The truth is…
I am a miracle worker, and so are you…… but how many times do I forget that? I look at my life and sometimes I can see the magnificence in it and sometimes I don’t.
The Dictionary defines miracle as “a surprising and welcome event.” It’s just like the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life”. There’s a beautiful moment in there, when Jimmy Stewart has that amazing shift in perception – and it definitely is a surprising welcome event when he realizes that he can see the glass as half full!
Life itself is extraordinary. Babies are born all the time and we often take that for granted. Everything about your physicality is determined in that moment. And yes, sometimes things go wrong.
In my early twenties, I trained to be a psychiatric technician at Camarillo State Hospital. It housed children and adults who had challenges… I loved it there. Even with Von Recklinghausen’s Syndrome (known as Elephant Man disease), spina bifida, microcephaly, these children were miracles. They were examples of joy and love and pure happiness. Something in them touched something in me and it was an extraordinary event. They called to me, not by my name, but through my heart.
A Miraculous Lesson in Authenticity
That brings me to the story of my beloved friend Liana and the miraculous lesson she showed me in authenticity. February 13th marks the anniversary of my friend, Liana Fideler’s passing. Yes, four long years that seems to have transpired in an instant. I’m sure these years have been long for her children, Leilani and Michael, and her husband, Lou. And without a doubt, the years that they experienced her suffering were long and excruciating. There’s something about anniversaries and birthdays that help us remember the moments when our loved ones’ lives made an impact on our own.
I know Liana left this life the way she lived it…on her own terms.
That was Liana’s gift…living from her true, authentic self. She was unapologetic for who she was, and why shouldn’t she be? She lived from that place of self knowing, self loving and self acceptance.
I had the pleasure – no, the honor- of getting to know Liana on a deeper level when we were studying to become Religious Science Practitioners.I knew her a little before that when we took prerequisite classes together or met at church social functions. Oh! But there’s something about those two intense years that bonds you, if you allow it.
Aloha and Mahalo Plenty
I used to love when Liana and I were prayer partners. She would start each prayer with Aloha and end with Mahalo Plenty.
She embraced her Hawaiian Heritage with pride, not in a boastful way, but a simple acceptance that it was what was. I loved hearing how she fought in the sugar cane fields and that she would take on boys twice her size.
I once called her out on that and she responded with, “Why would I lie?” I told her it was hard to believe since she seemed so put together. So I got schooled..she said.
“You can be a class act and well put together and still fight for what’s right. I’m not saying you always have to use your fists, but believe me, you don’t want to get on the wrong side of me and then meet up with me in an alley.”
And in that moment I knew I would never cross that line with her!
One evening before a Wednesday service, Liana and I were talking with another Practitioner. The conversation was mostly small talk and rolled around to events at church. The Practitioner went out of her way to let me know she was “the #1 go to gal for all the ministers. If I don’t know about it, it probably ain’t happening.” It was directed to me and I initially ignored it. That was until Liana asked why I let people dis me like that. I remember looking at her in her pale yellow pantsuit with a white and yellow plumeria in her hair.
She had the best posture with that air of confidence. She looked like a model getting ready for the runway.
I was in my UCLA scrubs, my drooped shoulders looking defeated after a 10 hour shift. But there was something about her words and her stature that suddenly made me stand up straight. I must have grown 3 inches. I softly said, ‘Well, aren’t they lucky. The place would fall apart without you. I’m grateful I don’t have that responsibility or the need to feel important by someone else’s approval.”
Truth be told I was that person, always trying to please others.
And every now and again that part of me shows up and I hear Liana in my head and in my heart. Before that evening was over, Liana pointed out several instances where I’d allowed people to discourage me or put me down. She made it clear that while I was trying to be nice and take the high road, I often came across as weak. So maybe she wasn’t just encouraging me to be authentic and true to myself, she was insisting on it.
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Several years later we were walking laps around a park. I had said that I wished I could be more like her. She stopped walking and looked me in the eyes and said, “Why would you want to be like me, when you can be you?” I told her I was so busy being who I thought people wanted me to be that I’d lost myself along the way. Her response surprised me. “Who do you want to be? Besides me?…
…be that person.
I recognize that I still find myself in similar situations. At times I think of Liana and wonder if she’d think I’m weak. In reality I know she wouldn’t. She’d probably ask what the Truth of the situation was. I would have to answer that it wasn’t about people trying to make me feel bad. It was about them wanting to feel good about themselves.
Liana gave me the gift of self awareness and self acceptance. She taught me to jump at the opportunity to commune with nature, to dance barefoot in the grass with my hands reaching for the heavens, and to immerse myself in water to feel pure oneness with Spirit. She helped me realize that who I am and who I want to be was more than enough. It is Perfection. I am a miracle.
Mahalo Plenty, my sweet Angel
3 tips that help shifts in perception and create miracles everyday:
Ask yourself some questions:
Who do I want to be in the world today?
How can I be an expression of Love?
Listen for a moment to fully hear your answer. You can even write it down. It’s interesting when you have a month of answers to reflect upon.
Again, some inquiry:
Is there someone I need to forgive?
Do I need forgiveness from myself?
Acknowledge the answers, then forget the transgressions, they are in the past. Let them go. We don’t live in the past. We live in the Now. The past is only useful for remembering that you are love and loved.
State and own 3 things you love and appreciate about yourself.
Be authentic. Start small. You got it!
Jeanne LaPorte is a widow, the lucky mother of 3 amazing Beings and blessed with a beautiful grandson. She is the 2nd of8 siblings, which is why she is so crazy. Being a Religious Science Practitioner, an Integrated Energy Therapy Master and former Psych Nurse helps her balance that out.
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