I interrupt the turkey and baseball broom pictures to say hello, and Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family. Regardless of whether you celebrate this Canadian holiday, I believe we might all agree that it is a time that encourages reflection on our attitude of gratitude.
As conscious parents, not only are hubby and I striving to teach Sophia the importance of simplicity, humility, and gratitude; but, we also emphasize adopting an attitude of learning from who and what the Universe gives us. That is, seeing everyone and everything as our teacher. After last year’s Thanksgiving experience, we knew that we would want to venture out again to the downtown streets to spend Thanksgiving getting to know some people in need, and spreading as much love and good vibes as we could.
First, Sophia and I talked a bit about the special brothers and sisters who are living homeless in the city. I asked her if she remembered our experience last year. She said she did, and that she felt sad for the homeless. I responded with the sentiment that it is okay to feel sad and hurt for them and their situation, but that we could help by creating care packages for them. Sophia and I talked about what might be of value. Four things came to mind: “Something s/he wants. Something s/he needs. Something to wear. Something to read.” Together we brainstormed a list of what we could add to the care packages. Stuff we thought that would be needed and appreciated. Sophia mentioned, “bandaids,” “coconut oil,” “paints,” “nasal sprays,” and “warm socks.” We made some spelt apple sauce muffins to add to the packages, and added some crackers, fruit cups, bandaids, socks, water bottles, toothbrush and paste, kleenexes, and an inspirational message with some artwork painted by Sophia, that read:
Sophia was eager to assemble the packages.
We then headed out to the city’s streets to celebrate the festival of gratitude.
Above is a picture of Frank and I, one of the special brothers and sisters who we gave a care package to. But, it’s also a picture of you, do you see? There is no real difference between you and me. Between me and Frank. Between you and Frank. It has been said that when you look into the eyes of those who are suffering/have suffered, you can see the face of God looking back at you. I looked into his eyes, and could feel his hurt. I feel you, I thought. I too, know pain. Those who suffer are all a part of us. The same. And it is this dance of conscious oneness and gratitude for the other, regardless of the role they play on Earth, that can allow us to exist without fragmentation, separation, or judgement. Thus, there is no difference between where I am right now and where you are sitting, the ground and the sky, between being afraid or strong, being shy or bold, between smiling in appreciation or gazing in silence. We all come from the same place, are made of the same thing, and will return to the same place at the end of it. We just are stardust with infinite potential.
Frank was quiet and reserved when we approached him, but was very thankful for the care package. I could tell it was appreciated and needed. He quickly tucked it into his backpack and smiled. He thanked us for us stopping to talk to him. Did you know the percentage of the homeless population aged 51 or older was 29% in 2013, more than doubling since 2009? I wonder if the percentage of those who are able to share their experience of homelessness, their story, their voice, to people who will hear them, increase or decrease with their age? I shook his hand and told him that we would send him our love and light and expressed gratitude for making our day so meaningful.
Above is a picture of us with Amanda. She was so grateful for the sanitary napkins we included in the package because she just had a baby girl two weeks ago! And of course I wanted to know more…And I listened to what she so willingly wanted to tell me. Ugh. But, this was it. The experience that pulled on my heart strings. That got me dizzy, and thinking, hurting. Any fellow empath will understand when I say, I wondered whether these were even my own emotions, or just the mirrored emotions of Amanda. I felt overwhelmed by the heaviness of her story, overwhelmed with such dizziness I thought I might vomit, and through wishing that I would have packed some of Sophia’s newborn clothes or gave her some extra money for diapers for if/when…if she does see her daughter again.
Then I realized that in order for us to spread any amount of transformative light in this mission, I had to operate from a space of non-judgment, and abandon the need to help or rescue her, or any special brother or sister, from her feelings (or situation). I just had to listen, with a pure and open heart and hold space for her to express her story. She was especially grateful for the package, and thanked us again. I left thanking Amanda for sharing her journey with me. I left thinking about her and her sweet baby, who are separated in distance and perhaps much more. And believe me, I squeezed my dear Sophia Penelope a little tighter than usual before I put her to bed this evening, with gratitude for our journey together.
There were other special brothers and sisters who we came across on our journey, each experience valued and cherished. One was with a woman, who had made a bed out of cardboard and some blankets, and was sleeping without socks or shoes. “Look,” I said to Sophia, “she will really appreciate those warm socks you packed for her.” And, Sophia smiled at me. Later, Sophia shared with me that her favourite experience was giving out a care package to a man with a dog. “I like that dog,” she said. “Maybe next time at Christmas, we can give the dog a care package.” “What will we put in it?” I ask. “Dog bones. A leash so he doesn’t run away. Coconut oil for his teeth…and a toothbrush,” she says. What a fantastic idea. My sweet girl.
At the end of the mission, Sophia came to us with a lot of questions, as we anticipated. She opened up to us about her feelings of sadness (again) for those who have no homes. She asked us why and why and why they don’t have their own beds like we do. Hubby tells her something that seems to soothe her, and she responds with “You’re a good daddy. You brush my teeth. I just love you.”
You know, this is the third time we’ve ventured downtown to distribute care packages, and we’ve come across some criticism for exposing Sophia to witnessing the realness of homelessness. “She’s too young to see how mean the world can be.” I’ve heard. “Treat her like a princess and keep her in a magical world.” I hear. And, perhaps the voices are right. The last experience in particular, on Christmas Day in 2015, brought up huge fears in Sophia that we’ve been working through every day since. We’ve only recently begun to clear with the help of meditative deep breathing and past life/past programming clearing. Perhaps, one evening I will open up and write about it, and you can read it, over a cup of tea.
Until then, much love to you and your family, from us.
Thank you so much for reading. If you like this post, feel free to send me a message to let me know your thoughts. Much metta to you!