In my last newsletter (Summer 2018), I shared news of my then-upcoming Annual Women’s Retreat. Since I’ve not written since then, I want to express my gratitude to and about the amazing group of women who ended up making that end-of-Summer retreat such a rich experience.
The depth of love, caring and community that was established
in one short weekend gives me hope for our world. If only we could all come together in this way all the time, truly recognizing our similarities, our shared humanity, while treasuring and supporting each others’ unique talents and gifts. If only we could always hold each other in such a gentle place of non-judgment.
Although it’s months later as I write, now, I often think back to that weekend. I find its memory to be a wonderful antidote when the heaviness and overwhelm of outer world circumstances challenge my peace of mind, and tempt me to give in the the sense of malaise that is so prevalent these days.
I use moments from that weekend, and other moments of Love and connection, as touchstones. I recall the exquisite vulnerability, the achingly beautiful depth of honesty….I remember what it feels like to be fully present, to be fully alive. I breathe into that softer place inside my heart, where I know that the only thing that really matters is love.
If we are to solve the many challenges that face us as individuals and as a species, it will only be by each of us having the courage to make choices based in love, not fear. Oh, how simple and lovely that sounds, and oh, how hard it can be to put that into practice when fear overpowers or buttons get pushed – when I want to defend and protect and be “right”…or curl up make it all go away..when I want it to be someone else’s “fault,” whether it be my own beloved husband or a not-so-beloved political figure.
And so, I remind myself, again…and again…and again…that one of my heart’s deepest prayers is this:
Let me be an instrument of Peace.
For I have experienced, time and time again, that as I transcend my fears, judgments…all that stuff that keeps me limited and trapped… and find ways to give, from a place of love, I receive exponential benefit in return. Certainly as a parent I’ve experienced this. But in many other ways as well – as a neighbor, a friend, a global citizen. When I feel judgment, if I can dig deep enough to feel compassion. When I feel overwhelmed, if I can take even the tiniest action toward moving energy in the desired direction…
And so, especially given our current socio-political climate, I offer you the same challenge I present to myself: to do your best to understand rather than judge and condemn others whose views may differ from your own. To ask yourself, how can I love even this person?
To borrow the central quote of a play I wrote,“Unter Investigation” (currently in production in Sydney, Australia):
“There is no one you cannot love,
once you’ve heard their story.”