Deep Water Questions

My husband almost drown this past fall.  As a matter of fact a person in the water with him did lose his life. It was in his words seeming like the end.  He had given up, ready to sink into the deep water and let go, to surrender his grasping for life and breath, though he really didn’t want to.  The last question in his mind, is this how it ends?  It wasn’t.  A wave, instead of crashing on his head as all of the others had done, nudged him closer to shore allowing him to get a foothold in the sand.  Another wave, close enough to struggle to the beach, breathless, exhausted, confused.  This just leaves such unanswerable questions that our minds have to ask.  Questions that we all ask in these circumstances.  Why did I survive, why didn’t my friend?  What could have been done differently to prevent this tragedy?  Why do bad things happen to such great people? What causes a riptide or a tornado? Why does one home survive a raging fire when the neighbors home burns to the ground.  Why to poverty, war or why some have so much while others so little, why to disease or trauma that take away our loved ones.  So many questions.

I don’t know the specific answers to any of these questions.  Anyone who says they do leads  me to another question, how do they know?  What I do know is the fragility of life.  What I have experienced is  that the deepest darkness may still hold a glimmer of hope.  That a life lived has gifts that extend beyond their passing.   That we are, each of us capable of surviving or causing horrors.  That this life, our lives have the fullness to be explored to fathoms of experience, meaning and wonder.  While we exist in these complicated bodies they become a road-map of sorts to our souls.  The ache in my neck cries out the dissatisfaction with my job, or friends.  The gnawing in my stomach growls the anger I still hold at a betrayal.  The heaviness in my chest is the weight of undeserved shame inflicted by  abuse The tightness in my throat are the unspoken words of fear at what might have happened if indeed my love slipped beneath the surface and away from me.  And sometimes, more simply and surface that ache of loss and grief when someone I love has succumbed to death.

What I believe is that everything has great meaning. that nothing in this life is wasted, the good and the bad.  Life is a series of experiences we are meant to rise to and learn from.  Sometimes the path seems like walking uphill, on glass, barefoot and other times gleefully sledding downhill.  I believe each breath is sacred, each death, physical or otherwise can be as Holy and amazing as birth.  I believe that there is a loving Creator who allows us freedom to choose and who responds when we call out for help. That this one and same creator provides companions for the journey.  We are meant to be in relationship with one another and with God.  Who can or even wants to travel this life road alone?

When your heart aches, find someone to sit with you in the pain, to listen to your heart without giving you answers.  Find someone to hold your hand when it trembles in fear, to embrace you when you are lonely.  Be that person for another when you can for often there is much more richness to be experienced when you hold another’s space.  All of our questions may not be answered but we will be able to feel the hope that springs up from our discoveries and then grow and love with compassion for ourselves and others.

Gestalt Pastoral Care is one such compassionate listening and exploring practice.  If you are not aware of who is on the road with you this may be a beginning to explore.  Check out their website for more information and feel free to contact me.

Blessings of Wholeness

 

 

 

 

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Monday Meditation ~ Getting to Know You (self)

I really enjoy musicals,   I also enjoy walking in nature and spending time with my family who I love.  These things are a part of who I am in only small measure.  The deeper me, the one full of experiences in this life is sometimes more difficult to get to know.  Sometimes I am full-out in the sun, clear and bright.  But there are places, experiences within me that are beneath the water or hidden under the protective overgrowth of scars that keep me walking through life pretty happy.  Every now and then though, when a bump in the road suddenly appears, I get thrown off kilter.

Breath is life, without it we literally can’t exist.  Inspiration  filling us revives as the exhalation emptying creates release.  Our yoga classes always begin with the breath.  Feeling and deepening the breath.  Then to just be, to sit with the breath as we feel this body we inhabit.  Noticing tension or heaviness we can breathe into these spaces with our imagination.  We become fully present as we focus on breath and body.  And then, sometimes, a wondrous awareness occurs.  Emotions may rise, joy or sorrow, strength or fear and connections occur to let us know a deeper part of ourselves that has been hidden away, waiting to be revealed.

