Purpose hidden in the process

by Meesha Johnson

©Sunshine K Gumbs 2015
©Sunshine K Gumbs 2015

This year, 2015, has taught me many things about the past challenges that I’ve overcome. After battling many years with various health problems, this August marks the 5th anniversary of a successful double transplant. Because of this, I have also had the awesome opportunity to go back to school, and complete my associates degree in Social Work. I will pursue a bachelors degree in Psychology this fall. My daughter Summersnow will begin her first year as a high school student and every single day I am reminded of when she was the smallest kid in her pre-school class. Although Summer is still the smallest kid in the Southampton high school class of 2019, she is and has always been a child with a huge heart and a personality to match. Some say she is a lot like her mother in that respect and I would certainly have to agree.   As I reflect on every one of the many milestones in my life, I am reminded of the struggles, the times of uncertainty, and finally the many achievements afforded me. I have never been the type of person who looks at things through a narrow window; rather I have always paid attention to the minor details and the “bay window” of life. I enjoy thinking about and recording those occasions in my life that stick out the most.

I recently had a debate with a good friend about my insistence that my daughter get her first job. “This is her summer and she should be able to enjoy it”, explains my friend. Even though I was in total agreement with my friend, I had to explain that Summer getting a job was not just about her making her own money. My intention for Summer getting a job is to teach her the importance of responsibility as she embarks on another chapter of life. Although my daughter has chores she is responsible for around the house, I refuse to pay her because my philosophy is that when she becomes old enough to live on her own, no one is going to pay her to take care of her house. One of the most important things that I know to teach my daughter as she grows into a beautiful young woman, is the importance of what society has no clue about… which is process.

As we are confronted with a culture I like to call the “microwave mentality” or the “Burger King” have it your way society, we rarely find individuals who appreciate this thing we call process. Perhaps technology is partly to blame because we’ve also lost the beauty of patience. If a “text” message isn’t answered immediately, we jump to conclusions about the one who has received the message. It’s even sad to say, but we have lost our ability to appreciate the importance of communication and all because we’ve become so accustomed to a lifestyle that avoids process at any cost. I mean, “processed” foods are the leading cause of the health epidemic in America today along with our lack of exercise.

The reason why I felt an urgency to write this poetic creation called “Purpose hidden in the process” was really to remind myself of the achievements that I’ve had the opportunity to enjoy. I thought about my life and everything that I’ve been through and I am always reminded of what it took for me to finally be in a place where I can say that embracing the process was the best thing that I’ve done. The photos that I chose for this piece illustrates that nature is one of our greatest teachers about process.

Even if I had three wishes given to me by a genie in a lamp or if I had super powers where I could snap my fingers to make things appear right before my eyes, I don’t think I’d use them unless I really had to. This is because since I’ve learned to appreciate the process that bought me to where I am today, I also appreciate the achievements more. I know as well that Summer will appreciate the first items bought with her first check from her new job much more than the items that her mom and dad purchase for her. So this week’s challenge is to assess every circumstance that confronts you and embrace the process that will bring you to that place of victory. Wishing all of our readers peace, manifold blessings, and a smooth journey to your place of absolute success! Love is Love 2015

Purpose hidden in the process

©Sunshine K Gumbs 2015
©Sunshine K Gumbs 2015

The struggle to begin followed by the desire to end and right in the middle is the one thing we need to embrace…….process. Never fully understanding the purpose, we’ve gone through life involved with no focus. There comes a time, there comes a place where we assess the fundamental tools that determine access to the ultimate goal. This is where we discover teachings that highlight the vital importance of purpose hidden in process.

Without knowledge of purpose, corruption is sure to occur. Often times involuntary, the ignorant abuse still exists. For we’ve never learned to appreciate process being overwhelmed by the race. Eyes have not heard, ears have not seen, because purpose is exclusive to the dream. A dream fulfilled differs from a dream deferred in that the hope found in destiny gives truth to reality, at least eventually.

An allegory to illustrate the story of process goes somewhat like this. “Seeds planted in good soil must grow down before they grow up. Moisture from the heavens, sustenance from mother earth, and life from Creator begins; to the eyes of the sower, life gives no evidence. For we understand that the purpose of process is for fruit to be made manifest.   The seed takes root, is grounded, strengthened, and becomes infallible proof. Farmers then protect progress from the enemies whose desire is to divorce us from our process. For every process comes an opposing purpose that blurs our focus.

What we’ve learned from this thing called process is that its purpose is to teach the importance of patience, the necessity of commitment, and pride in achievement. When we give purpose to our process, we learn that its ultimate purpose is to give birth to eternal success, a plentiful harvest, and to offer a return on time, joy, and wisdom as a purposeful investment. For we’ve learned that there can be no true success void of its process…

©Meesha Johnson 2015

Behind Every Face: Some Thoughts For The New Year

10712884_10202187953095407_368789678656227162_n

Here are some things that I have been thinking about since before the start of the New Year:

1) The older I get, the more my past has to teach me. Because of that I don’t label a moment that I experience, as a present moment. It is simply a moment.

2) I was at dinner this past New Years Eve with some friends , when I was asked if I had any resolutions or new things I wanted to experience in 2015. I simply said no,much to everyone’s surprise. I have gotten away from trying to script any experiences for myself, because of the limitations that imposes. I simply prefer to be open to any experience that continues to be a teacher to me.

3) In the 27 years that I worked in substance abuse counseling I never came close to being a victim of physical violence. I think it was because I was respectful in all of my interactions with individuals with substance use disorder and tried to understand what motivated their actions in certain situations.

4) I was in New York earlier in December, at the time that protests were occurring over the grand jury decision in the Eric Garner case. I was walking in Rockefeller Center on Friday evening with my friend Patty Furino when we came across a black security guard with whom we immediately struck up a conversation. In the course of 15 minutes, we discovered that in the last six years of his life he had challenges resulting from homelessness and the death of his mother due to cancer. Yet he transcended those challenges through hard work, determination and an indomitable resolve. We can discover beauty and grace in the midst of challenging circumstances, all we need to do is commit to discovering it.

5) My encounter in New York reminds me of a line from a song by The Wallflowers: “Behind every face is the mask of another” and that regardless of outward appearance ,we are all cut from the same DNA. We are all truly one.

6) I had a brief dream visit from my daughter Jeannine last night. We were in the kitchen of our home. She looked beautiful and radiant, as I always remembered her . All she said to me is that : “We need to be up tomorrow by 4:00 am.” I haven’t yet searched for the meaning or symbolism of her words. If there is any meaning to her words,  it will be revealed to me in time. I was just happy that she wanted to visit.

7) There is truth and the illusion of truth. Both are crucial in shaping our life path.

8) There are individuals who disguise service to others as service to themselves, and there are individuals who are truly about the message and not ego. Learn to know the difference.

9) With the passage of every year, I am increasingly grateful that Jeannine chose me to be her father. With the passage of every year, I am increasingly grateful that my sons Dan and Matt,and Jeannine’s brothers, chose me to be their father.

10) I will end with a great quote that I discovered from a Facebook site called: Let the Wolves Run Free: ” Unless you learn to face your own shadows, you will continue to see them in others,because the world outside of you is only a reflection of the world inside of you.” I will continue to peck at my shadows.