Archive for August, 2010

Shine

Saturday, August 7th, 2010

Step out into the cool night air. Look at the stars. See how they shine. Know that it is okay for you to shine, too.

Who told you you had to hold back? Who told you your gifts, your talents, your beauty — your natural, beautiful, loving, delightful self — was wrong? Who told you not to be all you could be? Maybe, as some suggest, we’ve gotten too comfortable focusing on our flaws, our errors, our dark side. Perhaps it’s not our dark side we fear. Perhaps we’re really afraid of our gifts, our brilliance, our light.

Now is a time of light. It’s a time for us to shine. We’ve worked hard on ourselves, dealt with our issues, gone back to the past. We’ve learned our lessons well. The reasons to hold back and hide away are no longer there. Enjoy the fruits of your labors.

Be all you can be, and enjoy being that. Don’t hold back. Use your gifts with joy. Use your talents. Let your light shine for all the world to see.

— Melody Beattie, Journey to the Heart, p. 227

The Process of Forgiveness

Thursday, August 5th, 2010

Consider this: Many people have trouble with forgiveness because they have been taught that it is a singular act to be completed in one sitting. That is not so. Forgiveness has many layers, many seasons. In our culture there is a notion that forgiveness is a 100 percent proposition. All or nothing. It is also taught that forgiveness means to overlook, to act as though a thing has not occurred. This is not true either.

A woman who can work up a good 95 percent forgiveness of someone or something tragic and damaging almost qualifies for beatification, if not sainthood. If she is 75 percent forgiving and 25 percent “I don’t know if I ever can forgive fully, and I don’t even know if I want to,” that is more the norm. But 60 percent forgiveness accompanied by 40 percent “I don’t know, and I’m not sure, and I’m still working on it,” is definitely fine. A level of 50 percent or less forgiveness qualifies for work-in-progress status. Less than 10 percent? You’ve either just begun or you’re not really trying yet.

But, in any case, once you’ve reached a bit more than halfway, the rest will come in time, usually in small increments. The important part of forgiveness is to begin and to continue. The finishing of it all is a life work. You have the rest of your life to work at the lesser percentage. Truly, if we could understand all, all could be forgiven. But for most people it takes a long time in the alchemical bath to come to this. It is all right. We have the healer, so we have the patience to see it through.

— Clarissa Pinkola Estes, PhD, Women Who Run With the Wolves, p. 399-400

God Is With Us.

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010

In order to work with God, we must assume that God is willing to work with us. To do that, we must assume that God can start right where we are and not at some imaginary place we have to get to in order to meet him. God is not waiting to rendezvous with us once we have earned the right to his attention. God is waiting for us right now, just where we are.

Very often when we think about what we would like to have happen in our lives, we cast ourselves very far forward and out of the day we are in. No wonder everything seems so impossible and so difficult. We cast ourselves far into the future where we stand alone and buffeted, wondering where God is.

God works in the day that we actually have going on. God’s miracles are miniature daily miracles. They are miracles of evolution and miracles of progress. They are the small miracles that add up to large miracles. They are tiny right steps that lead us in the right direction. If we want to find God, we need first to find ourselves. That is where God is. Right with us.

— Julia Cameron, Faith and Will, p. 19

Uncurling our Grip

Monday, August 2nd, 2010

Looking back, I’m aware of several experiences that sifted together to bring me quietly to the place of letting go. They had the effect of slowly and gently uncurling my grip, finger by finger.

— Sue Monk Kidd, When the Heart Waits, p. 110