By Mary Cucarola – 6/9/23
“The real voyage of discovery consists not in the seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” ~Marcel Proust
Whenever I have doubts about something like I wrote about last month (faith), I turn to one of my favorite little books about asking yourself the right questions. It is written by Debbie Ford, and it is titled “The Right Questions; Ten Essential Questions to Guide You to an Extraordinary Life.” It was published twenty years ago and is as applicable today as it was then. My little hardback is stained, dogeared, highlighted, written in, and treasured.
When you lose a child, you look for new ways to understand the world on a consistent basis and sometimes you regress in your healing journey.
This is Debbie’s fourth question in her book, and it applies to me right now. Looking for what’s wrong, I am viewing my life through the narrowest possible lens, zooming in on unmet expectations and where the world doesn’t look the way I decided it should look.
If I continue to look for what’s wrong, I will surely find it and will experience disappointment and discontent. I can conveniently blame it on God or the Universe and avoid responsibility for my own reality, and my own reality is I have no control over the opioid epidemic or mass shootings.
Debbie suggests looking for what’s right opens your heart and allows you to live in a state of gratitude for what you have. This reminds me of all the young people I have helped who were addicted to drugs – it has been hundreds in the almost ten years I’ve been doing this work through Cody’s Fresh Start and am proud of how many are still in recovery. Each year at the charity golf event, they share their inspiring stories.
It reminds me of all the family members I have helped guide through their journey of living with addicted loved ones and helped them develop coping strategies and practice self-care. I have amazing relationships with these parents and family members that I cherish and am grateful for. When I am reminded of those things, I can refocus the lens of my perception of the world and make a choice to continue doing what’s right, no matter how many things are wrong with the world.
Looking for what’s wrong prevents me from seeing the good that already exists in my life and all the good people in the world right now. Looking for what’s right reminds me of my purpose in life and fills me with gratitude and peace. It reminds me to be grateful for my chance to have the year off to recharge, test retirement, and renew my faith.
Instead of dreading Mother’s Day, I can celebrate Cody has been at peace for nearly ten years, and I am closer to seeing him again. How’s that for a radical shift in perception?
Thank you, angels, for not giving up on me.
Mary Cucarola – 6/9/23