Sunday, March 29, 2020

Looking in the Mirror... Holy Week

   Art by HeatherThompson Blue.     
   Phoenix Art 2020 (Digital Prints)

This Holy Week...vulnerability, love and strength are on my mind. 

I'm reminded of St Claire of Assisi's discussion of Jesus as a mirror on the Cross. 

She asks, can we look at Jesus suffering in horrific ways without giving into the temptation to look away?

Then she invites us to take the position of the mirror on the cross and look outward at the world.  Every person has a perception, but they are looking at a mirror of themselves, not truly SEEING the God-man crucified.  Standing in that place, can I allow others to be as they are with their own perceptions in the midst of my own extraordinary vulnerability.  This is the work of LOVE.

Some may say that vulnerability is weakness.  I used to feel that way too; then I learned in seminary that vulnerability is rooted in strength, and it is essential for authentic courage. 

Brene Brown discusses the power of vulnerability in this great interview on 60 Minutes.  Enjoy!

Thursday, March 19, 2020

Finally Healthier, but COVID-19 Self Quarantined

As I go to bed tonight, I'm healthier than I've been in a long time (amen!), yet surrounded by "widespread outbreak" of a potentially deadly virus given my illnesses.  

I'm so surprised by the unexpected sources of love and support (including the most healing conversation with my exhusband), yet I'm deeply hurting by dismissive statements and an almost deafening silence within some of my communities... The saddest part is that I want to be silent about it because I don't want to cause problems.  A typical mindset for the disempowered. 

Social connection helps heal social isolation they say, but I have discovered another way. Being of service, no matter how small, that's the path to emotional and spiritual well being.  Otherwise, I dwell on today's hurts, not today's miracles. That's not what this life - my life - is about.  Service is where I renew my authentic power rooted in love giving and gratitude.

This is Week 3 in self quarantine due to chronic illness... I'm a single mom home schooling my kiddo - an accelerated curriculum no less - I was devastated that the school marked her absent when she had to stay home and we had communicated so well! All those 9 hour days of hard work adhering to the same schedule as the kids at school, doing homework, building systems to help other kids catch up...

This is where I have a choice... where do I choose to focus my attention? 

I don't know the answer for tomorrow and the next day, but today the focus is today.  

And I have a feeling I will be saying oh well also. Perhaps some swearing too.  And lots of laughing.  I know this because we've been doing it. 

I have control over my attitude.  So, I made the choice a couple weeks ago to think of this as a hermitage. We're focused on wellness, rehabilitation, God and learning.  

Getting angry is okay; staying angry won't help. But being authentic and daring to speak feels like the way to move forward - stuffing my inner fire at a time like this feels downright dangerous.  Perhaps that's where the mystics got their courage in the face of tremendous adversity?

Its been 3 WEEKS. 
I'm used to being home bound.  I am privileged to have a home that I am happy in... always. 

That said,  I haven't had to keep this pace in many years.  I'm used to significant alone time.  Now it's my daughter and I confined together. 

We must stay home. Even her dad is sacrificing in ways I never thought possible to preserve my life.  

To the others out there, please stay home if you can!!! Stop messing around.  We must stop this virus so that C and I can come out by August like they are saying without risk of my kid losing her mom. No drama, real talk. 

Tomorrow we officially start school again, at home, alas, not gonna let it break my stride.