Monthly Archives: February 2014

Coming Apart and Getting It Back Together Again

I am paraphrasing some quotes that have proven true in my life:

Personal change and spiritual growth cannot happen without coming to peace with pain. (Michael Singer)

Emptiness and despair are not only experienced by those who have been traumatized, but also by those whose lives are full.

More than grief or fear, despair calls us to pay attention to and make meaning out of human suffering. It invites us to change our very selves by changing the way we see the world. When we persevere and don’t run away from our dark night, we can be moved to a muscular faith that has looked into the heart of darkness and emerged to affirm life. (Miriam Greenspan)

Twice over 76 years my inner life has come apart at the seams for no outwardly obvious reasons. I stayed functional, but slowed down my pace while I worked through it. Each time a counselor mostly just provided a safety valve and a non- judgemental listener, so I could hear myself as I read some relevant books, sorted out my pieces, threw some away, found new truths, new strengths, and pulled it all back together for a still imperfect, but more meaningful and personally satisfying way of being in the world. As painful and scary as these times were, they yielded wonderful fruit and I do not regret going through them. I don’t think I’m inferior because I needed that process. Everyone has challenges that they either struggle to conquer or they choose to deny and to settle for a safer, but emotionally and spiritually, poorer life. Eileen

(The Singer and Greenspan quotes were found on the Blog: Make Believe Boutique

Alzheimer’s and Other Cruel Realities (Readers Beware; This is a Downer.)

This is a rerun. Not sure why. I guess because the poem in it, “My Good Friday God,” spoke to me today in a new way.

Laughter: Carbonated Grace

One of the most difficult things for me to accept is that for some problems there are no good answers. That you have to choose the option that does the least harm to the least number of people. At some gut level, even at seventy-five, I am still screaming in protest at this reality.
My mother’s fourteen years of dying by inches with Alzheimer’s came close to destroying my marriage, my faith, and very close to destroying me. To this good day, sometimes when I let myself experience those memories, I still want to howl with anger and guilt and anguish over her suffering . Here is something I wrote when struggling with this painful time in my life.
MY GOOD FRIDAY GOD

What kind of God are you, dying like that?
I want a real God, a fix it God,
not one that gets Himself crucified.
You’re just as…

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The Writing Process, Part 1: Keep It Real ( reblogged from The Holistic Journey)

WOW…….Writer Alert……good advice.

I’m Somebody

When my youngest son was about two, I tried to get him to talk into a tape recorder for a family message to my mother, who lived in another state. When I held the microphone up for him, he froze. I tried to help him by saying, “Tell her who you are.” He remained mute with a tortured look on his face. As I prompted him again, he blurted out desperately,
“I’M SOMEBODY! I’M SOMEBODY!”

I think that is the cry of all hearts, “I’m somebody.”

Unfortunately, even as Christians, we think that means being somehow special from being better than others. Sibling rivalry carries over even into being the children of God. I bought a Tee shirt once, that said,
“JESUS LOVES YOU, BUT I’M HIS FAVORITE.”

I thought it was funny, but more and more I see that as the root of so much of the conflict in families, churches, countries, the world.

It’s not enough to be loved and loving. We want to be smarter, better looking, richer. We want to be a STAR. Our whole culture is built on this.

Being the least of God’s children is anathema to us in any setting.

And in every conflict, we need to feel we are right, PARTICULARLY when we lose.

To feel mistreated, wronged, unappreciated allows us to be self-righteous, to cling to our sense of being SOMEBODY.

We are of eternal value because we are loved as the unique creation we are. It is not relative to anything or anyone. We are called to be the best “us” we can be.  We are not called to be better than anyone.

The only place I have seen this grasped and celebrated is in the Special Olympics. There, when a child falls down, the other children in the race will go back and help them up. Every child gets a ribbon for not giving up, for finishing the race, for doing the best they can. Every parent claps and shouts for every child, not just their own.

This must be how it is in the kingdom of God.