- Mer Monson
My One Safe Place
Can't tell the story of my cancer adventure without a post about sjm (my favorite name for him). All bias aside, he is a MOST lovable human being. Back in high school, even when I was in love with him, I thought I was the one who had it all figured out and he just needed to get serious about life and grow up a little. Laugh out loud. He's always had the most important thing figured out - that being alive is about being in joy. How has this mixed with cancer? Beautifully. Over the years he's become a lot more adept at letting the tough feelings flow when they show up in either of us, but he always holds the space to rise back up into hope and the joy of our "right now" life. When you constantly engage with someone who naturally believes in a happy ending, it's contagious. I've told myself many lines over the years about why I was given this guy to go through life with. I've got some pretty good ones but my favorite, the one my gut knows is true, is that he showed up to give me the clearest possible glimpse of what God's love really looks and tastes and feels like. And he's offered it in my most palatable dosage - long and slow and steady, like an IV drip. I'll be the first to volunteer he's as human as they come, but his way of unconditionally accepting and thoroughly enjoying me, particularly when I've been unable to do this for myself for so much of my life, is a stunning miracle. And he offers this gift even in the face of the full, real, unmasked and unaltered me. 20+ years of drinking this in has fully persuaded me that letting myself be loved - by him, by God and by myself - is the answer to just about everything. We are all loved and lovable. The reflection of the infinite love we're always immersed in shows up differently for each of us, but it's always there, waiting for us to soak it up, savor it and let it bring us back to who we really are. I'm still learning to let go of all that gets in the way - the fear, the shame and the misplaced guilt - but wow does the sunshine of living in this truth feel good. Happy Birthday sjm, and thanks for being the face of God's love to me.