Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Imperfection

The Mystery within...
The violence and unrest in America’s cities, around the world, and the divisiveness within our country’s politics have me wondering about our progress toward compassion, mercy, and forgiveness—how we come to love one another.  Richard Rohr’s Center for Action and Contemplation meditations this week reflect on the Spirituality of Imperfection.  His opening meditation ends with “We are all saved by pure grace, no exceptions. We must never live in such a way that grace is not needed hour by hour.”

I am quite aware that I have played a part in some of today’s unrest.  My husband and I purchased a lot in Milwaukee in the 1960’s to build our first home and paid a premium for it because it was within walking distance to the elementary school.   When our children were old enough, we wanted them to be able walk to school.  In the early 1970’s, when it became apparent that our very young children could be bused across town, we moved to the suburbs where they could still walk to school.  I have come to understand that our moving contributed to some of the monumental problems Milwaukee’s current residents face.  There is some grace in that understanding for I am sometimes overwhelmed with compassion for those who struggle for life’s basic needs.  It has also led me to want to welcome diverse people to my community where their children can walk to school.    


What if it is our own imperfections that lead us to accept and love one another?

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Only Questions

The Mystery within...
Last weeks blog Celebrating? closed with “What if we could all be overwhelmed with the need for restorative justice?”  That was posted before the added tragedy of the shooting deaths of five police officers in Dallas and more injured.  That question seems even more critical now.  Some other “What if…” questions from previous posts also seem appropriate. 

6/9/14 Searching “What if we all embraced the fact that what we have in common is our differences?”

4/7/14 Indigenous Wisdom “What if there were no dominant cultures and we valued others’ gifts?  What if we each thought about the gifts we bring to the universe and what help we need to grow?”

9/2/13 Deep Gratitude "What if we all thought about how intricately we are connected in this web of life and see that equal opportunity and adequate resources for everyone would benefit us all?  What if we each asked to be shown ways to contribute toward that end? 



“What if we each knew we play a part in the answers to overwhelming tragedy?” 

Monday, July 4, 2016

Celebrating?

The Mystery within...
I just started reading Ta-Nehisi Coates, a black man’s memoir titled “Between the World and Me.”  His words are so vivid in describing the pain black bodies have endured, and are still subjected to, they made the fireworks and celebrating that has gone on all weekend feel hollow. The shadow of our country’s beginning also looms large for me tonight.  Empathy and compassion are painfully humbling gifts from this knowing. The need for restorative justice for native and black Americans overwhelms me.

What if we could all be overwhelmed with the need for restorative justice? 

Monday, June 27, 2016

Checkbook Ledger

The Mystery within...
I know some people who never balance their checkbook.  They just adjust and enter the banks ending balance each month.  I’m not in that camp.  Working to balance my checkbook every month is a spiritual exercise for I get to see how many different ways I can be wrong. It is humbling.

This past week I made a mistake with a friend and then compounded it in trying to “fix it.” I have a big soft eraser to correct my penciled entries in my checkbook ledger.  I wish I also had one to correct the mistakes I make in living.  But I may now be closer to understanding the spirituality of imperfection—how we learn to love one another and ourselves through mistakes made in living. 

What if it is the spirituality of imperfection that makes us more balanced?   

Monday, June 20, 2016

Thinking for Ourselves

The Mystery within...
Wisconsin Public Radio’s Larry Meillor show, “Dealing with Conflicts Between Your Kids,” featured Myrna Shure, author of “Raising a Thinking Child,” and Sue Allen who organizes parenting classes to facilitate getting children involved with their own problem solving.  Although the discussion centered on younger children, the comment was made whether you are two or ninety-two we like to be able to think for ourselves in solving problems that affect us.  Both Shure’s and Allen’s writing and work left me hopeful for humanity since it teaches the very young to reflect on what they bump into in life and think about how they might react.

Most poignant for me was a mother who called in during the show with a tip for making summer vacation happier and more peaceful by giving her young children summer journals to record their feelings each day, both the good and not so good feelings, and found it helped them solve some of their own problems.  I thought it was such an outstanding suggestion I went out and bought six journals.  One for my daughter, son and his family all ranging in age from 9 to 51 years old and gave them as party favors at my oldest granddaughter’s 17th birthday dinner.  I put a note in each journal, which told a little bit about the radio program, and how I hoped they would give this a try and wrote the following suggestions for their 2016 summer journal:

--What feelings felt good in your day;

--What feelings didn’t feel good in your day and what you might do about it.

I also wrote it would highlight the good times, and help them figure out for themselves how they might react to the not so good times that are all part of life and learning.  I mentioned that I wrote for three years each day when a lot of stuff didn’t make me feel good and my writing helped me figure out what I could do about it.

“God Never Hurries” came out of those three years of writing along with making me a more empathetic woman who learned how to make life-giving decisions for myself.

Teilhard de Chardin was right about our humanity evolving from our ability to reflect back on ourselves.


“What if we all learned from reflecting and writing about the good and difficult in our days?”