I woke up this morning with such a gentle peace in my heart and soul. I felt gratitude for this life and all that I’ve lived. I was thankful for this body I’ve been given. I found myself giving thanks for it, from the top of my head to my toes and all in between, knowing that each part has made my life possible. Each bone, limb, organ, tissue, and flesh has carried me into life. This particular body, heart, mind and soul have made me who I am. All of it is a gift.
This deep connection I found with the Great Spirit/Creator when I was 19 years old has made it possible for me to follow LOVE, LIGHT, HOPE AND ALL GOOD THINGS and this connection has carried me through life’s sorrows.
This gift of the power to choose my path or at least to choose from the paths available to me is astounding and yet it has been difficult and confusing. There are so many voices, so many beliefs, with such different emphases …such a variety of philosophies of what our life, work, service and path ought to be.
I’ve done the best I have known, to choose the direction I felt I was called to walk and owned these purposes. Sometimes the path was all consuming, leaving me without balance and empty. I have had much to learn about caring for my own soul. I didn’t know the importance of this for a long time. I lived for that external locus of control, letting others tell me what needed to be done, pointing the way and directing how much. I lived a life of giving and serving others.
I have noticed at times when I am experiencing struggle and difficulty those old voices rally, peppered with fear, guilt, confusion and a feeling of being lost comes over me, but then I let go and turn to you, O LOVE THAT HOLDS ME. My heart becomes still. This life we live is so little, and small and yet so precious and magnificent. My heart, soul and mind tell me to be my true self, to remain open, to nurture my gifts and use them as life allows. To know, respect and love myself and live in the present moment loving and respecting others that I meet along the way. Do what I can each day. Seek not to harm others. If and when I do…make amends. Learn all I can each day. Make silence my friend. LISTEN. Care for myself, others, creatures and the earth. Loving my Creator with all my heart, mind and soul makes this possible. This is what I am called to do.
Thomas Merton has a few words that say all that I am feeling. In his book entitled Conjectures of a Guilty Bystander, Merton addresses the problem of giving ourselves to too many things and NOT LIVING IN THE PRESENT. He says, “The rush and pressure of modern life are a form, perhaps the most common form, of its innate violence. To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is to succumb to violence….The frenzy of the activist neutralizes his work for peace. It destroys his own inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of his own work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful.”