Bits and Bites of Everyday Life


Some say love, it is a flower …

True North Perspective

Alberte Villeneuve-Sinclair is the author of The Neglected Garden and two French novels. Visit her website to learn more

A friend sent me a lovely butterfly story that I’ve read before and always enjoy each time over. As the story goes, a man found a cocoon and wanting to help the butterfly emerge, he sliced the cocoon open; the butterfly was weak and its wings still immature. And so, the butterfly perished.

Thus it is, in love and in life. It is quite normal to want to protect our loved ones when they navigate difficult passages, but experience (good and bad) is what molds us. “I asked to fly and life gave me obstacles”, says the video. I can still remember how battered and exhausted I felt after my first marriage ended tragically… and yet, relief soon followed and the realization that I could now shape my own life by sheer will and perseverance. The secret was to persevere. Like the butterfly, no one can force your metamorphosis. It has to be a gradual process. And some, like the dragonfly, take longer than others.
Remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.” These words from the Dalai Lama are so true! If you fail at one thing, whether it is a relationship, a competition or an exam, one must always remember that the obstacle may lead to something even greater. For example, when I decided to channel my initial anger into writing to help others who had faced similar difficulties, my first novel won a prize and was published by a well-known publishing house in Montreal. It was cathartic! It gave me the chance to evolve in different writers’ circle, to do presentations, TV and radio interviews and to continue writing.
  Sheer Joy! Ready for the school's CRAZY HAIR DAY!

Of course, as a flower needs sunshine to grow, I thrived because of wonderful people who helped me along the way. My friend Rachel was my mentor; she believed in me and counseled me but let me fly on my own. My friend Martine helped me to navigate life as a single mom. I started writing after seeing Leon’s paintings as it made me reflect on my own talent. My friend Sue introduced me to Brian who would become my second husband and true love. My soul sister, Arline and dear friends (Lise, Liselle, Geneviève, Lucie and many others) were and still are there to listen and share with me when I need to confide or ask for their honest opinion.

I am presently reading the second volume of “Passwords” (Passing on Words of Wisdom and Strength). Each story is special and touches on a different life challenge. Today, I read Ophelia Rigault’s story “Joy comes in the Morning” where she talks about her mother: “a woman of wisdom, grace and strength who shared her wisdom through her words and actions”. She would often say: “Don’t let anyone steal your joy!”
When Ophelia’s husband left and divorced her, she found herself “completely distraught, angry at God and the world”. Ophelia turned to a good friend. “My friend listened and let me express my grief but she did not let me pity myself. By letting me unburden, she would help me focus on my mother’s words and create a plan for moving forward.” Her mother would often repeat a wonderful Trinidadian saying: “Sun not down, man nah cry”, meaning that as long as the sun is in the sky, there is hope. Her mother reminded her that the choices her husband had made were beyond her control and what she had to do now is choose between being happy or unhappy.
Some say love it is a razor that leaves your soul to bleed…” These words from the beautiful song The Rose resonate at times like this. But her mother’s words “re-enforced the belief that even in the midst of physical, emotional or spiritual pain, we need to be joyful. When we let someone steal our light, we lose control of our lives.”
Some say love it is a hunger, an endless, aching need…” Ophelia reminds us that: “Life is challenging, stressful and often painful. Those realities can drain the joy out of our lives if we let them. The key is to hold on to that joy. Do not let it slip away, even in your darkest, saddest moments. It is so easy to close the doors in our life but much harder to open them again.” She recalls reading that the average pre-schooler laughs or smiles 400 times a day, but that number drops to only 15 times a day by the time people reach the age of 35.
Some say love it is a flower and you, its only seed…” Ophelia reminds us “that children are naturally joyful and find happiness in the simplest things. Their smiles and laughter come from genuine, unabashed enjoyment of life. We, as adults can do that too!”
So for Easter dessert, I suggest you smile a whole lot more! Think of the people you touch. Think of your children, your grandchildren and how they benefit from your joy of living. “If you teach them to hold onto that joy, they will be able to cope when the going gets tough.” says Ophelia. “Joy is an essential element of life. It brings you hope when you feel lost and alone. It brings appreciation for the truly important things in life – things that may be so small that they escape notice sometimes. Joy brings light that guides you and reflects happiness towards others. It provides a foundation of love and stability that will, as my mother taught me, help you remain strong in the face of life’s trials and tribulations.” Thank you so much Ophelia!
Happy Easter everyone! And remember, smile more often!
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