Monday, December 29, 2014

One Word

The Mystery within...
This week choosing one word that would represent growth for me in 2015 was an e-mail exercise sent to me by my publisher, David Gawlik of Caritas Communications. It evoked in me indecision, challenge, thought, and discernment.  David later told me his chosen word was Listening.  His word took me back to 1975 remembering the late Father Carl Alberte.  He sat in rapt attention when I took him the portion of money I received from my husband’s funeral specifically designated for masses.  I told him I’m keeping the rest of the money because I’m going to need it, and I don’t believe in paying for prayers anyway.  I also shared with him why I felt closer to my husband than ever before.  I was the only one who spoke until I said, “I have to leave now.  I’ve got a lot to do.”  He replied softly, “I’m sure you do.”  I felt totally heard and it was heavenly.  Many years later, remembering the power of being truly listened to, I crafted a memento from a thin slice of translucent blue/green agate that resembled an ear at one of Cathy Gawlik’s (David’s wife) Women Gathering retreats to remind me to be a better listener.  It now hangs in the window above my kitchen sink.  It’s been there so long I don’t even notice it any more.  I know I could be a better listener, but listening didn’t feel like it should be my one word for 2015.

I wrestled with other words--freedom, justice, and equality.  They all seem to be wrapped up in the word courage, which I probably will never have enough.  But still courage didn’t feel like the one right word for me.  But it did lead me to the word fear and then I knew I was now getting close to my word.  I thought about the toughest, most fearful time in my life thus far, when I was confronted with my aging parents’ care needs and defied all expectations for my “proper” role.  It was that extreme sense of fear that heightened my presence to my surroundings, everyone in it, and my self worth.  In that awareness, answers to my troubles came from everyday experiences and eventually became my story in “God Never Hurries.” 

So now in 2015 I am wondering do I have to know extreme fear in order to be truly present to my surroundings, others and myself?  I think not.  I could look for the lessons and blessings in what I am experiencing and feeling each day.  I could return to the earth more, where God once touched me, and gave me the courage I sorely needed.  And I could go back to working at sitting quietly everyday and just be with the Word that resides in me.  I am relieved to know my word for 2015 is Presence.

What if we could all find one word in 2015 to help make the world and us a better place to be? 

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