Healing Grief


Good Evening, God!

Give sorrow words . . . Shakespeare said that centuries ago. But, God, we don’t. As for me, I didn’t know how. So I pushed it down . . . focused on all the Good Stuff . . . practiced Gratitude. And all of that is GOOD . . . but it isn’t enough.

So sorrow waits. Waits to be acknowledged. Respected. Heard. And then given expression. Shakespeare said words. But there are many ways of expressing grief. One friend after losing her son in a storm in the seas off of Alaska went to a dance class called Sweating Your Grief.

Sweating our grief. Yes! Sweating can be a way of expressing grief. And so, too, is running. Perhaps, in a culture that has taught us not to be Cry Babies . . . that is the only way some of us have. In my friend’s case she ACKNOWLEDGED her grief. She RESPECTED it. She knew she had to work with it!

Expressing grief isn’t what I thought it was. It isn’t about whining or complaining — those words come more from the Mind. A true and healing expression of grief comes when the Heart speaks . . . and when the Body weeps the salt of tears and sweat.



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Posted in connecting, gratitude, Grief, healing, Hearts, respect, Self-Respect, Sorrows of the Deep

The Dark Side of “Forgiving”


Good Day, God!

Forgiving is an incredibly powerful tool for good. That’s why it is so upsetting to me to hear it misused,  misunderstood and misapplied.

  • Forgiving is NOT forgetting
  • Forgiving is NOT condoning
  • Forgiving is NOT ignoring
  • Forgiving is NOT excusing

Those definitions have been used for years to un-empower the people who were being harmed. THAT is not what Jesus meant or wanted. Jesus who LOVES us commands us to CARE for the LEAST of THESE. And that would mean for us to care for . . ourselves . . . each other . . . we are all included in the “Least.”

And in my mind, CARING means we CONFRONT predators — we bring their predatory behavior to their attention — and we pray for them to be healed . . . or to WANT to be healed — and to know that You love them.

If we had a very sick and very contagious individual running around infecting others . . . we would not recommend forgiving him or her. We would recommend an isolation ward.

Sigh. I feel better now, God. That just really WANTED to be SAID!

Oh, and just a word of what Forgiveness is truly about: Forgiving others spares us from the consequences of living out of an unforgiving heart. 

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Posted in a prayer for healing, Caring, Compassion, connecting, Forgiving, LOVE, Prayer

We are all earthenware cups

Earthenware cup

Good Day, God!

I made this clay cup years ago . . . I intended it to be a Tree/Cup . . . but clay shrinks during firing and so the trunk is a bit small for my hand.  Still, it is my creation and I love it.  I did notice that the next day a young man was making his own clay tree cup. His was a lovely detailed cup with leaves etc.  More artistic than mine, still, I was pleased.

But, I didn’t mean to go on about “beloved creations,” although now that I think about it I truly believe / hope that You feel that way toward us!

During Centering Prayer time, I sometimes will be flooded with an incident from the Past and at this point in Time I can see so clearly what I ought to have done/said . . . or not done or said. It is at those moments that I find it a vast comfort to view myself as a Clay Cup.

When I was attacked by a young (15 years old) burglar in our home — and survived — I was incredibly grateful. THRILLED, actually, to find myself ALIVE. But, it was almost easy to pray for him because he, too, was just a clay cup.  As it turned out he was angry at his father and Anger and Evil do plot together to do violence.

Of course, the detective on the case reminded me that I should pray for the burglar to be caught!  Being a Clay Cup does not mean we are not responsible for what we allow in it or to stay in it.

I think of Saint Paul telling us to be angry but not to let the sun go down on our anger lest we give the devil a foothold.  Ah, God, if only we could picture ourselves putting our clay cup in with the dishes every night!  How much more joy we could receive!

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Posted in Anger, Centering Prayer, connecting, Creating, Forgiving, LOVE, opportunities to forgive myself, Prayer

An Inner Sea


Good Evening, God!

This photos of a mist covered lake in the Pyrenees was sent by dear friends as they hike in those mountains. I love this lake. It makes me think of my deep Inner Sea . . . a sea filled with all my unshed tears after our daughter Patty died — 35 years ago.

For several years I felt as if that sea was frozen. On my surface the ground was warm. The soil could support joyful flowers. But it could not support trees. Trees need deep roots into unfrozen ground.

I can see YOU in this image  — Your Holy Spirit — hovering over the waters. And Look, God! The water is flowing; the lake is no longer frozen!  We heal! And we can look back and see You there . . . hovering over me and sometimes holding me . . .Thank You.

And Thanks Be to the friends You sent me . . . to literally walk along side me. To break bread with me . . . and to help the flowers bloom.


