Only the Hand of God can remove the burdens of your heart.
Only the Hand of God can remove the burdens of your heart.
Each second we live is a new and unique moment of the universe, a moment that will never be again. And what do we teach our children? We teach them that two and two make four, and that Paris is the capital of France. When will we also teach them what they are? We should say to each of them: Do you know what you are? You are a marvel. You are unique. In all the years that have passed, there has never been another child like you. Your legs, your arms, your clever fingers, the way you move. You may become a Shakespeare, a Michaelangelo, a Beethoven. You have the capacity for anything. Yes, you are a marvel. And when you grow up, can you then harm another who is, like you, a marvel? You must work, we must all work, to make the world worthy of its children.
Each one has to find his peace from within. And peace to be real must be unaffected by outside circumstances.
In a fairy tale, you often have to leave the place where you have grown comfortable and travel to a fearful place full of pain, and search for what was stolen or confront the occupying villain; it takes time for the resulting changes to integrate themselves into the small, funky moments that make up our lives.
~Anne Lamott, Grace (Eventually): Thoughts on Faith
Spirituality is not to be learned by flight from the world, or by running away from things, or by turning solitary and going apart from the world. Rather, we must learn an inner solitude wherever or with whomsoever we may be. We must learn to penetrate things and find God there.
Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.
As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly, and listen to others,
even to the dull and ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.
If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be
greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career
it is a real possession in the
changing fortunes of time.
Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you
to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.
Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit
to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.
Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.
Therefore, be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.
With all its sham,
drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Strive to be happy.
Unless and until we have peace deep within us, we can never hope to have peace in the outer world. You and I create the world by the vibrations that we offer to it. If we can invoke peace and then offer it to somebody else, we will see how peace expands from one to two persons, and gradually to the world at large. Peace will come about in the world from the perfection of individuals. If you have peace, I have peace, he has peace, and she has peace, then automatically universal peace will dawn.
~Sri Chimnoy, The Jewels of Happiness: Inspiration and Wisdom to Guide Your Life-Journey
All good deeds that are prompted by hope of happiness in the next world cease to be moral.
~Mohandas K. Gandhi
Pleasure is always derived from something outside you, whereas joy arises from within.
pathwriter’s note: Anne Lamott has become one of my favorite authors in the last couple of years. I find her honesty and vulnerability, her willingness to lay herself bare—“warts and all”, as the saying goes—breathtaking. (She’s also pretty funny.) Some months back, I was delighted to learn that she is on Facebook (!), and she shared the story below in her New Year’s Eve post. It’s a piece she wrote for Salon.com 15 years ago. I hope you enjoy it, though I’ll warn you that (1) it’s a little long and (2) it contains (as Lamott’s writing often does) some colorful language. I hope neither of those things will keep you from reading and receiving a lovely message.
Broken things have been on my mind as the year lurches to an end, because so much broke and broke down this year in my life, and in the lives of the people I love. Lives broke, hearts broke, health broke, minds broke. On the first Sunday of Advent our preacher, Veronica, said that this is life’s nature, that lives and hearts get broken, those of people we love, those of people we’ll never meet. She said the world sometimes feels like the waiting room of the emergency ward, and that we, who are more or less OK for now, need to take the tenderest possible care of the more wounded people in the waiting room, until the healer comes. You sit with people, she said, you bring them juice and graham crackers. And then she went on vacation.
“Traveling mercies,” the old black people at our church said to her when she left. This is what they say when one of us goes off for a while. Traveling mercies: Be safe, notice beauty, enjoy the journey, God is with you.
Besides the big brokennesses in people’s lives this year, I’ve noticed all sorts of really dumb things breaking lately. Since Advent began at the end of November, I’ve had a dozen calls reporting broken cars, water heaters, a window, even a finger. So I was on the lookout for something wonderful to happen, because of this great story I heard recently about dumb things going wrong: Carolyn Myss, who writes about healing, went to Russia a few years ago to give a series of lectures. Every single aspect of getting to Russia that could go poorly, did. Continue reading
I believe in kindness. Also in mischief. Also in singing, especially when singing is not necessarily prescribed.
I guess it’s time.
I’ve known it for a while, at least on an unconscious level. I’ve resisted it for several reasons, including this one: I’m just plain exhausted from jumping off proverbial cliffs…especially when they land me in places that end up being a struggle, which has been the case more often than not the last few years.
Nevertheless, here I am, preparing for another big leap. After digging in my heels for a couple of years now and resisting what I knew to be true deep in my heart, I finally came a place of surrender (“Uncle, already!”) a couple of weeks ago. I finally accepted what my inner being and the Universe (or my inner being through the Universe) have been trying to tell me for quite a while. Even though I know the big picture of where I’m headed, I haven’t a clue about the steps that will take me there, but I’m letting go of the wheel, so to speak. Kind of scary, but a relief, too.
I’ve spent a lot of energy these few last years trying to will things to happen, to will my path to open, to will my next steps to reveal themselves. However, in moments of calm, I remember—I know—this doesn’t work. The times when my life worked best were the times when I thought about what I wanted, kept my eyes open for opportunities, and then allowed those things to flow my way.
If this all sounds a little “woo-woo” to you, Continue reading