Oh! The value of a moment in time, how small and short they are—but how some moments have the power to re-energize us.
I had a rare spiritual awakening recently.
An ordinary real estate deal went south. Boy, I was pissed, counting all the dollar bills I would lose and rapidly tumbling down a rabbit hole worthy of The Grinch Who Stole Christmas.
Selling our house in New Mexico, Gene and I were thrilled in August to find a couple (from our new home of Seattle, no less!) who said they wanted to buy it. It was meant to be, my eyes gazing upward, as I thanked God for our good luck. Their lender pre-approved them, so we accepted a lease-back agreement and they happily moved in. They had until the end of October to close the deal. What could go wrong?
Apparently, a lot. Covid-19 hasn’t killed anyone I know, thankfully, but it killed this real estate deal. Surprise! Their lender needs six months to approve them, not three. I had been greedily counting all the money I would save in capital gains taxes by selling before February. But now that window was just about closed.
I was faced with a choice: evict them, start showing it again, and get it sold on my schedule, by golly. The hell with them and their dreams. The hell with Covid-19, making them find a rental and move during a pandemic. That’s their problem.
Or—I could access my own humanity.
My selfishness and self-seeking were churning in my stomach. I didn’t want to get soft; I was afraid of being a sap. But I felt awful about this choice, and until I prayed about it I wasn’t sure why.
What I so love about recovery is that we can hit the reset button any time. I’m not on automatic pilot anymore.
Various recovery fellowships have been home to me for nearly twenty years. Yet real spiritual awakenings are rarities. I can talk the talk like a pro but infrequently do I ever have to walk the walk. Little ones, yes. But not on a large scale.
That rabbit hole had mirrors—full length, back and front—there was no hiding from myself. And I didn’t like what I saw. It’s not complicated: I was putting my own needs first; and the hell with the other guy.
Happily, my work in recovery continues to bear fruit. I was able to put my needs aside with these people I don’t even know. Maybe it will work out in the spring. Maybe it will fall through again, and I’ll have to reexamine my capacity for patience and generosity.
But this little exercise in letting go of some of my selfishness has been a gift. An early Christmas present to me and my expanding heart. A happy reminder of why I’ve been in the recovery rooms this long.
It’s the gift that keeps on giving.