Wrapped packages can be a reason for panic. Deceptively presented like the most incredible, wonderful, amazing, desired item ever, to be cherished and eventually listed in your will because everyone wants it. You reach out, trying in every part of your body to accept the gift with grace when all you want to do is yell “Stop shopping at places with signs that promote ‘Eat Here and Get Gas!’” At least those presents are wrapped and physically exchanged. There are other presents, neither wrapped nor associated with a specific event. Their consequences do have the potential to be cherished and last long after our physical bodies return to the earth.
I am not alone in having received broken promises. I’m not talking about forgetting to take out the garbage or pay a bill. I mean telling someone you care and then finding every possible reason to not have the ability to care. The exchange of emotions is like a shattered mirror, all value and illusions lost. I dust those broken promises off every time an illusion is shattered, cherishing the truth revealed.
I love conflict. With trepidation I even look for conflict. No, I’m not the extreme road rage driver passing you the other day because you were only going the speed limit. I mean the conflict birthed when people share passionately what they believe in, and loving myself enough to look for new insights, new understandings. Conflict is like a package wrapped in a brown, used grocery bag, dropped off on the porch when no one is home. The suspicious item cloaks a dusty, grimy Tiffany lamp, requiring careful cleaning to reveal the abundant colors and shapes created by a master artist. I may want to give the same socks as a present to my grandfather, father, brother and son, time after time after time. Conflict compels me to notice how their eyes light up when they see a certain scarf, gloves, roses or Tiffany lamp. The courage to see others for who they are, really are and not what I want them to be, drives me to feed their passion. The return I receive is to experience radiant joy.