~ My Special Guest Writer for MARCH ~
Tara Bly Hackwelder, Pennsylvania writer
For each guest blogger, I ask just one question. “What is on your mind?”
My guests are free to write about whatever they want to say in response to my invitation. Thank you, Tara, for your essay , “The Embraced Life.”
The Embraced Life
We have all been given an extraordinary gift, and this gift that is precious and wonderful beyond understanding and measure is life.
Life: the journey it weaves into a complex tapestry
as we travel on our paths.
Life: the joys and heartaches, the laughter and tears, the expected and unknown, the blessings and the curses are mingled together to mold and shape us as our years grown in number.
Life is the most sacred and incredible gift that we will ever be given, and we must do everything in our power to honor and cherish this incredible blessing. Living an embraced life is just one example of how we can make the most of the precious gift that has been bestowed upon us.
So, what is an “embraced life,”
and how to we live in such a way?
It is important to first acknowledge the definition of what it means to “embrace.”
One definition of embrace is to hold tightly and lovingly, which is something that we should definitely practice in our lives.
Another definition of embrace is to enthusiastically accept or support something. An embraced life is engaging in both of these practices: to hold on tightly and lovingly, and to enthusiastically accept and support things that come our way.
The “embraced life” is one in which you practice love, kindness, acceptance and support during whatever trials or triumphs are placed in your path of life. The embraced life embraces all things: the good, the bad, and the in between.
The only thing certain about the precious gift of life is that it is not certain. No matter your age, health, or status there are no guarantees in life. Your time on this Earth, the precious gift of your life, can expire at any moment. There are no guarantees. Your plans may fall exactly into place, or your plans may go totally awry. You may travel smoothly along your path, or you may travel a path that is full of mountains and curves and bumps. The one certain thing about life is that you can never be certain of what lies ahead. When you live an embraced life, you cherish and live life to the fullest embracing whatever comes into your path. This helps the uncertain, the unexpected, to become more tolerable and manageable.
We are human, and we are not created or born to be perfect. We may strive for perfection, but we are not divine, and therefore are imperfect. We are imperfect, flawed, chaotic, beautiful disasters of creation entrusted with life as a precious gift. The embraced life allows us to embrace ourselves as imperfect, as continual works of progress along our paths. Our stories have yet to be written. We were not finished yesterday, and we are not finished today, and our story will still remain unfinished for an undetermined amount of tomorrows until we take our last breath. Only then will our story be realized in its entirety. When we lead an embraced life, it adds flavor, strength, and character to our story.
It is easy to embrace the good things, the joys, the blessings, and the triumphs in our life. We encounter those things to give us a taste of sweetness, and fulfillment, and satisfaction. These happy moments bring us peace and light in the dark, scary, and difficult moments in our lives. The embraced life recognizes that the blessings always outweigh the burdens. Repeat this: the blessings always outweigh the burdens. Always. Even when it seems that there is no light, no peace, no joy to be found, it is during those times that we cling to, and draw from, the happiness, joy and blessings that we have been given in our lives. As we cling to the good, the light and the peaceful blessings, it enables us to travel the rough patches with grace and strength.
When we are experiencing the dark, overgrown, troubling parts of our path in life, it is easy to wish things were different, to wish for better days, to wish for greener grass and a smoother road to travel on. It is our nature to wish for those things during hard times. We are not perfect. We are not built to handle everything perfectly and with grace all of the time. When you live an embraced life, you embrace the dark, rough, and troublesome times. You embrace these times with as much support, acceptance, and love as you embrace the happy times of light and peace. Wishing for better days, better times, and better things is futile. When you embrace the bad, as well as the good, it will bring you abundance beyond your wildest imagination.
The concept of living an embraced life is something that I have witnessed in action, an ideal brought to fruition, as I have watched my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles growing up. I have witnessed by many excellent living examples what it means to live an embraced life. On my own path, I have done my best to lead by the example that I have been given by my family, to lead an embraced life. The practice of living an embraced life has been particularly beneficial to me in the past few years as my husband and I have experienced several ups and downs in our family, especially with our medically complex, special needs daughter Elizabeth. We have had to learn to embrace the good with the bad, the trials and the triumphs, and the blessings and the burdens along our path together. I can say for certainty that we did not plan for, expect, or anticipate any of the challenges we have faced, especially with our daughter, but by leading an embraced life to the best of our abilities, we have definitely witnessed miracles. Above all, through all of the uncertainty, we are certain that the blessings outweigh the burdens.
I challenge you to live an embraced life.
Live the life you’ve always dreamed of and always imagined. Live life to the fullest. Create something every day. In each day, embrace the triumphs and trials, the blessings and curses, the beautiful and the ugly moments. Embrace it all. Embrace the life you’ve been given, the path that you travel, the blessings and the precious gift of life. It is yours to live. It is yours to embrace. It is your gift. Cherish it, live an embraced life and remember that the blessings outweigh the burdens. Always.
Tara Bly Hackwelder is a stay-at-home mom for her two children Celtan (age 5) and Elizabeth (Age 2). She recently left her teaching career behind to become a full time caregiver for Elizabeth, who has many rare and complicated medical and special needs. Tara and her family live in Butler, PA, and she is a native of Chicora, PA.
Tara’s Professional Background:
B.A. in Psychology from The Pennsylvania State University with minors in history and journalism.
She has also earned a M.A. in Sociology from the Indiana University of Pennsylvania an
M.Ed. from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania.
Tara has worked as an adjunct professor teaching social science courses, as a social worker, teacher, and in many other capacities as an advocate for special needs and minority populations.
Tara’s interests include writing, as she currently writes a blog about her daughter’s journey, at www.teamelizabethjeanne.blogspot.com.
She also writes a blog about love, life, housewife/ stay at home mom tips, recipes, and crafting at www.alovespicedlife.com.
She enjoys crocheting, fashion, advocacy, baking, reading, history, philosophy, teaching, volunteer and humanitarian efforts, traveling, and spending time with her family and dog.
You can follow Tara on Twitter and Instagram @alovespicedlife.
this post is presented in much appreciation by Lynda McKinney Lambert.
Copyright 2016. All Rights Reserved.
Below: Lynda Lambert, Photo by Bob Lambert: “My Pink Scarf”
Lynda McKinney Lambert. Copyright 2016.. All Rights Reserved.
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