I'm not a big fan of quick saying. You know the type of statements I'm talking about, right? The ones that don't really invite conversation, but exist more so the speaker has something to say.
Things like: "Time heals all wounds."
Instead of saying this - which seems to indicate that time is a bandaid - I prefer the idea of honoring time. We honor time by seeking to live fully each day - even if it means deeply feeling all that we are facing.
We also honor time by sitting with people who are going through hard things. Being present to them.
How do you honor time in a way that is healing for you?
I am working on a grief training currently with David Kessler, who is someone in the world of grief work I deeply admire. While I appreciated his previous writings, hearing him say some simple statements out loud has made me be in an attitude of deep reflection.
Case in point - this week during our workshop he said, "Truth without compassion is brutality."
Let that sink in for a moment. Speaking the truth, even if it is true, in a way that is not grounded in compassion is an act of brutality against that person.
Both of the areas we anchor ourselves in here at Abide - spiritual direction (individual and groups) and end-of-life doula work - can be hard. Therefore, they are grounded in compasison. We seek to accompany people in love as they discover deep truths.
Let us not be people who communicate truth in a way that harms instead of leads to life.
This week was one marked by love.
Sometimes that love looked ways that we would expect. I officiated a wedding for a wonderful couple who had been together for quite some time. Love was in the air.
Other times that love looked different than what we would notice. Sitting by the bedside of someone who was dying. Having difficult conversations. Hauling boxes.
I don't know about you, but when love peeks through in difficult places it catches my attention in new ways and makes me rethink the beauty and power and place of love.
Where do you notice love the most in your life and how do you respond?
I have a lot of personal rules and beliefs that guide my life. One that I highly value is to be able to say something that is both true and affirming about my colleagues - of which there are a lot.
We live in a world that says that the way to get ahead is to tear other people down - but that isn't how I want to live my life. I equally do not want to be a person who sets people up for failure by creating false perceptions of them, even if my intention is to champion them.
Hence the desire to say something that is both affirming and true.
It wasn't until I was sitting at a dinner of a colleague who accomplished something amazing this week that I realized the heart that undergirds my desire is to empower. To empower people to be who they are made to be. And to celebrate that in them.
Who has empowered you and how do you seek to empower others?
This week, I was at a large meeting. As wonderful as it was to see folks, it was also overwhelming and I needed to spend quite a bit of time in reflection.
One of the things that bubbled up for me during those times of solitude was around the word "care" and how I can see people struggling with what that word means in their lives.
Some people pride themselves on not needing anyone else to care for them. They think care is only extended to the youngest and oldest amongst us. Others want to extend care to all, but only in their own way and timing - as if they can dictate what care looks like for other people. Still others do not know how to put into words what care they need, yet know that they feel the absence of care in a profound way.
The truth is, we all need to be cared for. To be held by other people. For none of us journey alone. The image of the lone ranger isn't accurate. We become lonely and we need support when the journey becomes hard.
Who cares for you? What is your reaction to the care you receive? And how are you being invited to join in caring for others?
Michelle is a Spiritual Director and End of Life Doula. She is the founder of Abide in the Spirit.
Proudly powered by Weebly