Fear seems to be on the rise. There’s climate change, mass murders, fires, the Delta variant of the COVID19 virus. What to do? We could get guns, or attachments to make guns even more potent. We could become a more militarized society. We could let the fear grow and grow until emotional and spiritual paralysis sets in.
Or, we could transform our understanding of fear – and our approach to it.
We could turn fear into hope and F ace E verything that is A gainst R eason
with H ealing O penness and P ossibilities of peaceful action and response, by and for E veryone
Will changing our approach to a single word bring about change within our Spirit?
Will changing our Spirit bring about change in our actions, our attitudes, our abilities to cope with the pandemic?
How will we know … if we don’t try?
When fear attacks, may we Face Everythingthat is Against Reason with Healing, Openness and Possibilities of peaceful action and response by and for Everyone.
Letters of the alphabet … They can be fascinating. They can be a focus for artwork. They can remind us of our childhood as we recite the letters. They can lead us to better awareness of our world and ourselves as an Alphabet of Life.
Here’s one suggestion Why not make up your own Alphabet of Life.
Accepting of self
Be-ing (not just do-ing)
Creating something each day
Drawing on our inner resources
Elevating our thoughts to new heights
Feeding our soul
Graciously accepting compliments
Initiating contact with a friend
Joyfully receiving the gift of life
Keeping our head while the world seems out-of-whack
Loving ourself as we do our neighbour
Mirroring the goodness we admire in others
Nourishing our spirit
Opening our heart to receiving love in new ways
Paddling through each day in spite of the blocks
Questioning the imponderables
Realizing our potential
Smiling when we meet a stranger
Treasuring the transient moments of each day
Understanding that we don’t have all the answers to life
Valuing our education and those who have been/ are our mentors
Weaving experiences of life through a loom of learning
Xtracting information from the Universe so we grow in wisdom
Yielding to the holy, however we understand that term
I remember the day before the pandemic. She was in her mid-80’s, was wearing beige slacks, beige top and black jacket with a black purse and black shoes and looking at summer tops and slacks.
The clothing she was looking at? Black sweater, beige slacks, black top. I could “see” her in lovely pastels, but all she was looking at was … more of the same black and beige.
I quietly asked “What do you think of this colour?” Her reply – “So lovely for you, dear. But not for me.” She had given me an opening – and so I gently asked – “Why not?” Her reply – “I’m old.”
I picked up two pastel tops – a lilac and a peach and asked her to come with me to the mirror. I think she thought I was going to try them on and wanted her opinion. She was half right. I wanted her opinion. Not for me – but for her.
I tucked the tops under her chin and she smiled. Then she looked at me and said “I’m too old.” And then she looked again. And smiled.
We chatted a bit. She confided that she hated wearing black and beige, but those were what old people wore and she didn’t want to have people think she was trying to be young again. And then, after she held up the coloured shirts a few more times and could see they brought colour to her face (maybe it was my imagination, but she stood straighter when they were under her chin), before I knew it, she had purchased them both.
As she went out the store with a lovely, big smile on her face wearing the peach-coloured shirt, she said “A difference – you have made a difference.”
Nawww, it wasn’t me – it was her. In the moment she decided to wear colour, she decided to enjoy her life.
Those colours really suited her. And yes, I’m *sure* she was walking straighter as she walked out of the store.
Limits. What limitations do we put on ourselves that stop us from living life to the fullest? Are we self-critical … of our self? … our art? … our … ? Do we compare ourselves to another? Have we said or thought “I can’t do this because …”? I know I have.
And each time I catch myself placing limits on myself, I think of this wonderful octogenarian and imagine her, living her life in full colour. Literally. 🙂
Limitations. Those others put on us. Those we put on others. Those we put on ourselves.
When I transplanted the bleeding hearts in the garden, I didn’t think they would “take” in their new location.
Oh, me of little faith! They survived the transplant and blossomed!
Each time I walk by them, I am reminded to pray
… pray especially for those around the world
who live in situations where bleeding hearts are inside human bodies
… pray on this July 4th day in particular, for my neighbours in the United States.
On the Fourth of July, the U.S.A. marks the adoption of their Declaration of Independence in 1776.
It included the phrase: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men <sic> are created equal,
that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights,
that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
It is difficult to wish them “Happy July 4th”
when so many are struggling with fear.
It is difficult to wish them “Happy July 4th” when many do not believe that all men <sic>
are created equal.
It is difficult to wish them “Happy July 4th”
when so many are convinced that conspiracy theories are real.
It is difficult to wish them “Happy July 4th.”
But I do.
And as I do, I pray.
I pray for the leaders.
