Entrusted, Enabled


“God sent each person into the world with a special message to deliver, a special song to sing, and a special act of love to bestow. No one else can speak my message or sing my song, or offer my love…..these are entrusted to me” – Author unknown

Cedar Waxwings taken June 2019 Photo by Carol Hopkins

What song is resonating with you today? Is it a hopeful tune? Is it a mournful ballad? I have been vacillating between hope and despair. I am doing my best to trust in a higher power that we will be okay. It’s hard though, very challenging. I wonder sometimes if this is some kind of supreme test. I am sure that past people in history who lived through the Black Plague or the Spanish Flu and the like must also have felt hopeless at times. Yet the human race survived and we will survive this as well. We are such fragile life forms – all of life is fragile. Yet, it is also resilient and courageous. I am praying for all the world’s peoples today and giving thanks for the silver linings such as the severely reduced amount of chemicals being released into the air, allowing the earth to breathe more deeply, to heal.

May we all be healed of toxic anxiety and fear that serves no one well. Be safe my friends, and stay as healthy as humanly possible.

NUMB


Numb

Not a great place to be

Numb

Wrapped in bubble wrap

Attempting to avoid the pain

Numb

An anesthetic that flows through one’s veins

Yet, this protection comes at a price

Deaden the emotions, try not to feel

Pain is avoided but so too are joy,

bliss, happiness, awe, wonder

All blanketed in the soft swirling fog

Pain is held at bay, at arm’s length

Thinking that one’s strength is dependent

 on the anesthetic of numbness

But it steals one’s ability to love fully,

 laugh joyously,

live courageously

Numb

Despair will not win out


 

It is difficult not to despair when the news seems to be so chock-full of injustices perpetrated on people from all around the world. I am clinging to my belief in the goodness of humanity, but just barely. When I read stories of cruelty, abuse, torture and the like my heart falls to my feet. But isn’t that what despots and egomaniacs are hoping for? To make us bend to their control? To make us lose hope? A broken people are much easier to control. Everything is me shouts a resounding ‘NO!’ I will NOT lose hope!

I do believe in a just and loving Creator. I believe we are all imbued with that same loving spirit, regardless of nationality, the color of our skin, or the religion we espouse. Unfortunately, the gift of free will allows many to subjugate this spirit. Yet, I see daily the evidence of goodness, compassion, and kindness. At the library where I work at the front desk, situated across from a bay of public computers, I watch patrons interact with one another. Often perfect strangers aid one another with computer issues, or show a new patron what to do to release a print job. It is heartening. Yes, there are cruel people, but there are also gentle and kind souls. People who are willing to help their fellow citizens – whether here at home or those who travel afar to offer service to those in other lands.

When I am feeling a bit down and disappointed with how cruel the world has become I hear an answer deep in my soul. It comes from the Christmas Carol, “I heard the Bells on Christmas Day”. It was written by Henry W. Longfellow in 1864 and these particular verses resonate with me:

“And in despair I bowed my head

There is no peace on earth I said

For hate is strong and mocks the song

Of peace on earth, good will to men

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:

God is not dead nor does He sleep

For Christ is here, his spirit near

Brings peace on earth good will to men…”

 

Throughout history there has been cruelty, but there has also been great love. I write this to remind myself of that fact. I will just leave this quote here:

 

‘When I despair, I remember that all through history the ways of truth and love have always won. There have been tyrants, and murderers, and for a time they can seem invincible, but in the end they always fall. Think of it – always.’ M.K. Gandhi

 

 

To Build a Better World


“You cannot hope to build a better world without improving individuals. To that end, each of us must work for our own improvement, and at the same time, share a general responsibility for all humanity, our particular duty being to aid those to whom we think we can be most useful.” – Marie Curie

When I was a child my mother taught me that we are all brothers and sisters – regardless of where we are born, the color of our skin, our religion or creed – we are all human and responsible for one another. Our words and actions affect others, whether those words are spoken at home, in the work place, or anywhere in public. Whether our actions are at home, or somewhere else. They make an impact. Are we acting or speaking in light of the dictates of our faith or beliefs? Where is our God in all of this?