This week I had the opportunity to explore some of those places within as I moved from breath, to body, to awareness, in Gestalt Pastoral Care class.  A new opening to grace as I shed tears that washed away debris and allowed light to reveal a new knowing of myself.  The song from “The King and I”  began running through my head this morning, “Getting to Know You”  “Getting to know all about you, getting to like you, getting to hope you like me.  Haven’t you noticed, suddenly I am bright and breezy.  Because of all the beautiful and new, things I’m learning about you, day by day” Written by Oscar Hammerstein II in 1951, in the play  a teacher is singing to her new and foreign students.   But I sing it to myself with joy and anticipation to greet the child, teen, adult within me and uncover the beauty and mystery of my life.  I learn that deep sorrow and pain can be a wonderful teacher and that I am never alone on the journey.   We can walk the road together.

May you get to know and love yourself.

Blessings,

Sue

 

 

Monday Meditation – Sensibility

Do you ever wish someone would just come to their senses and do the right thing?  Do you ever think that about yourself?  I know that many times I do not.  I can be quick to point the finger away from myself and slow to turn the wrist the other way.  What’s up with that?  Finger pointing is not a yoga pose, nor is it helpful in relationships.  A very famous and humble teacher once said, “Judge not, that you be not judged.  For with the judgment you pronounce you will be judged, and with the measure you use it will be measured to you.”  Matthew 7:1-2

Sensibility is the coming to know your-self and how we see that self in our relationship with the world and with others. It is also awareness of our presence in a space and time.  When I am excessively occupied with activities, things-to-do and worry, my sense of self is diminished.  I separate myself from what is present and important, from people and from God.

Every time I teach a yoga class we begin by creating awareness.  We feel and deepen our breath; we feel our feet or bottom on the floor.  We begin to feel – become sensitive to the space we are in. It is a part of what I have been studying in Gestalt Pastoral Care courses that demonstrate how we hold wounds, physical and emotional in parts of our body. And in our human nature to protect our image of self we bury the hurt, the shame or the fear.  We get busy or overeat or use substances to entomb the feelings.

So often in my own Gestalt work I come to the truth that the flaws I see in others are present in my own wounds.  In the practice of yoga the asana (poses) opens areas of the body we hold closed much of the time.  The breath combined with movement may bring about feelings or sensations that rise to our awareness. The time of meditation opens space to experience internal and external sensations.  We become sensitive to our inner being  and can explore our self  while God’s grace meets us there.

When I practice this, a light of compassion always rises in the morning of my soul.  Others become mirrors for me instead of irritations, and I learn.  Yet still  I avoid or distract myself and a reminder comes that urges me to get out the mat and get to work.

This week I pray you are open to your senses, all of them.  And that you find your-self growing to find peace and compassion for yourself and others.

Blessings,

Sue

 

 

Weakness and Peace

2 Corinthians 12:6-10

But if I wish to boast, I will not be a fool, for I will be speaking the truth. But I refrain from it, so that no one may think better of me than what is seen in me or heard from me, even considering the exceptional character of the revelations. Therefore, to keep me from being too elated, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me, to keep me from being too elated. Three times I appealed to the Lord about this, that it would leave me, but he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is made perfect in weakness.” So, I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.  Therefore I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.

God has called me to a ministry of healing.  Healing for the body, the mind and the spirit of seekers, which is a huge call.  Not as daunting as Jonah’s call to go to Ninavah and proclaim repentance to a sinful people, but I hope to learn from scripture.  Though I may prefer my way or to run away I think about life in the belly of a whale.  It would be dark, noisy and definitely smelly.  I would not have human companionship or fellowship which to me says it all.  We were created to be in relationship with God and one another. Added to the “good” creation if we had only put our egos aside the world would still be good.

The world we live in, through our own sin and encouraged by the ruler of darkness has created such brokenness in countries, institutions, families and individuals.  Still God calls out to us “Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens and I will give you rest”. Matthew 11:28

This call I received for healing includes teaching yoga.  As I near beginning to open this place of healing and rest I ponder my physical limitations  and wonder what in the world am I doing teaching yoga for healing? Again, scripture holds the key to understanding.  His power is made perfect in my weakness.  I must be content, supported by faithful friends and strengthened by God for the task.  Fixing my eyes on the one who came down to live among us,and hearing his call to place my burdens and those of others on him.  The rest we seek, the healing we desire is with God and may not look like our perception.  Instead, we are in all circumstances enlightened with joy and love for God and all others on this life journey near or far who are seeking to come out of the dark.  It is my prayer that others will hear and know this love and  will spread peace and healing as far as and in Ninavah.

Peace and healing through God’s grace.