… the individuals who can make a difference
And I pray for the other kind of leaders
… the individuals who can make a difference and choose otherwise.
This day, I particularly pray
for the bleeding hearts of the people of the United States.
May the Holy Force (the Fourth) be with them.
With us all.
As always, you are welcome to share with accreditation.
When life hits unexpectedly, it hurts. And when it hurts, it can wound
not just physically
not just emotionally
not just spiritually.
Sometimes all three.
When life hits unexpectedly
when life happens and pain results
when life brings exhaustion beyond imagining
when the rain of sadness is in our heart
Hopefully, the God of Compassion will be with us (you/me)
holding us close when we are weary, hurt, alone (May Holy Compassion be with us – you / me.)
Hopefully, the God of Mercy will be with us (you/me)
forgiving those who have caused pain,
forgiving Holy Other. (May Holy Mercy be with us – you / me.)
Hopefully, the God of Gentleness will be with us (you/me)
caressing us with sunlight, rain and summer winds;
and shining through us to all who hurt and are lonely. (May Holy Gentleness be with us – you/me.)
Hopefully, the God of Wonder will be with us (you/me)
delighting us with sunrises, daisies, songs, baby’s laughter
enchanting our senses
filling our hearts; giving us wide-open eyes. (May Holy Wonder be with us – you/me.)
Hopefully, the God of Simplicity will be with us (you/me)
opening us to a clear vision of what is truth;
and dealings with others will be marked by honesty, which is simplicity. (May Holy Simplicity be with us – you/me.)
Hopefully, the God of Patience will be with us (you/me)
waiting with outstretched arms
and encouraging us to “be still, deep within ourselves.” (May Holy Patience be with us – you/me.)
Hopefully, the God of Love will be with us (you/me)
listening, drawing us close as we tremble,
lighting fires of faith and hope in the hearts of all.
May God’s love glow in our eyes.
May we meet God’s love in the eyes of others. (May Holy Love be with us – you/me.)
Hopefully, the God of Tenderness will be with us (you/me)
enfolding us with the desire to bring warmth
to those who are dis-eased in body, mind or spirit. (May Holy Tenderness be with us – you/me.)
Hopefully, the God of Strength will be with us (you/me)
holding us close, on eagle’s wings;
and we will be the sacrament of God’s strength to others. (May Holy Strength be with us – you/me.)
Hopefully, the God of Peace will be with us (you/me)
stilling the heart that hammers with fear or doubt or confusion,
bringing the warm mantle of peace cover those who are troubled or anxious. (May Holy Peace be with us – you/me.)
Hopefully, the God of Joy will be with us (you/me)
thrilling us with holy nearness, filling our heart to fullness,
and our soul with an awe that is profound. (May Holy Joy be with us – you/me.)
And hopefully, the God of Forgiveness will be with us (you/me)
encouraging us with strength, peace, and love. (May Holy Forgiveness be with us – you/me.)
Today is Canada Day in this country. I honour and pay respect to the privilege and reality that I live on unceded aboriginal land – meaning that Aboriginal Title has neither been surrendered nor acquired by the Crown / government. On July 1, 1867, Canada became a self-governing Dominion. That’s only 154 years. The People of the Land have been here for over 15,000 years.
Our history with the People of the Land was not good long ago. It is not good now. Many in our land continue to reel at recent news of discoveries of over a thousand unmarked graves of children on properties of former Residential Schools and the ongoing reality of missing and murdered indigeneous women.
Can we “celebrate” this Canada Day? If the word “celebrate” means to ‘honour, especially by solemn ceremonies’ then I can. If the word “celebrate” means to ‘participate in a festive social gathering’, I cannot. What I can do is remember the gentle word “Mamawi” which is Cree for “All together” … a word which holds before me a hope that reconciliation can happen and that this country can heal.
It will take time. It will take sacrifice. It will take work. But it is possible.
The combination of this “O Canada” video
(shared by Revv53, a Calgary-based performance ensemble of over 50 singers representing a wide variety of walks of life in Canada) offers a powerful “prelude” read by Richard Harrison, reminds us of exquisite scenes of this country, from coast to coast, and reinforces the powerful words of our national anthem “God keep our land, glorious and free”
may help us find some way to acknowledge the hurt in our country’s history; in some way, express gratitude for the good that has emerged from our history; and offer a glimpse of hope.
As we move into the next year of the history of this country of Canada, may we respect the traditions of the First People of this land. May we honour their love of and care for the land, waters around it, the animals and life that live on that land and in those waters. May we stop pointing fingers at “those people” and recognize our role in their sense of helplessness, anger and fear by the colonization and racism.