Well-come!

Well-come

At the reflective writing workshop I attended this past spring, Joyce Rupp and Mary Kay Shanley used the metaphor of water to invite us into reflective exercises designed to help us access our inner wisdom - insights that are not readily available to our conscious mind in the course of our daily busy-ness.  For Christians water is a sacramental image that evokes divine presence at creation, at the parting of the Red Sea, and at Baptism; water speaks to us of cleansing, rebirth, liberation and daily sustenance.  

The first day, we used the image of a well - of digging deeply and pulling up nourishment for life.  A participant who grew up on a farm with a well as their water source pointed out that sand and sendiment can seep into the well creating the need for it to be cleaned out and filtered. We also spoke of the water table deep within the earth - that if we dig deeply enough, we access that water table whcih is the source of all wells - a wonderful image for God. Here is one piece that came from this reflective writing exercise:

My true self has been dehydrated and buried under the sediment of expectations, needs, fears and admonishments of others. Be yourself, but not that much. Turn it down. I am tired of the energy exerted to squash the feelings, wisdom, inspiration, innovation, intelligence and fun of my true self. I dive deep into the well of my soul where Divine energy washes over me and sweeps away the detritus of death that would bury me alive; the never-ending search for acceptance and approval from my mom to motherchurch. I touch the depth of my best and highest good from the very essence of God who swirled me into being. I am here and I am not going away! The Divine says, "yes!" to a world full of "no's". Yes to the me-ness of me. I soak in the courage to accept God's acceptance of me. Floating in the fullness of presence, I drink from God's water table where I am always welcome.

Welcome

Well-come

Well? Come!

Well-come – all is well, come!

The well is full – come!

Come well – come whole!

Come as yourself!

Well-come

Welcome

 

Photo Copyright: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_hikersmurf'>hikersmurf / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Write comment (0 Comments)

A Conversation with Myself

I attended a Spiritual Writing Workshop last April with Joyce Rupp and Mary Kay Shanley. Our last assignment was to have a written conversation with our inner self as a tool for accessing our own wisdom. Having suffered from chronic migraines for a year, I chose this issue as my topic for this exercise:

Dear Migraines:

I am so tired of you! I'm trying to do the right things so you can feel good, but you never do! I've said I'm sorry, I've thanked you, and I've sent love to you. I walk outside, breathe fresh air, have cleaned up my diet from dairy and sugar, I exercise, I sleep a lot, I give you ice, meds, and meditations – What do you want and need from me? What's so hard about having a pain-free day?

It's the pursuit of control over all of this that you must let go.

But it seems that routine, schedule, daily habits are supposed to be good and helpful.

It's the control over outcomes you wish to exert over your body that's the problem, not the habits themselves.

So I'm supposed to care of myself without the expectation or goal that I will feel good and healthy? That doesn't even make sense. That's why I do them.

Yes, but it's the tit-for-tat, the immediate response, the iron-grip on your daily life and habits that doesn't' work. It's an organic process; you get mad at yourself if you don't get the results you want from whatever you do – all that does is put more stress on your system rather than release stress.

I don't like accepting limitations; I was raised to produce to outcomes by controlling my actions.

Yes, but life is really the opposite. Accept how you feel, accept what you can do today rather than what you think you should do. Start with acceptance and love of what is, without an agenda or a "have to".
Why is this so hard for me?

Because it's the opposite of what our culture promotes and it's not the path of perfectionism. All these exercise programs say, "don't quit, don't give up on yourself, push harder" but every time you blow past your own body's wisdom, limits, and what's possible for today, you "give up on yourself" – your true self.

So you're saying I need to listen inward rather than outward?

Yes! It's easier to be healthy and pain free when you don't have an adversarial role or a conquering attitude toward your body.

 

Photo Copyright: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_pandawild'>pandawild / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Write comment (0 Comments)

Be Still

I was surprised how easy it was to hold still this time.  The Darth Vader-like mask was locked over my head, the IV was in and I was squished into the sliding platform with cushy headphones on my ears.  Since my head-MRI a year ago, I've spent more time in prayer and meditation.  I remember working at holding still, wondering how long it would take.  I stealed myself against the loud banging and clanking of the magnetic imaging, trying hard breathe calmly and stay still.  

What a difference a year makes. This time, it was more like a new opportunity to meditate.  Being still was easy, even relaxing. I listened to classical music instead of NPR and let go of trying to listen to the daily news between the foghorn blasts of the MRI.  I turned my attention inward for a conversation with God. Sometimes the machine was so loud it drowned out the music playing in my ears.

"It's awful noisy out there," I offered to the sacred presence within.

"Yes it is," replied God, "the world is a noisy place."  

"It's very noisy," I agreed.  I thought of the highway traffic that can be heard from our back deck at rush hour.  The music seeped into my ears through the hammering.

"But if you listen closely and pay attention," continued the sacred voice, "you can always hear the symphony of creation playing underneath; it's always there."  I remembered listening to the birds sing over that din of traffic.

Just like the voice of God in the stillness of a noisy MRI.  

The words of Psalm 46 are true: Be still and know that I am God.

"We're getting such great pictures!" the technician announced excitedly into the headphones.  

"Take your time," I thought, "I''m listening to the symphony of creation."

 

Photo Copyright: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_iguanasbear'>iguanasbear / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Write comment (0 Comments)

It's All About That Love

My life, my prayers, my purpose - it all starts with love – not me loving God or me loving others, but “beholding God, beholding me and smiling,” as the Preparation Days encourage us in the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius of Loyola.  I prayed this one exercise everyday at the beginning of the 9-month program.  It was on Day 57 that my prayer experience moved from my head to my heart!  I moved from picturing God smiling on me to feeling God love me.

Yesterday during my prayers, I simply asked what God wanted to say to me and here’s what I received:

The more I accept how much God loves me, the more able I am to carry out what God wants to do through me. I am freer to listen to the inner voice. Since God loves me so much and fulfilling God’s call is my primary aim – my calling flows out of God’s love for me. 

If I am trapped in self-hate and self-criticism, I cannot do what God wants me to do because I don’t feel worthy or deserving of such attention, such joy.  Thinking I can do God’s will then feels ego-driven, and the negative voices say, “Who do you think you are?  You’re not that great to be fulfilling God’s will.”  

It turns out that my worthiness has nothing to do with what God can do through me because it’s rooted in who God is and not who I am.  It turns out that no one is worthy to be an instrument of God – it’s pure gift, rooted in God’s self-giving love. It’s a fact, a reality, apart from my worthiness or my acceptance of it.

Since God’s love comes to me a priori, the primary purpose of prayer and meditation is to experience how much God loves me.   From this vantage point, new vistas open up that are not limited by my narrow view of what I think I am supposed to accomplish in life. Such love leads me to new questions for my day:

  • What in love does God want to do through me?
  • Since God made me and loves me, what work, relationships and tasks flow from this?
  • How does God want to show up in the world through me? 

Each day is full of new possibilities!

 

Photo Copyright: <a href='http://www.123rf.com/profile_bokica'>bokica / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

Write comment (0 Comments)

Publications

Follow My Blog!

Enter your email address:

Welcome to my website!

linda anderson little
Linda Anderson-Little

Quotation of the Week

The church does not have a mission in the world, God's mission has a church in the world.

 

Login