first my heart broke, then hummingbirds came

Once upon a time I bought a hummingbird feeder.  Although I have loved hummingbirds for a long long time, it never occurred to me to purchase a feeder because I figured we lived too close to the city.  But one day I saw a feeder smack dab on a neighbor's front porch HALF FULL of nectar and that was all the encouragement I needed.  So I planted a penstemon (attracts hummies), hung my feeder and faithfully tended to the nectar. But no hummies came.  I remained diligent to the mission and prayed for hummingbirds to come because I really really really wanted to see one. None showed up, but I kept trying.  I plodded on and even asked my husband and Neighbor's husband to pray for hummingbirds to come.  Both were silent, gave me the side eye and slowly walked away.  Whatever, haters!  If I make it (the nectar), they will come, I thought.  So I kept at it. I pressed on until about the year and a half/two year mark and when I *still* hadn't seen hummingbird the first, I was like done.  And ticked.  Off.  I didn't get rid of the feeder because it was cute and vintage-y looking, so I allowed it to remain in the garden.  I totally gave up on the hummies though.  I was extremely disappointed and I truly stopped believing that they would EVER show.  

Fast forward a year or so... feeder still in place, still empty as all get out... and I'm still reeling over the heartbreak of few successive rapid-fire punches that almost knocked the life out of me.  I was having a rough day.  A rough couple of days, weeks and months, actually.  I was putting on a brave face and showing up to do my absolute best, but the truth is I felt heartbroken.  Despite the way I was feeling, I kept showing up and when it was time to work (write), I went to my office to sit stare out the window write.  AS SOON AS I ENTERED THE ROOM, I saw a blur of something dart near the upper right side of the window.  I didn't think much of it, but I did look towards the movement and there was the cutest, smallest, most adorable hummingbird I'd ever seen.  I was astonished.  Silently awestruck, I watched this gorgeous creature dance at the feeder.  Then I remember thinking, THERE'S NO NECTAR IN THERE.  Of all days for a hummie to come and there ain't no nectar...  Thankfully, this didn't seem to bother my beautiful friend one bit because the dancing continued and THEN he moved away from the feeder to the left side of the window and flapped and fluttered those beautiful wings directly facing me.  It was as if he was looking me right in the eye.  Time seemed to slow down and this felt like it went on for at least ten or twelve minutes.  In reality, it was more like ten to twelve seconds, which is like fifteen years for sporadic hummies, right?  Cutie Patootie flitted off, leaving the same direction he came, and I broke down and released the most guttural sobs.  

As I was on my knees crying, my sobs gave way to gratitude because I knew the hummingbird was a wonderful omen.  It was God's way of speaking to me because only He knows what hummingbirds mean to me. (I will not even attempt to convey their significance to you because words cannot express it.) My heart was wailing, releasing, celebrating and receiving... simultaneously. My omen was this: everything is gonna be alright.  Even if I can't  see when or how.  Even if I momentarily lose my way or stop believing.  Doesn't matter because He is building something that does not depend on how I feel at any given moment.  And this builder NEVER fails.  Just when I pulled myself together and thought the tender moment was over, Cutie Patootie came back (several times!) and even brought a friend.  I cried on and off all day.  

I wanted to end this post with something about Prince and how this is what it sounds like when doves cry because I was crying and birds are involved, but since we're dealing with hummingbirds and not doves, I will just say this: It is going to be ok, so don't stop believing.  And even if you do, God will never give up on you or stop believing in you.  #thatslove

The remarkably brilliant Brene Brown refers to this leg of the journey as a "breakdown spiritual awakening."  Quite frankly, I would have preferred to receive this lesson/these lessions via book or osmosis, even, but since that ain't the way it works, my advice to US is this: lean into the heartbreak, push through the heart wrenching pain or metaphorically give it the finger by showing up each day anyway because regardless of how you feel or what it looks like, what you do or do not do, there is a favorable blessing over your life and your sign will come.  Rest assured that whatever you need...  it will come.  


imbalanced hope

Sometimes I have this.  Imbalanced hope.  I keep showing up with a smile even though that situation or individual has kicked me in the teeth seventeen times.  All seventeen times that I have shown up.  Kicked in the teeth... every time. Well, maybe it was only sixteen times, but either way, the ratio is unfavorable and at the very least, I should be showing up with a mouthguard and headgear.  

What is funny about abusers teeth kickers is that they seem to get off on treating the people they love like crap.  I have had the honor privilege painful experience ... I have been able to observe this ridiculousness  first hand for almost fifteen years.  *cue violin* 

In a nutshell, it's painful to behold or experience and it sucks because the relationship is a one way highway to hell where you give and give and give and it's never ever ever reciprocated.  There are moments that at first glance seem to be reciprocation, but once again, it's a swift, hard kick to the pearly whites.  I don't know if these people/situations are psychotic, narcissistic or what exactly... and I'm done trying to figure it out really because it's their problem, not mine.  And, I have mucho bien amigos.  Mucho, mucho bien amigos who inspired me to write this post about the ways to be a fab friend.  This past weekend, I got to live out the awesomeness of fab friends at a reunion of sorts via wedding with some of my college pals who are equal parts hilarious, loving, honest and utterly amazing. It was heaven on earth and I will share *some* of that soonish...  But for now, back to the craycray peeps...  Dealing with them is downright dastardly and devilish and I have the scars and dental bills to prove it.  *violin solo ends*

So, in trying to find the healthy ground between showing up for a teeth kicking (again... hopefully not... this time could be different is how it usually goes in my head) or showing up dressed to play goalie for the hockey team (which makes me feel protected, but looks downright cray),  I realized this: my hope was never supposed to be in the person/situation anyway.  My hope is supposed to be in my higher power, the one who is greater than I, the Creator of this world, the universe... all that is seen and unseen.  How did I forget that (again)? So as I take off the goalie uniform, I realize: my hope is and always will be imbalanced if it's resting on anything other than the divine, the spiritual or the miraculous.  Anytime I hedge myself on anything else, I am instantly bolted into imbalance and who wants to feel dizzy and out of sorts all the time?  Not me. Let's place our hope in the One who created the butterfly and the Milky Way, shall we? The One who holds the world in His hands so to speak.  The One who keeps it all in check by managing (read: balancing) the tension and sorting out the proportions.  Whenever I come to this realization, one of my favorite prayers comes to mind: 

God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.  Living one day at a time, enjoying one moment at a time, accepting hardship as a pathway to peace.  Taking as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is, not as I would have it.  Trusting that You will make all things right if I surrender to Your will, so that I may be reasonably happy in this life and supremely happy with You forever in the next.  Amen.  

There was a time when that prayer pissed me the hell off, but that was then and this is now.  And now, that prayer and my belief in it are synonymous with one thing:  balance.  

XO Sharita

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