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Happy, wild, & free

For one of my dearest friends on the anniversary of her birth:

Dearest friend,

There is a mantra that we have been singing in yoga over the past few months: Lokha samasta sukhino bhavantu. The translation Maya offered is: “May all beings everywhere be happy, wild and free.”

Recently, every time we sing it I think of you. As I chant along with Maya, my eyes fill with tears. I hold this wish for you so deeply in my heart – with so much love –  and I know without a doubt that it is God’s will for you. I am also filled with gratitude, as my certainty of that for you fills me with the faith and knowing that it can also be true for me. When I think of all the suffering you have endured throughout the course of your life, particularly over the past few years when I have had the true honor of walking by your side through the pain, the thing that shines through it all is the courage you continue to exhibit to pursuit love and freedom, joy and serenity above all else. Your enthusiasm for life and the ability you have to bring joy and beauty into just about everything is a magical quality that you must never – and I know will never – lose.

I know these past few years have been hard and painful. I know you have felt at times like God abandoned you, and perhaps even like some of us – your friends and family – had abandoned you too, and – perhaps worst of all – as though you had abandoned yourself. The miracle is that we are never abandoned! When we commit ourselves to this work – to this God-guided path of and towards love – we learn how to walk steadily beside ourselves, in partnership with God and each other the whole time. And abandonment shifts. It loses its power. It doesn’t disappear, of course. I am still filled with fear regularly, catching myself in and having to pull myself out of it with firm compassion. But somehow it no longer feels life threatening and there is so much more ability to trust myself and God, to trust that the end of all of this is a life filled with love.

There are so many words you have spoken to me over the years that I will never forget. A couple of months ago you asked me to envision what would happen if Ian did relapse and I did have to leave. You asked me to envision that happening and me and Harper being surrounded by, enveloped in love. That is the ticket. That is the key to being happy, wild and free. The worst happens – our worst fears are realized – and instead of falling in on ourselves, losing it, self-destructing, gritting our teeth and bearing it, or betraying ourselves – instead of any of that, we realize that we are being enveloped in love, given the opportunity to draw closer to ourselves and God, to become even more free, and that if we keep our feet firmly on that path – the path of the love warrior – things will be even more beautiful than we could have ever imagined. Outwardly, yes – I really do believe that God wants our external lives to ultimately be a reflection of our internal lives – but most importantly, inwardly. As Bill says so beautifully: we are more than inwardly reorganized. Our roots grasp a new soil. Our inner selves become firmly rooted in a deep, unabiding love for ourselves and for God. An expansive love that only can grow to become bigger, fuller, and more all-encompassing the more we share it. I believe it is the kind of love we have yearned for always, sought in all the wrong places, and finally found deep down within ourselves. And when we find it there, it never dies, it never fails, and it only grows.

I want you to know that however it may look to you - and however imperfectly and haltingly you may have walked at times - this is how you have faced these years. You have walked through it all with courage, dignity and grace. You have been beautifully imperfect, courageously flawed, and an exquisite example of what it looks like to be a human in this world who is doing her absolute best in the hardest of circumstances.

On this anniversary of another year on earth, I want to wish you all the love, all the magic, and all the joy that God and the world can offer you. I want you to know that I love you and am so, so grateful for you in my life – that in your struggle and courage, in your enthusiasm for love and life, in your words and in your inner and outer movements, you teach me more than you will ever know.

I love you and I am eternally grateful to be in your life, to be your soul sister, and to trudge this road of happy destiny by your side.

You fill my world with light.

I love you,

Ariana 

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