Sunday, December 30, 2012

doing what I should

A young man told me something on Christmas Day that has stuck with me. "If you think you should do something, then do it. Don't procrastinate, or ignore it, it is your spirit telling you what to do." I take it to mean if I think, "I should go for a swim", or "I should wash the bedding", or "I should clean out the fridge", then I should go do it. At the end of the day I will have done something that will ultimately make me happier with myself, and my surroundings.

So, I have been listening to that still small voice. Worrying about doing something, or putting off doing something takes alot of mental energy. Just doing alot of these kinds of things doesn't take as much energy as putting it off does.

So since Christmas day I have done dishes, laundry, washed bedding, blocked a shawl, gone to church, made a phone call, and made a salad. I did these things as I found myself thinking "I should....". Writing this blog is an answer to an I should. So is defrosting the downstairs fridge. So was turning off the TV last night. So is asking questions. So is answering them.

I don't go in much for new year's resolutions, but I think I will work on this one for awhile.

I have been thinking that I have been stuck for the last six months. Partly because I am laid up with plantar fasciitis, but partly because of fear of the future. I think that maybe what my husband and I are suffering from is "Failure to Launch". Or maybe it is fear of failure. Whatever. I think I have to do something.

Saturday, December 22, 2012

The moment of birth

At that moment of birth, in that manger stall, on that cold winter night it was just about a family. A father who didn't know if he could provide for his son, a mother who didn't know if she could keep him safe, a baby with his future ahead of him. He was born in a time of upheaval when traveling in a strange land was wrought with dangers, and even a poor family - a pregnant woman, a donkey, an ox and an old man could fall prey to dangers.

There was faith. There was prophecy. There was a shining star in the sky. Soon after there were shepherds, and wise men and gifts. But in that moment of birth there was simply a mother and a father and a baby boy. And a future that was unsure.

And so it is with every birth. In that moment when a woman becomes a mother, and a man becomes a father, and a being emerges from the womb there is that moment when a family is born.

And we are making it up all the way along. Mary and Joseph were so sure in that moment of birth that it was a miracle, as every birth before and after is a miracle.

Life is a miracle. With all of its intricacies and mess. It is a miracle. It is a miracle that even though we are gifted with language, it is a miracle to find those moments of clarity and true understanding - the meeting of soul to soul.

It is a miracle to find love in this world. Sometimes it is a dark and forbidding place, and yet in those darkest moments love can still force its way through, just like a small blade of grass pushing through a mountain of rock.

In that manger there was love. In that temple there was love. At that last supper there was love. In that garden there was love. On that cross there was love.

And so it is with us. At birth, in anger, with forgiveness, in fear, and in death there is love. And love will heal the wounds if we let it.

If we remember that Christmas isn't about the shopping and glitz, but about a simple tree, lights strung in the darkness and a meal shared with family and friends. Christmas is the time to remember that there is love, and love will conquer all if we only let it.

If we only remember that in that moment of birth there is a promise to love and to keep trying. To apologize for not always having the perfect response to each situation, but to believe that when there is love there is the possibility to get back on track, start over, and move forward.

Courtney A. Walsh says it best:

Dear Human:

You've got it all wrong.
You didn't come here to master unconditional love.
This is where you came from and where you'll return.

You came here to learn personal love.
Universal love.
Messy love.
Sweaty Love.
Crazy love.
Broken love.
Whole love.
Infused with divinity.
Lived through the grace of stumbling.
Demonstrated through the beauty of... messing up.

You didn't come here to be perfect, you already are.
You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous.
And rising again into remembering.

But unconditional love? Stop telling that story.

Love in truth doesn't need any adjectives.
It doesn't require modifiers.
It doesn't require the condition of perfection.

It only asks you to show up.
And do your best.
That you stay present and feel fully.
That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU.

It's enough.
It's Plenty.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


Gray upon gray
Rain upon rooftop
Hurt upon sorrow

Pondering pain
Wondering if this is where I will find my compassion
For one who drowned her sorrows in vodka
Wondering if it was really all just about survival
and trying not to give up when despair overwhelmed

"I've got to get going" a mantra heard over the years
until finally the realization that it was no longer possible
and in that realization
the final severing of hope

The anger, the disappointment, the shame
of judging one who simply didn't have the
capacity to help herself.

For one who gave up too soon
out of pride or despair or ignorance.

I wish you had reached out to me
I wish I had tried harder to reach out to you
I wish that our love would have been enough
but now realize that your love wasn't enough

It wasn't about me. It was about you
and I didn't think past my own disappointment
to see that there was another side to it all

Finally after all these years I saw you through someone else's eyes.
Someone with more compassion who had the chance to know you
when your guard was down

And in knowing you that way
was able to forgive

Now it's my turn.