Two weeks ago I wrote about the strange possibility that the trauma of my seizures and a coma could be gift. I believe strongly in that possibility and I also know, deep in my heart, that my subsequent seizures and struggles represent a phase in my life rather than the rest of my life. If so, that is, certainly, the greatest gift of all. But this past week we had a small gift of major proportions. This time it brought tears to not only my eyes but to my wife’s eyes as well. I hope you will want to read the story.
The replies to last week’s Provision, Love is Love, have been quite profound and moving to someone whose limbic system has been so inflamed. Given the controversial nature of the message, I want to start this Provision with a simple expression of gratitude for all of you who took the time to respond and write. I encourage you to read those replies and to pause for a moment of thanksgiving in whatever way works for you. Life is a gift as I am reminded each day that things get better.
This past week we had another experience which drove that point home all over again. My wife and I went out for dinner on Valentine’s Day and at the restaurant we saw friends and had an enjoyable time visiting with them, briefly, before we sat down for our own meal. These friends were not the best of friends with whom we had spent all kinds of time; indeed, I hardly knew them at all. They were rather one of Megan’s students at the university, and her husband, so you might of the relationship as more of a professional relationship between two people rather than a personal relationship between four.
The amazing part came when we finished our meal and asked the server for our check. That’s when he told us that the people over there, our friends and acquaintances who had now left, had paid the bill for us. He handed us a Guest Check with a handwritten note that simply said, “Happy Valentine’s Day, God Bless! From Mark & Jenny.” There went my limbic system again, only this time Megan’s kicked in as well. We looked at each other and our eyes swelled up with tears. This completely unexpected gift had not only taken us off guard, it had moved us to a point of unspeakable joy.
How often does that kind of thing happen? How often does a relatively distant set of friends, who I did not know at all but who knew of the trauma I have been through with my brain, reach out in such a surprising, delightful, and generous way? The simple answer is, “Not often enough!” But since my brain injury and slow recovery, zigzagging two steps forward and one step back since that fateful day at the end of August, such gifts have abounded. We have been carried by a community of love that knows no bounds and continues to support us each and every day.
There’s no way we would have gotten through this without that community of love. One doesn’t get better from autoimmune limbic encephalitis on drugs alone; it takes a lot of TLC from a lot of people over a long period of time. And we have found that such gifts abound.
That may have something to do with how we live our lives. The old adage, “What goes around comes around,” has really proven to be true. To the best of our ability, we have sought to be givers rather than takers. We have sought to reach out to others with the spirit of love rather than to take from others with a selfish attitude of greed. And that hasn’t been facade. That’s our value system, our character, and what’s truly in our hearts. As a result, miraculous things have happened • sometimes simple but always profound • that have gotten us through this most incredible of experiences with even more wisdom and grace than before.
You might say it woke us up, in the very sense that I wrote about ten years ago in my poem titled Awake:
The world comes back to life
Tiny buds burst into flower
Drab and barren branches
Dance to a symphony of becoming
Like a painter’s palette
We see the colors laid out
And smell their intoxicating aromas
This too shall pass
But for now
There is hope
In a world that knows too much fear
But for now
There is faith
In a world that knows too much despair
But for now
There is love
In a world that knows too much hate
But for now
We dance to this symphony of becoming
We twirl and laugh
We trust and believe
As though nothing could silence the music
But for now
We are pleased to dwell
On planet earth
And do call ourselves
That’s been my experience, time after time, since coming back to life from the brink of death itself. If you have never done so, or if you just want appreciate some enjoyable music all over again, then I encourage you to listen to the way Theo and Erika Jackson turned that poem into a song that I have listened to many times since waking from my coma. For the life of me I don’t understand why that song, Click Here to Listen, hasn’t become a Top 10 hit at some point! It’s easy to sing along to and it packs a punch when it comes to the bottom line: “we are pleased to dwell on planet earth, and do call ourselves awake”.
Right now, as I finish this Provision, the sky is slowly changing from dark to light as this sphere we call planet earth rotates on its axis and the sun peeks around the perimeter. As it does, the branches are starting to become visible and the birds are starting to peck away, once again, at the suet we have hanging outside our window. The world, in other words, is coming back to life in the most ordinary of senses. And isn’t that extraordinary?
Coaching Inquiries: Are you awake? Do you see the extraordinary in the ordinary? What and who might help you to make that leap? How might LifeTrek Coaching become a part of your journey? Intrigued? I encourage you to contact us for a Free Consultation.
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Editor’s Note: The LifeTrek Readers’ Forum contains selections from the comments and materials sent by the readers of LifeTrek Provisions. They do not necessarily reflect the perspective of LifeTrek Coaching International. To submit your comment, use our Feedback Form or Email Bob.
I am not sure where to start in response to your last Provision, Love is Love, … except to say I am in the midst of tears for Dylan, yourself and myself.
Tears for Dylan, in that yes he found the ultimate….”LOVE”. All that is necessary in life to live and exist. The greatest!!!! Wherever and however you find it.. its only prerequisite is that it be true. The progress is hopeful.
Tears for you as I have been praying for you and your family for strength and courage in the absence of knowing exactly what to do. I am so overjoyed that you are doing better. Knowing of course, that it is not a linear path back to health. This is your year and as rough as it was last year, God will continue to bless you…….a new texture has been added as a result.
Tears for myself • in a story that was too long and personal to reprint here!
How fitting of a Provision on the week prior to Valentine’s Day. The love you and Megan possess is so strong and I thank God she is there for you as she has always been. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
Where do I find love? One of the easiest places is with my LifeTrek coach and beloved friend Bob! It’s because of love that you give all that you do. It’s because of love that you share so abundantly from your wisdom and your woundedness with all of us who feed each week on your grace-filled provisions. It’s because of love that you are still with us, and we are still with you. Thank God, such love never ends!
HALLELUIAH!!!!!!!! That is the God I know and worship. Thank you, Lord, for the Truth and thank you Bob for writing it. Love IS love.
I LOVE your response to Dylan’s speech. I couldn’t agree with you more!!!! Have a wonderful day. So glad to see you are recovering.
Another winner of a Provisions, Bob • you are SO LOVED by so many.
May you be filled with goodness, peace, and joy.
Bob Tschannen-Moran, MCC, BCC
President, LifeTrek Coaching International, www.LifeTrekCoaching.com
CEO & Co-Founder, Center for School Transformation, www.SchoolTransformation.com
Past President, International Association of Coaching, www.CertifiedCoach.org
Author, Evocative Coaching: Transforming Schools One Conversation at a Time, Online Retailers
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