Thursday, July 7, 2016

Must.Not.Turn.Away

Lately I've been noticing how hard it is to be with someone else's grief and pain.  Do you have that problem too?  I know a woman who's been diagnosed with cancer and sometimes I just don't know what to say.  A young single mother lost most of her savings trying to build a house because her contractors were negligent and I have no advice for her.  And another young black man was killed by the police.

I know,  how can one sit with that and not have it completely destroy you?  

Something is really wrong.  And I have been taught by this culture I grew up in that when something is wrong it must be fixed.... but I can't fix these things.  Heck I can't even look at them for too long before my ego distracts me with something I CAN fix.

There in lies my problem... I think I need to fix something and I can't fix any of these things.

So instead I will beg your forgiveness and I will sit with you and see you and love you no matter how dreadful your situation.

I'm sorry, please forgive me, thank you, I love you.


Monday, June 27, 2016

Shields Down


I sit with my heart opened I notice how much I want to shield it from heart ache and sadness.  It seems I have been doing this for so long.  "I am grateful" is our topic in this lovely writing workshop.  We have been writing about our "struggles" and I've been revisiting my turbulent childhood.

I am grateful...  I have come through so many things and still feel whole.  Perhaps that is because I have not allowed them to swallow me up, perhaps it is because I have had a safe haven that protected me until I could ready myself to feel the measure of their significance.  Yes I believe that is it.  

I am grateful for all the support, resources and resilience I have been given, have revealed, and been shown.  

I am grateful to the man who held me and loved me until he couldn't hold me any longer without holding me back.

I am grateful that when I have been thrown into the fire of life that I have been protected.  Some part of me still feels whole and innocent and sweet, despite the ambiguous losses, the betrayals, and the challenges I've experienced.  

Yes I have seen and experienced things that no person, let alone a child, should; but it’s not so bad really - each time I have experienced the fire it has burned off some part of the shield I had brought with me into this lifetime to guard my heart.  

I am grateful for my tender resilient heart.  For this and so much more,  I am grateful.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Why Bother Breathing?

If I have to let go of everything, what's the point of life? Why even bother breathing?

I suppose it is to love, I have loved more than you can ever imagine. St Francis seems to point the way with his prayer for peace... not necessarily world peace, but you know...inner peace.


Oh Lord, make me an instrument of your peace. 
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon
Where there is doubt, faith
Where there is despair, hope
Where there is darkness, light
Where there is sadness, joy


Oh Divine Master, grant that I may seek not so much to be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love.  For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned and it is in dying that we are born into eternal life. 


Amen

There is so much propaganda in the world today about getting things; we want material things, we want money, we want love, heck sometimes we just want our needs met but this prayer is a wonderful reminder that it is what we give that sustains us and leads us to getting what we willingly and lovingly share.

Happy Holydays!

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Business As Usual in Baltimore? I Hope Not.

This morning I woke up wondering how Baltimore City had fared overnight.  I checked in with some folks who live and work in the City, did my prayer work and then went to work.  I stopped for coffee at the local deli and gas station.  It felt so strange to be in public this morning out among the people.  I wanted to connect with someone. I did managed to make eye contact with a few people but it felt like a lukewarm attempt at best.  As I walked back to my car an African American woman came up to me and handed me a Jehovah Witness tract.  Normally I would have dismissed her but this time I immediately thanked her for reaching out and we began to talk about last night.  I listened as she shared her concern and her feelings.  I told her I was grateful for the connection and we hugged.

As some of you know, yesterday I put out a call for prayer to know peace and Oneness.  My prayer was answered as I felt like I’d seen the underbelly of my own pain in the anger and violence I witnessed last night.  It’s dark and it’s sad and I don't want to believe that what I witnessed could ever live within me.  But then I remember the times I've felt disrespected and the inner anger I've felt when I didn't feel heard.  Admittedly I don't get destructive when this happens but I can't dismiss what I saw last night as not mine either.

Last night I yearned for another Martin Luther King to step up and lead us in that way he did.  Reminding us to love each other while not backing down from what’s right.  I guess we need to be our own MLKs – to reach down and call upon the best in ourselves to be willing to hear the cries of pain and discord and allow it to break us open so that we can love each other more fully…. Sometimes we do that by having difficult conversations, sometimes we do that by participating in peace marches or prayer vigils and sometimes it’s as simple as receiving someone who reaches out to you so they know that they've been seen and heard.

... or maybe it would be easier to just go about our business.  Well the choice is yours, for now I am reaching out and looking for opportunities to listen to as many people as I can. 

I hear you, I see you, your life matters to me.

Monday, December 1, 2014

The World Needs Your Love

I am inspired this morning by none other than John Stewart.  Yes that's right, I said John Stewart.  I recently saw his August piece on Ferguson and his words rang true to my ears in stating that race is still an issue in this country...

