirs begin; and I learned how perfectly life works when I respect those boundaries.  I learned that I could love them and allow them their own lives.                                                                                                                                                 B
Because I have had to work for everything I have, I have learned the joy of an honest day's work.

Because I lost everything we had in a flood, I learned how little "things" mean and how very important our relationships are.

Because my husband died, I have learned to understand death and not fear it.  I have learned to let go.  I have learned that love is eternal.  His death taught me that I cannot fix everything, and no-one ever expected me to (except maybe myself).  I learned to surrender it all, and trust that there is always a perfect plan even though the pain of the situation may blind me to it.  Through my husband's death I learned of a love so powerful it is willing to sacrifice and I learned again, in deeper, more meaningful ways, of the importance of what I do here.

Because my children have suffered, I have learned there is something even worse than my own suffering.

Because I have been both rich and very poor I have come to understand happiness has nothing to do with money.

I have learned that we are all capable of both the most loving acts of kindness and the darkest, most evil acts of destruction - and I have come to accept that is what it is to be human and that our choices define us.

The synchronicity of all that I have learned, of the people and experiences that have been brought into my life, still has the ability to amaze me and leave me in awe.  I have learned things can change in the a blink of an eye but no matter what, the sun comes up tomorrow, life goes on, and I can laugh again.   I have learned that  I am a survivor.  I have learned to survive because each experience of my life has taught me exactly what I needed to make it through.

I have learned that what fills my heart and lifts my soul, is the opportunity to be an instrument of healing and love, in the lives of others.
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