You are at my side, dear friends, and God is everywhere. Yet ultimately we are alone, making our way home by the candle of the heart. The light is steady and sure but extends only far enough to see the next step. That there are steps beyond is a matter of faith. That we have the faith to endure and walk our own journey—even when we think that we are lost—is a gift of grace, and of friendship. Many times our light seems to go out. But another light, one held by a stranger or a friend, a book or a song, a blackbird or a wildflower, comes close enough so that we can see our path by its light. And in time, we realize that the light we have borrowed was always our own.
~Joan Borysenko, A Woman’s Journey to God
The unthankful heart discovers no mercies; but the thankful heart will find, in every hour, some heavenly blessings.
~Henry Ward Beecher
Peace is the number one beautiful ornament you can wear, I really believe that. They say you should always wear a smile, but I don’t believe that you should “always” wear a smile, seriously, you’re going to look stupid! But peace, you should always carry peace within you, its the most beautifying thing you could ever have or do. Peace makes your heart beautiful and it makes you look beautiful, too. You want to have perfect physical posture when you stand, sit, and walk, and peace is the perfect posture of the soul, really. Try perfect posture outside as well as inside. Peace creates grace and grace gives peace.
~C. JoyBell C.
pathwriter’s note: I love Anne Lamott. I am in awe of her open heart and her willingness to be so uncomfortably honest and so perfectly imperfect. She posted this (complete with typos) on her Facebook page just a few minutes ago.
Oh, all of you who have sustained hardship today, I am so sorry. i wish all of us at this site who are just watching could rush to help you. We really would if we could. Tell us if there is anything we can do, beside the obvious–donate, pray, breathe, wait for the water to recede, and be exquisitely kind–especially to ourselves. That’s the hardest thing.
I’m probably writing this to myself as much as to you, but it is okay to be having any inappropriate feelings and responses and obsessions you may be experiencing. If you still feel obsessed with the election, even in the face of these images of destruction, it’s really okay My mentor, Horrible Bonnie, would say that something beautiful is being revealed in the current weirdness, in brokenness and the not-knowing. I always say back, “Oh, yeah? REALLY?”. Then I swear I’ll never call again.
But it is, every time, no matter how huge the family mess, or loss, or in this case, nature’s terrifying power and force. Truth is revealed. People’s natural outpouring of generosity will be revealed, & their ability to sacrifice for the common good, which you don’t see all that often without darkness. How resilient and loving we are. How we ALWAYS end up getting our senses of humor back, which to me, is one of the ways we know grace is real.
I’m not suggesting that the next few days are going to be easy for Continue reading
Dear Human: You’ve got it all wrong. You didn’t come here to master unconditional love. That is where you came from and where you’ll return. You came here to learn personal love. Universal love. Messy love. Sweaty love. Crazy love. Broken love. Whole love. Infused with divinity. Lived through the grace of stumbling. Demonstrated through the beauty of…messing up. Often. You didn’t come here to be perfect. You already are. You came here to be gorgeously human. Flawed and fabulous. And then to rise again into remembering. But unconditional love? Stop telling that story. Love, in truth, doesn’t need ANY other adjectives. It doesn’t require modifiers. It doesn’t require the condition of perfection. It only asks that you show up. And do your best. That you stay present and feel fully. That you shine and fly and laugh and cry and hurt and heal and fall and get back up and play and work and live and die as YOU. It’s enough. It’s Plenty.
~attributed to Courtney A. Walsh
The following is an excerpt from Anne Lamott’s Facebook post this morning:
Home, in bed, smothered in dogs like biscuit gravy; they are exhausted after giving me the ritual cleansing and have gone back to sleep, so I have this early morning all to myself. The sun has streaked highlights into my flowering pear tree like Vidal Sassoon, and I am wearing my Ethel Mertz jammies and eating peanut butter toast. This is what grace looks like: amazed gratitude and relief at your plain old gorgeous life.
I was up at 3:30 Tuesday, headed to Tennessee for two talks–one on Writing, one on faith–and then to Chicago for a talk on the Search for Meaning. They are all, at core, the same–the decision on how we choose to live this one short, precious life. The decision to stop hitting the snooze button. The willingness not to be good at things right away, to be clueless but committed; to make more messes and mistakes in the interest of living with spaciousness and a sense of presence; to find out who we truly are, who we were born to be, and to learn to love that screwed up, disappointing, heartbreakingly dear self of ours.
~Anne Lamott, Facebook, 9/22/12
I beg your indulgence as I pay tribute to my favorite dancer ever, Gene Kelly. His combination of grace, athleticism, humor and downright joy gave me (still gives me) many hours of pleasure and inspiration. Years ago, when I was filling out a questionnaire at a seminar, one of the questions was “If you could have lunch with anyone in the world, who would it be?” I was still dancing at the time, and Gene Kelly was the first name that popped into my head. Of course, in my fantasy, lunch would have been followed by dancing with the “Marlon Brando of Screen Dance”.
Gene Kelly would have been 100 years old today, and, thanks to the magic of film, his dancing will continue to inspire generations to come. I never tire of watching the title number from Singin’ in the Rain. When it’s over…well, the lyrics say it all: “What a glorious feeling—I’m happy again!”
So…who inspires you? Do you need a little dose of that energy today? If it’s a musician/singer, listen to his/her/their music. If it’s an author, make a cup of coffee and spend some time with his/her words. Take it in, soak it up, let it fill you. Then go out and inspire someone else with your own brand of awesomeness. :)
Photo by Lisa Tate
…I want first of all—in fact, as an end to these other desires—to be at peace with myself. I want a singleness of eye, a purity of intention, a central core to my life that will enable me to carry out these obligations and activities as well as I can. I want, in fact—to borrow from the language of the saints—to live ‘in grace’ as much of the time as possible. I am not using this term in a strictly theological sense. By grace I mean an inner harmony, essentially spiritual, which can be translated into outward harmony…”
~Anne Morrow Lindbergh
The concept of grace has surfaced a lot in my reading lately. However, like Lindbergh, I’m not talking about grace in a theological sense. Although my spiritual seeking has continued and even deepened over the years, I have long since ceased being a “religious” person.
Grace isn’t something you earn or deserve or make happen. Although you can pray for grace, it most often arrives unexpectedly and unbidden and manifests in such a way that it leaves you with a feeling of awe, of peace, of being blessed. Continue reading
From acceptance and surrender at last there comes an awe-filled grace. And with grace comes the opening of our eyes. We begin to see that every circumstance and every situation is just a corner of an infinite universe. No corner is really so good or so bad, as it is simply a place the soul is in need of experiencing now. Whatever it is, it will not last. Whatever it is, it is leading to something better. And whatever it is, it is actually perfect.
~Marianne Williamson, Everyday Grace
I do not at all understand the mystery of grace—only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us.
Maybe this is what grace is, the unseen sounds that make you look up. I think it’s why we are here, to see as many chips of blue sky as we can bear….To notice flickers of the divine, like dust motes on sunbeams in your dusty kitchen.