A few years ago, I went to Rwanda. I trained for months to have my body ready and able to hike hours in the jungle to see the gorillas Dian Fossey gave her life protecting. I had dreamed of seeing these giant animals whose DNA is almost identical to ours. I had not imagined the impact of seeing them on my mind and my spirit. We hiked about two and half hours to see the Komondo pack and suddenly we were in a clearing waiting for the signs that they were there. A giant hand emerged from underneath the canopy reaching for a treat. It was the hand of the pater familas, a giant silverback. Slowly and quietly we began to see a black mountain gorilla and then another and then out came the young gorillas to play. We could have been at the Dragon Park in Nashville watching children play, but we were deep in the mountainous jungle and this was no zoo. We quietly watched as if we were observing a family picnic. In fact the interactions were decidedly human. As we turned to leave, a toddler sliding rapidly down a vine braced himself by placing his foot on my left shoulder. The guides asked if I was alright. I was stunned, but in that second there was a connection so deep and instant I knew why Dian Fossey devoted her life to these gorillas. The guide told me that had never happened with a tourist and that it was called a “Jungle Blessing.” I felt blessed indeed and felt in that split second the true meaning of we are all one.
I don’t think we have to go to Rwanda to receive blessings for they are all around us every day. A touch, a smile, a connection with someone you know or someone you don’t can remind us that we are all in this thing called life together. All around us are opportunities to show kindness and receive blessings, all we have to do is allow these experiences to be a part of our life. By allowing, we both give and receive our own “jungle blessing,” the connection we all have to the collective goodness in the world. In times of great turmoil and strife in the world, it is important to me to give and receive “blessings” every day. I could not always receive the blessing in this life, because I did not feel worthy. What I have come to realize is that we are all worth healing and it started with a baby gorilla balancing on my shoulder. When someone offers a shoulder or gives one, it is a blessing. Make a connection and count your blessings.
Charlotte Mabry, Ed.D., is the Founder of Worthhealing.net, a therapeutic approach to understanding our feelings and behavior about money, www.worthhealing.net (website may still be under construction). This is a new program that will start in 2014. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org or (615)210-5803 cell.
Charlotte is a graduate of the School of Healing Arts, has studied Gestalt Therapy with Irv and Miriam Polster and wrote her dissertation on Locus of Control. Charlotte is also a founding Partner of Mabry-Calvin, LLC.