"Race is there, and it is a constant; and you're tired of hearing about it?  Imagine how f$%#*^% exhausting it is living it."

New Thought teaches that we need to focus on cause and not the conditions but it doesn't teach that we should ignore the conditions, just that we don't give the conditions power.  Ferguson and the race issue seem to beg the socially minded to give it power.  In my humble opinion it would be out of integrity to 'turn away from this condition' without first acknowledging it.  Once acknowledged, the point of power is to be the change we want to see in the world.

I'm also inspired by this photo taken in Portland OR at a Ferguson rally protest:
12 YEAR OLD DEVONTE HART HUGS A POLICE OFFICER
Picture taken at Ferguson Rally in Portland Oregon
Love finds a way to show up when you need it most!

As I acknowledge the pain and suffering of those suffering from racism as well as those inflicting racism, I choose to see love.

“What the world needs now is Love, sweet Love…”
Burt Bacharach

I open my eyes and I recognize the One Creative Loving Intelligence in all that I see.  I align myself with this loving Presence choosing to see Love, hear Love, feel Love, know Love in all that I do.

I answer the call to Love and allow myself to be drawn forward so that Love may move through me, as me, by me and for me.  When I see discord, conflict, disappointment, or dis-ease I recognize it as a call for Love and I accommodate it willingly and generously.  For I remember that all beings that walk the planet were born of Love and I accept my part in being the Love that is called forward to expression.  When I see violence – I respond with Love, when I see hurt – I respond with Love, when I see brokenness – I respond with Love until I can see rightly…. Anything unlike Love is a call for more Love and I say yes to being a vehicle for the sweet Love that wants to have its way with me. 

I love you sweet spirit as you show yourself to me in all your many amazing manifestations and I commit myself to see Love in everyone.  It is with a surrendered heart that I pray this prayer and it is with a grateful soul that I release these words into Love from which they came.  Thank you Spirit, Thank you Love.  And So It Is. Amen.

What the World Needs Now

“What the world needs now is Love, sweet Love…”
Burt Bacharach

I open my eyes and I recognize the One Creative Loving Intelligence in all that I see.  I align myself with this loving Presence choosing to see Love, hear Love, feel Love, know Love in all that I do.

I answer the call to Love and allow myself to be drawn forward so that Love may move through me, as me, by me and for me.  When I see discord, conflict, disappointment, or dis-ease I recognize it as a call for Love and I accommodate it willingly and generously.  For I remember that all beings that walk the planet were born of Love and I accept my part in being the Love that is called forward to expression.  When I see violence – I respond with Love, when I see hurt – I respond with Love, when I see brokenness – I respond with Love until I can see rightly…. Anything unlike Love is a call for more Love and I say yes to being a vehicle for the sweet Love that wants to have its way with me. 

I love you sweet spirit as you show yourself to me in all your many amazing manifestations and I commit myself to see Love in everyone.  It is with a surrendered heart that I pray this prayer and it is with a grateful soul that I release these words into Love from which they came.  Thank you Spirit, Thank you Love.  And So It Is. Amen.

12 YEAR OLD DEVONTE HART HUGS A POLICE OFFICER
Picture taken at Ferguson Rally in Portland Oregon
Love finds a way to show up when you need it most!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Is Your Truth True?

I've been thinking about all the things we believe.  Are they really true? 

There was a student who was contemplating just that.  He writes:

When I was a very young lad, 3 or 4 perhaps, my beloved grandmother came to spend a few days with us. I was so excited to show her the baby bird I found in the yard and had made a nest for in the window of the screened in porch. My sister and I had been busy getting worms to feed this baby Robin, who had obviously fell out of its nest. As I was standing on a stool so that I could show grandmother the little bird, an adult Robin flew to the screen carrying a huge green caterpillar. It then began trying to shove it through the screen into the mouth of the crying little bird. This gave my younger sister and I “big eyes” to say the least. My grandmother shooed the adult away from the screen and told us that the adult was trying to feed its little one a poison bug to kill it since the chick now had human smell on it; Pure Appalachian folk wisdom.


Fast-forward now almost 2 decades. I am in an upper level University Biology class called “Animal Behavior.” It was a rather small class of Bio. Major students. We were discussing bird behavior and for some reason (I can never shut up) I recounted my story with sincere curiosity of why the mama Robin wanted to kill her chick. Freeze frame. An instant of total silence before the classroom erupted in laughter. In a flash (with a bright red face) I suddenly realize that I had taken in my grandmother’s folk wisdom as TRUTH without question. I absolutely believed that the parent Robin was trying to kill her little one with that huge, ugly caterpillar! I mean, would my grandmother lie to me? In that instant I saw, as the whole class and professor knew as they laughed, the parent was simply trying to feed his or her little one through the screen. It was nothing more insidious about the behavior than that.
How many other things have I just accepted as fact?  Makes you think, doesn't it?