Sunday, December 30, 2012

The Journey - A Poem

I found this poem tonight on my friend Jilda's blog Transformation Information. After an emotional weekend, I know I was meant to read it tonight. Thank you Jilda and thank you to the original author Mary Oliver.

The Journey

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice --
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
"Mend my life!"
each voice cried.
But you didn't stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do --
determined to save
the only life you could save. 
~ Mary Oliver ~
(Dream Work)

Friday, December 21, 2012

My God Is Loving Not Vengeful

This picture has been making the rounds on Facebook and other social media sites. It's been tagged to my wall a few times by well meaning friends.

I'm not a church-going Christian and I tend to interchange Universe with God. I've both been on my knees praying to God as well as standing obstinate yelling at Him.

But this picture bothers me. It bothers me deeply.

My understanding of the Christian belief is God is everywhere and "where one or more gather I am there". I am confident in those terrible minutes of incomprehensible violence, many prayers were being spoken and God's name was being called.

I don't believe in a God that would "allow" such atrocities simply because prayers aren't formally spoken in a classroom. If that was the case, why did He "allow" the Amish school shooting from a few years ago?

Violence is in our society and it has affected our schools and our kids. Saying violence is in the schools simply because we don't allow prayer and it is God's punishment on us is just one step away from becoming a  member of the Westboro Church group. And I'm just not comfortable assuming I know  why God would punish someone or how he chooses who to punish. I don't even believe God is a punishing God.

School shootings, as are any mass act of violence, are the acts of a mad man. A sick, flawed, human mad man.

And every time it happens, I believe God weeps.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Strong Women, Creating Art & Finding A Rich New Life

"Today, and everyday, I walk in the wake of millionaires who have gone before me creating a clear path for me to follow."
--- Wanda Marie
21 Day Wealthy Consciousness Affirmation

As I read today's affirmation, I didn't immediately think of millionaires in the sense of financially wealthy women.  Rather, I thought of women who have been been cast aside only to later rise up and become women of power and strength.

Women who were left, left to raise children alone, pushed aside or in any number of other ways told they weren't good enough anymore. Women who held their head high, who refused to accept their second place status and forged a new life for themselves.

I've always been very selective in my friendships - at times being accused of being a snob. I own it. I don't want to be around people who bring me down. I don't want to be around people who get their own self worth from hurting others.

I choose my female friends based on their moral character. They may not necessarily make the same decisions as me, but they operate on a higher level of consciousness. They value the bond between women, between mothers and between families.

Tonight I had the pleasure of spending time with two such women. Neither are financially wealthy, but they've both been where I am now and they have cleared a path for me to follow to build my own fruitful life. They are both examples to me that building a new life for myself is possible and I am capable.

Tonight was about celebrating our bond as women. Acknowledging the stages of our life, both the light and the dark times. There was no gossip or negativity, just love and creativity.

Although the pictures were similar, we each created with our own vision of ourselves and our life; where we were, where we are and where we want to be.  It was a very rich night of my life indeed.