By Kay Caldwell
If the train doesn’t stop at your station, then it’s not your train. One of our purposes in life is that we are assigned a piece of the garden, a corner of the universe that is ours to transform. Our corner is our own life. Our life consists of our work and our current circumstances exactly as they are. Why is it when the train stops we want to look to the past? I read somewhere “the past is over, it cannot touch me.” I have to wonder if it cannot touch me, then why do I let it. Emotionally we have all had some kind of Armageddon that we dealt with and survived. Survival is a beautiful thing if you know what to do with it when it happens to you. One reason children are brilliant is because in their capacity they don’t remember the past, and don’t relate to the future. They accept today as it is. If the train stops at their station they assume they are to get on it because they instinctively know it is an opportunity for something radically new. They don’t harbor the fear so many people experience. To be as little children would be such a wonderful thing. How do we become like children again? I believe it is in finding inner peace.
I finished a book I read for the second time. It is in second print because it is so incredible. It is A Return to Love by Marianne Williamson. It is a book that helps you on the path to finding your inner peace. It shows how love is all that matters. If you have love, not fear, inner peace prevails. You hear about inner peace, you can tell who has it but the question is how can you find it? Inner peace is really about love, forgiveness and acceptance. I believe that we have a greater capacity for love and forgiveness than we have ever dreamed of having. One area we struggle with is work. You didn’t choose these people but are connected to those that you don’t understand and probably don’t like. There are times they are the train engine and you are the headlight. They have the momentum and you flash on when it is dark and help them see the way. We must learn to see these people in a different light.
Robert Browning, the poet, knew how to stimulate growth in people. His undying love for Elizabeth Barrett was proof of this. Elizabeth Barrett endured hell on earth during her young formative years. She was one of eleven children and grew up under the siege of an oppressive, dictatorial, controlling father. His angry rages during her childhood forced the frail, sensitive Elizabeth to be frequently confined to her bed with an accumulation of ills.
This was the saga of her sad life until she was nearly forty years old. Then she met Robert Browning. Browning didn’t see Elizabeth as a sickly, middle aged invalid. He saw her as a beautiful, talented spirit waiting to blossom. He loved her with all his heart and gave her an irresistible invitation to grow and become all she was capable of becoming. He married her. Glowing in their love for one another, they travelled the European continent, drinking in the wonders of God’s world. Their union transformed Elizabeth into the beautiful, special person her husband knew she was. Glowing and blossoming in her life with Browning, Elizabeth’s unique artistry for literary expression produced works such as Sonnets from the Portuguese. This collection included the incomparable “How Do I Love Thee”, an artistic word portrait of the transformation Robert Browning had created in her life.
This beautiful love story, one of my favorites, exemplifies the fact that the way you see people is the way you treat them, and the way you treat them is what they become.