These past few weeks have been hard. There was the Thanksgiving holiday with a lot of traveling and some issues came up for me which had to be faced – yuck. Although they appeared to come from someone else, I had to find where I was harboring anger and deal with it and get help in doing so. I had to take time to step back so as not to attack the “other” individual until I could see what was mine and what was triggered, so that our dialogue can be one of reconciliation and a dialogue of forgiveness. It would have been much easier to just blame and be done with it! I can’t afford that consequence though – becoming bitter and justifying anger is dangerous, for anger is a poison. It took some time, but now in this clearing and this new day, I feel a deep sense of clarity and understanding that helps me feel compassion for myself. And, of course, for this “other” – the friend with whom I had such a hard time.
It’s not easy and takes time and determination. My time in silence and meditation had to increase as well, to not only address this conflict, but to try and offset the outer distractions and the bombardment of news that is demoralizing and frightening. We need to quiet the mind in order to find a way to see with the eyes of compassion and although there may be a lot of reasons to set aside this practice, it is too great a loss.
Don’t get busier. Get quieter.
Maybe I sleep a little less, and get up a little earlier, but in this stillness, I sigh, let go, and then, mindfully ask, “What am I called to do? How shall I spend this day?” No matter what your tasks, duties, or responsibilities, these questions ask us to consider our purpose so that we bring this purpose to each of our tasks – to our actions.
Are we not peacemakers? Let our actions come from Joy. Let our actions come from peace with the intention to change our own minds first and then, to bring this change to the world.
We need desperately to find our way back to peace, to community, to kindness, and to compassion. Now more than ever. We can do this. We were born now in order to bring the Hope of Peace and no matter how bleak the outlook, we have an unlimited capacity to love. “Greater things than this shall ye do.”
Do not justify the morally unethical for expediency or for attainment; you’ll be selling your soul and selling yourself short. Sit with your anger and find a space to see it and then, chose how to use that energy not as an attack but as an instrument of peace.
My friends, may this Season when we commemorate the Birth of Love, be a rebirth of the values we share; of love, community, kindness, forgiveness, compassion and mercy, for all beings, without exception. Beginning with our own circle of friends and family and community and especially with those who challenge us. Through this reconciliation with those close to us, may we bring reconciliation to this country and this planet.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.
Prayer of St. Francis