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Raphael Now

At two weeks Raphael is finally off all tubes. He’s breathing on his own and taking a bottle. His bodily functions are all working. He’s focusing his eyes.

Raphael on Monday, November 27th, 2017

He is still on medicine for seizures, but it is controlling them. His heart showed a flutter over the weekend, but I haven’t heard any more about that. But please keep the prayers going. About five days after he was born the neurologist called and told Raphael’s parents that he would not have known the second brain scan was of the same baby as the first, it was so much improved. When we care and pray for one another, miracles can happen. Thank you all for your caring prayers.
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Darkness before Dawn

If this quote is too obscure, read on down to my translation.

When you get hooked into emotional reactivity, an opportunity has come to cleanse your perception.
From the perspective of wholeness, triggers are a special form of grace. Not the sort of grace that is sweet, peaceful, and calming, but the kind that is wrathful, fierce, and reorganizing.
When it gets tight, claustrophobic, and you are burning for relief, the invitation is laid before you. To lay down a new pathway. To turn into the disturbing energy and flood it with presence. To infuse the vulnerability underneath the storyline with warm, empathic attunement.
And with the earth as your witness, to commit to the radical path of non-abandonment.
These triggers are not obstacles to your path, but are the very path itself. While they may disturb you, they are eruptions of creativity and aliveness, and guardians at the threshold. In this way, they are worthy of your honor, your care, and your holding.
While it may appear otherwise, they are only love in disguise, appearing in infinite forms to guide you home.
~Matt Licata   From the Blog: Make Believe Boutique

My translation:  When life throws you down and defeats you and you are reeling in pain and railing against fate, go with the suffering.  Enter it and feel it. Curl into a fetal position and weep bitterly, if you need to, but accept the grace of the pain. Don’t run from any part of it.  Don’t project blame on others.  Don’t use anger as an escape. Don’t sink into self pity or self justification. Don’t seek revenge. Don’t play “what if….?” Because this is a doorway to rebirth.  This is a cross you die on, so that you can become a new person, with new wisdom, new strength, and a new ability to love more deeply, both others and yourself.

 

 

Spring

Celebrating our human potential for transformation, for resurrection.

Laughter: Carbonated Grace

Spring

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Zombies and Monsters and Black Holes, Oh My!

I’ve never been into the Goth thing, the zombie thing, or the demons thing, probably because I have enough trouble coping with my own inner demons and dark side. I don’t believe anyone has a black soul, but I heard a description once that made me think that I and others might have an inner “black hole” like the ones in space that suck the light out of their surroundings.
The description was: “A bottomless pit of needs and wants.”
I decided that for a considerable number of years that described me perfectly. And since being needy prevents us from being loving, it explained why I had trouble even loving myself, never-the-less others.
Discovering that God was alive and well and loving us all unconditionally, even us “bottomless pits of needs and wants,” helped free me to begin depending on God’s love (grace) instead of other people and circumstances. And that is what fuels the lifelong process of learning to love both ourselves and others unconditionally. Then we each can grow into the unique, imperfect, but more and more loving, person God created us to be.
I am definitely in God’s slow learner group and I may never become as loving as many other people do, but I trust God and the process enough to believe I will reach my personal potential, however limited that may be. And that is all I am called to do.

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

Once Again He Has Come

Christ came this Christmas for me in a moment of clarity.  He came when I recognized with deep joy that my husband and I finally “get” each other.

We were total opposites in personality, in upbringing, in spirituality, in interests, values, in our ways of responding to people and life. Our sense of humors differed, our ways of expressing and receiving love also. It has been a challenging fifty-four year journey, side by side, but never quite together.

Today, Christmas day, I realized that a few days ago for the first time, he actually heard something spiritual I wrote and responded spontaneously from the heart, and today I also realized that I see the physical world in new ways(his)and frequently now laugh out loud when I have spontaneous humorous images flash into my mind when I read or hear certain things, just like he has tried to explain to me over the years.  The gift of our seventies has been shared laughter.

When I reflect on the ways we’ve changed, I think it took more than just accepting how each other are, it took actually learning how to see through each other’s eyes and hear with their ears; for him to be able to feel with me and for me to become able to step back from feelings and see things logically. For him to be able to express love and for me to be happy showing it in small acts of service.

We are far from perfect at this, but we have broken through the walls of self and begun to experience being one.

Isn’t it amazing that life and love begin anew so many times and that it’s never too late to love in new ways?

Thank you, Lord Jesus, for coming once more, with your gifts of love.