“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.” –Chief Seattle

One of my recovery tools is nature. Childlike wonder, fun, great mystery and personal growth are parts of my nature experience. Believing that all things connect, does not mean I know how it will show up in any given moment. Today, it came through an experience with the clouds. I took notice that today’s Arizona sky had an abundance of cloud formations and I gazed into the array of them. Then, my eyes connected to what appeared as a teddy bear in the clouds. I can say without a doubt, I wasn’t expecting that. Immediately though, there was a thought of soft and cuddly; something so very comforting. On the heels of that thought, I saw a big hole in the torso of the bear formation. When I see holes in the center of anything, it’s a sign to me of a hole in my own heart.

I contemplated. This cuddly, comforting bear had a hole in its heart. In that moment I thought of some of the parents I know whose children have died and how some are the most loving, compassionate people I know. They became comforting, like a teddy bear, and compassionate over time as the hole in their hearts healed piece by piece.

I also thought of the conversation with my CODA sponsor I had just the day before. I confessed not being able to love myself in an area that I knew came from deep inner wounding in my heart. She encouraged me to do a personal inventory and write about it.

When I see something in the clouds, I know it’s part of, “all things connect,” so I looked up the symbolism. As it turns out, the primary meaning of bear is strength and confidence – the spirit of the bear indicates it’s time for healing (which helps self and others). One site said, “Bear may arrive at a time of self- examination, so you can really listen to your heart.” Wow! How apropos for me. It all fit what I was going through.

I cannot begin to explain how this web of life is woven, but I am grateful and in awe to be a thread within it. The clouds, the bear and its symbolism, my sponsor and me were bound together in great mystery. At a time that I was doing a soul-searching inner inventory, I was spoken to and I felt seen by the weaver of the web, which provided confidence. I was given a teddy bear cuddle of comfort, strength, validation and more in such a fun way that facilitated ongoing healing in a part of the hole in my heart.

We are bound together. My thread affects your thread and vice-versa. The healing of any part of a thread, brings healing to the entire web. You are a precious thread in the web of life. Take a moment to feel the ways in which you are connected; yours are unique. Soak them in and let yourself feel the Love that comes through that connection— the web thanks you.

Cheri Thomas

Cheri works as a Peer Support Specialist for RI in Arizona. She has experienced loss and grief which has led her to write for the masses to bring voice to those in similar situations. Cheri possesses a deep passion to share with, encourage, and inspire others on what she calls the Journey of the Heart.