Last year when my mother’s group gathered to assemble strings of prayer beads (which I decided to call meditation beads because I’m contrary like that) I was in the throes of trying to rediscover myself.
I was working, mothering, writing, and still recovering from my previous job and the ensuing year of freelancing.
My string of beads were meant to help me find inner peace and over the year I’ve reached for them often when I’m struggling to catch my breath or pace myself. Just holding them in my hand helps me remember to breathe and take note of the details in each moment.
|Click on the photo to read about the significance of each bead.|
This week I wondered about what string of beads I could possibly make that could compare to what I had made last year. And then it came to me.
Since last year I’ve found myself. I know me pretty well now. I know my strengths and my weaknesses and I’ve even learned to ask for help. But, last week, a lot changed and I’m still trying to redefine myself in relation to that.
Last week three different people asked me if I was a nurse. Clearly I’m not, but I am a caregiver. While it’s not how I would define myself, if you were to ask my kids or my husband, it might be something they’d say about me.
I always assumed that caregiving was something I’d do for a while, as long as the kids were little and needed mothering. Now I’m starting to realize that it’s going to be part of my life forever.
I’m hoping that the string of beads I made yesterday will help me come to grips with that and give me strength as I adjust to that reality.
I started with a pink speckled egg. The pink symbolizes love for others and love for self and since black symbolizes ‘infinite mystery’ the specks remind me that love often presents unexpected challenges.
The two green beads that follow the pink one represent balance, healing, hope, growth, and more love. Always more love. There are two because the number two symbolizes relationship, cooperation, and the balance of Ying and Yang. I’m hoping that they’ll remind me to always balance my role as a caregiver for others with my need to care for myself.
The blue bead with green spots that follows symbolizes that the healing and hope that comes from green should always be intertwined with relaxation and meditation (blue!).
And then I placed a large chunky white and purple bead. Purple for intuition and white for knowledge, because for me, as a caregiver, both of those lie at the center of every decision I make.
The rest of the strand are the same beads going back again, the whole interspersed with shiny red beads to symbolize the strength I need to get through this life.
At the very end of this string of beads that will sustain my caregiver’s soul, I placed the black heart that heads my other strand. Black is always there to represent the ultimate mystery (what we just don’t know), it’s laced with gold to represent the happiness that can be found anywhere, even in the unknown. A little dangling heart hangs off the tip, the words “love today” written across it to remind me always that we can’t wait to understand everything or to feel in control to start enjoying life. We have to start today.