to live in this world
you must be able
to do three things:
to love what is mortal;
to hold it
against your bones knowing
your own life depends on it;
and, when the time comes
to let it go,
to let it go
Mary Oliver – In Blackwater Woods
I sometimes need to be reminded that being alive means that things change. That the people, places, and things I love will not be in my life forever. Their mortality should not keep me from loving them. I must love them all the more, “knowing [my] own life depends on it.” And when their time is at an end, I must “let it go.”
This is so hard. So hard. So painful. But it is essential, for to never change, to never leave, to never die, is not to live. For only in living can we find joy. Only in living can we find freedom. Only in living can we find love. Let us live well, let us love well, and let us “let it go” well.
Amen, and Blessed Be.
A meditation for December 20, 2012.
Hope is the thing with feathers
That perches in the soul,
And sings the tune–without the words,
And never stops at all,
And sweetest in the gale is heard;
And sore must be the storm
That could abash the little bird
That kept so many warm.
I've heard it in the chillest land,
And on the strangest sea;
Yet, never, in extremity,
It asked a crumb of me.
Emily Dickinson – Hope
After I accepted my powerlessness over my loved one's alcoholism, I had to find a new meaning for hope. I could no longer say “I hope for sobriety”, because that would set up an expectation. I had no way of assuring that expectation would be met, and so I would again find myself descending into the pit of despair. What hope came to mean for me, in those days, was that there was a possibility of change, not an expectation of change. This hope helped to sustain me. It “perched in my soul” and “sang the tune … sweetest in the gale”.
A meditation for December 19, 2012.
Yesterday, I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today, I am wise, so I am changing myself.
When others behave in ways I don't like, or don't do the things that I think they should, I can feel powerless, as we explored in our most recent podcast episode. Usually, I can't change them to act “correctly”. As Rumi suggests, the path of wisdom to change my response or reaction, instead. One way for me to do that is to accept others as they are, recognizing that they are unlikely to change just to suit me. We will explore acceptance in our next podcast episode. Please be sure to tune in for it.
A meditation for December 18, 2012.
People are often unreasonable and self-centered. Forgive them anyway. If you are kind, people may accuse you of ulterior motives. Be kind anyway. If you are honest, people may cheat you. Be honest anyway. If you find happiness, people may be jealous. Be happy anyway. The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world the best you have and it may never be enough. Give your best anyway. For you see, in the end, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway.
– Mother Theresa
A meditation for December 17, 2012.
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Swetha leads a discussion of powerlessness. We talk about how we understood it (or didn't) before coming to the program and how we understand it now. Each of us discusses situations in which we feel powerlessness and how we recognize it. Kelli says that sometimes recognizing powerlessness can give her power. How can that work? Listen and find out.
Continue reading “Powerlessness – Pilot episode 2”