I see images every day of the torment and pain people all over the world are facing daily. Whether here at home in small indigenous communities or on the streets of Syria on the other side of the world. People are suffering. Where are our leaders? Where are the champions of the poor and destitute; the tortured and wrongfully imprisoned? When did we become blind to the injustices, deaf to the pleas for help?

The daily reminders can make us hard of heart, or put up walls in self-defence. Unable to make a difference in a world that has too many problems it is easy to cave in to feelings of defeat and hopelessness.

Perhaps we cannot change the world. But we can make a difference in the ways we speak to others, in the way we treat others in our day-to-day lives. We can pray. We can donate to the charities of our choice. There are things we can do, choices we can make. Choices that may make a difference. To do nothing is to deny we are all human and all in need – in one way or another.

“Until the great mass of the people shall be filled with the sense of responsibility for each other’s welfare, social justice can never be attained.” – Helen Keller

“In the last analysis, the individual is responsible for living his own life and for “finding himself.” If he persists in shifting his responsibility to someone else, he fails to find out the meaning of his own existence.” – Thomas Merton

“A hero is someone who understands the responsibility that comes with his freedom.” – Bob Dylan

The Seed


IMG_6426 RESIZED

The Seed … 

Shadows dark and winding

Making inroads deep inside

‘Come, let the light shine

To chase the dark away, the woman said,

Worry not, she crooned softly

Let lightness soothe you’

And yet it is the shadowland

Where truth lays buried

Like a seed within the earth.

What knowledge does the black night hold

Or secret of despair?

I will worry not

When once I hold

The answers to my query

The seed buried deep within

Mother Nature’s womb

Will split in two and allow new growth

And like that strong green thing

That pushes forth toward the surface

To unfurl its leaves like praying hands

Open to the sun

I will hunker down within the shadows

And wait until I’m done.

“Psychic Vampires”


“Being kind, gentle, empathetic and helpful should not be at the cost of your own growth. Most certainly help others, lend a shoulder to the wheel when necessary but don’t ignore yourself in the bargain. Strike a balance, help others and help yourself too.” – Latkia Teotia

‘Psychic vampire’ – I first heard that term on a late-night radio program. It describes people who suck the life right out of you. I have known such individuals. People who are so joyless that they sap your energy and leave you feeling empty and exhausted. It can be so tiring trying to help people who are so entrenched in drama that it has become like an addiction for them. I feel for them, I do. At the same time life is short and I cannot afford to be swamped by the never-ending despair that certain individuals seem to be embroiled in. It makes me sad for them. Yet I know there is absolutely nothing I can do. It is as though they have a problem for every solution. And though the problems are not of their making they nevertheless seem to thoroughly enjoy the victim role. What can you do? Nothing at all, but pray for them, wish them well and move on with your own life. And that’s not to be unkind, but to realize that there are circumstances and situations beyond our control. I matter; you matter, and so, too, do the “psychic vampires”, I just cannot afford to allow them to siphon all the love, joy, and peace out of life. But I wish them well. I wish them the blessings of peace.

 

“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation, and that is an act of political warfare.” – Andre Lorde

“Self-care is never a selfish act – it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give the care it requires, we do it not only for ourselves, but for the many others whose lives we touch.”  – Parker J. Palmer, Let your life speak: Listening for the voice of vocation

Frozen and adrift


DARKNESS

Numb

Frozen

Adrift

Nothing much matters

Zombie-like I stumble through days

Filled with Heartache

Awaiting the warmth of the sun

And for humanity to care once again

I know it’s there

Beneath the layers of scar tissue

That heart full of love

Coping, waiting

Dark days

Darker nights

Yet hope softly whispers,

“Hang on, child,

Brighter days are coming”

A hand reaches out

Enfolds mine

Anchors me

Brings a moment of solace

And I breathe deeply

Of peace

I take it in

Every cell bathed

In the light

Of love