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Posted in adjusting, connecting, daughters, Flowers, friends, Grief, healing, pain, Sorrows of the Deep

The Sacrament of Listening

dining out

Good Afternoon, God!

We used to laugh God, about how my Mother had a Listening Gene. Her friends called her “Shoulders” . . . and I got the Listening Gene too. That’s how I thought of it — as genetic — not as a skill. And I never feel more ME than when I am listening — truly listening to someone. This came back to me recently while listening to FLOURISH by Martin Seligman. The army had asked him to work on a program to help soldiers build “Well-Being”. One aspect was to teach 4 patterns of Listening to another person. 1) hm 2) that’s nice 3) Wow, Great and 4) Hey, tell me more.

Hearing so as to help a person Speak. Now, THAT, God, is Listening.

That kind of listening is a sacred act, God. Indeed, just this morning it came to me that Listening with our whole heart is a Sacrament. That is what my spiritual director does for me. That is what goes on in our Wednesday Morning Women’s Prayer Group. We don’t need priests or ministers or certified people. Anyone can do it. Although, training can certainly help us.

And for our family, God, dining out is a special opportunity to listen to each other. A lovely restaurant . . . can be as filled with Your Spirit as a church.

Now, God, as I am writing . . . it comes to me that I CRAVE more time listening to myself. Of course, DOING IT would mean understanding that I NEED it — that hearing myself is like feeding myself.



Posted in connecting

Fear, Anger and Perspective

IMG_2739 (1)

Good Day, God!

I keep puzzling about how You have put us in TIME.  I’m pretty sure You dwell in Non-Time — whatever that means!  But, one thing our about being creatures living within Time . . . we have to deal with CHANGE.  Lots of change.  It is all part of Time Passing.

This Sunday we took a visiting friend to the Bishop Museum and she wanted to see the Planet Shark exhibit.  So my wonderful husband Kit and I trooped along. We did learn how remote our chances are of being injured by a shark — so we OUGHT to be less afraid.  (I’m not.)

But this poster is what hit me.  Sharks have survived 5 Extinctions.  FIVE!  Gosh, if we are in the Sixth Extinction now, that means sharks have survived ALL the previous extinctions.  That was impressive.

But MORE impressive was the thin white line at the top which represented how long we humans have been here on Planet Earth.  Hmm.

This awareness was compounded by a long article in this month’s Discover magazinediscover-magazine-1

about how asteroids hitting the earth seem to be in a 32 million year cycle as we pass through a dense disc of dark matter in our galaxy.  Not good. I didn’t want to know when the last big hit was!

So, as a dear friend said the other day, “The World really must be coming to an end because my ‘do-it-yourself’ husband hired a plumber!”  It was a joke, of course.  But, with all the information flooding though our minds it is easy to feel the world as we know it is ending. It is hard to feel safe nowadays.

And I understand that when we humans do not feel safe — we look for someone to blame. Blaming another group . . . being angry . . . seems to make us feel like there is something we can do to protect ourselves.

I am telling You this, God, because I need Your Help.  I need to know that success and survival are not Your goals for me.  Your goals are both simpler and harder –that I would let You in to love me and expand me and flow through me.


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Posted in Anger, connecting, fears, God's Time

Anger, Energy and Health

Antahkarana-Spiral-of-Spiritual-Illumination-Energy-energyenhancement-orgGood Evening, God!

I was raised with the Newtonian map of Physics . . . very mechanical. I think of it as each object has a place and each object is in its place. Orderly. And that map still works. That is how my wonderful husband Kit and I were able to observe our third solar eclipse this March.

But for the last decade or so I’ve been trying to expand my mind into a much more complex Quantum Universe that seems much more a matter of Energy than of Objects.

And then I thought, HEY! It would be fun to try to recast some Bible verses into our Quantum Universe. So I’m starting with “don’t sin by letting anger control you.” Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil.” Ephesian 4:26-27

All of us who have ever been angry know that anger both generates and consumes tons of energy. When anger is generating energy it makes us feel powerful. And sometimes we need that anger and that power. But, apparently, St. Paul realized that continuing in a State of Anger — going to bed angry — was a real drain on our energy.

Bursts of anger — like a burst of adrenalin —  can be useful. But prolonged use of anger or adrenalin keeps us in a state of energy outflow. We get STUCK. And that means we are stuck in Anger — the exact opposite of the state of relaxed peace. And the state of relaxed peace is absolutely required for Healing and Cleaning out Waste.

Being stuck in Anger is not good for our health!

As for giving a foothold to the devil . . . I am picturing little Nano Creatures that are feeding on the Energy Outflow of Anger. They need us to be angry in order to eat. Although, they don’t mind feeding on our Fears too.

Fanciful images, God. But I find them helpful.

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Posted in Anger, connecting, Energy, healing, health, Peace, relaxation

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