One Saturday when I was a teenager, my mom needed a can of stewed tomatoes for the meal she was preparing, and we ran over to her parents’ house. Da and Grandpa had gone out, but Mom found what she needed in the pantry closet in the basement, then sat on Da’s red stool at the kitchen counter to write a note. Both thoughtful and grateful, Mom said she had taken a can of tomatoes, added a thank you, and signed the note with love.
At that moment, Da and Grandpa came home, and Da began to chide Mom—this may have been when Da was trying to quit smoking—but Grandpa motioned us over to the other side of the room.
“Honey, come with me,” he said. He led us downstairs and crossed the cement floor to a doorway I’d never noticed before. Beyond that door was the part of the basement where “cold storage” ran the whole width of the house, under the front porch. “Look, Sandra,” Grandpa told her, his mouth curving into the lop-sided grin we loved so much, “here is where you need to go shopping.”
I felt my eyes go wide. Before us lay boxes stacked upon boxes, all full of canned goods and delicacies (like Smucker’s jams in all flavors). Mom and I drove home with a case of stewed tomatoes and more.
How often we limit ourselves to the places we know, the experiences we’re used to, the smallness we have learned to accept as ourselves. That “small me” feeling is so pervasive and so detrimental to our being! In Quantum God, Part Two, “We are willing to change,” I quote Marianne Williamson, who wrote, “Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure….[But] as we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
This week, let’s remember to shine. How? By being kind to ourselves; by thinking well of ourselves. With this simple act, we allow our whole Self to shine out, and we tacitly encourage those around us to do the same. That is when we are, as Rev. Karyn Bradley used to say, a beneficial presence. A blessing in the world.
More power you, dear heart, and many blessings as you walk through new doors.