A friend reached out this a.m. after reading St Therese’s prayer. She has lost both her parents in the last few months. We chatted a bit about grief and asking for strength. She commented she wasn’t sure who she was talking to in her head, but that traditional beliefs did not have a presence in her life right now.
Completely understandable, we don’t feel very spirited in the wilderness.
It got me to thinking…
Faith. Does it matter what you are having faith in, or just that you are choosing to believe?
And which feels better right now– to project hope into a future positive possibility or to fear the worst?
Faith is seeing possibilities, not just problems. (What is a problem solver anyway? I think it’s just someone that believes in possible solutions.)
“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
~ Margaret Mead
“Tell the truth to yourself and the rest will fall in place.”
Community is critical.
Sayings we know to be true but, boy, when the going gets tough and you are hanging on for dear life, I guess that’s when you really get to know their worth. So many need these things right now.
I can attest to the following:
- Go with the truth in your heart. It doesn’t fail. And when all else does and you really lose your bearings, it’s tried (and true!)
- Prayer works. Does it always deliver our desired outcome? Obviously not. But is there always healing when we pray. Yes. You’re better to believe.
- And last: community. We all have experienced the challenges of isolation this year. It’s different than solitude. I love being solo, alone in Spirit. But separated from the whole–not so much. Thich Nhat Hanh calls community “the opposite of fear.” In his book “Fear” he relays a story about talking to Martin Luther King Jr about his notion of ‘Beloved Community’ and the Buddhist notion of Sangha. The first thing Buddha did after he became enlightened was create a community. Jesus too. King believed a beloved community was one filled with agape, or unconditional love. It’s crucial.
Yesterday I received news that a particular challenge/ stress /accusation was dismissed. I am grateful for the outcome. But moreso, I am grateful for the decision to stand behind my truth – a very difficult and risky decision to make, done through prayer and meditation. Honestly, arriving at the decision to go with my truth several months ago was as big a relief as I received yesterday.
The prayers and specifically Metta meditations helped me remain steady and strong as I poured good energy and hope towards others and myself. It enabled me to feel I was doing something productive, to trust, and then to let go.
And last, my Sangha ~my tribe. A small group of remarkable women that’s gathered every Thursday for almost a year. We’re Big Chill meets Red Tent meets Breakfast Club (and maybe a bit of Thelma and Louise,) with a little bit of wine and a lotta spirited speak. We’ve taken on police, poachers, politics~ made big movies and big moves~ endured Covid, quarantine and many a cold, outdoor gathering. Being part of this team gave me strength and support that carried me along.
Build these things into your life. They will save you when you need to be saved.
I am grateful...
A Metta Meditation:
First for you, then for a neutral person, then someone you love, ultimately out to someone you don’t care for/the greater good.
‘Healthy’ and ‘happy’ may seem strange and even slightly tone deaf to include as we pray for those in distress Here’s the thinking, simplified- “free of physical suffering” is often translated as healthy. And “free of mental suffering” is often translated as being happy. Cured of the external influence is not as much the intention as freedom from internalized pain and suffering.
I like to repeat it nine times for each person, often done while walking and conversationally to however-you-name-your-higher power: God, Spirit, the Universe, your Self, Jesus, Buddha, Krishna…or the whole varsity team!
May I be Happy,
May I be Healthy,
May I be Holy,
May I be Safe,
May I Be Peaceful and at Ease.
May They be Happy,
May They be Healthy,
May They be Holy,
May They be Safe,
May They Be Peaceful and at Ease.
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