Happy Monday, August 30, 2021
I’m noticing a lot of what I call ‘testiness’ in people lately. I’ve certainly noticed it in myself; I’ve noticed it several colleagues as well as personal friends; and I’ve heard it from a few of you, too. From the voice of compassion, who’d blame anyone for admitting to feelings of frustration, resentment, confusion and just the feeling of having “only one nerve left” and that the world is stepping on it?!
It seems our world of uncertainty is really weighing heavily upon us. My own personal way of handling this (which I’m not sure is effective or particularly optimistic) is to try to not count on anything out there to happen with certainty. This leads to me to a lot of “I dunno” or “we’ll see” reactions, which aren’t particularly satisfying. One thing I thought was going to happen for sure was our in-person service at a new location on September 19th. Guess what? I got the news yesterday that there’s a chance that the venue won’t be opening up as they had planned. “Sigh!” Stay tuned on that one.
My good friend, Dr. Dennis Merritt Jones, has a book called The Art of Uncertainty: How to Live in the Mystery of Life and Love It. I’m sure when he wrote it in 2011 that he didn’t realize just how ultimately timely it would become.
In his book, he has this quote:
“The Buddha taught that everything is impermanent – flowers, tables, mountains, political regimes, bodies, feelings, perceptions, mental formation, and consciousness. We cannot find anything that is not impermanent… We think that impermanence makes us suffer. It is not impermanence that makes us suffer. What makes us suffer is wanting things to be permanent when they are not.”
— Thich Nhat Hanh
Dr. Dennis says that our discomfort comes either from our desire to have something stay the same (when in actuality, it is in the process of changing), or because we are attached to wanting something to change before it’s ready to.
In essence, things change when we want to keep them the same, or things don’t change fast enough. I think he was prophetic for the times we find ourselves in.
What can support us through this? Things like flexibility, surrender, being willing to go with the flow of what is, forgiveness, and maybe right now most of all, compassion: self-compassion and compassion for our fellow travellers on this planet.
Another friend, Dr. Jim Lockard, writes a blog called New Thought Revolutionary. His latest blog post is on compassion. In it, he has this quote:
“The work right now is to become immense. We have to get our arms around immense things. Violence and hatred and bigotry and racism. And also around love and compassion and devotion and a certain fidelity to protect what is alive. We have to become immense. This is not a time to become small.”
— Francis Weller
I love this idea of us becoming immense! Immense enough to be able to hold, absorb, and be with what is, while also being willing to embrace ourselves and our world with love and faith that “this too shall pass”.
I also trust that our CSL Kelowna upcoming fall activities, soon to be announced, will also support us in moving through these times with grace and harmony.
Blessings of compassion and immensity, Dr. Deborah
If you missed yesterday’s Soul Food Sunday talk given by Rev. Barbara Samuel titled The World is Your Oyster, you can watch it (and other past services) on the CSLK YouTube channel.
Practitioner of the Week is Pauline Weninger, RScP. If you are looking for one-to-one prayer treatment support for ANYTHING, you can contact this practitioner directly via email at email@example.com.
“I spent a lot of years trying to outrun or outsmart vulnerability by making things certain and definite, black and white, good and bad. My inability to lean into the discomfort of vulnerability limited the fullness of those important experiences that are wrought with uncertainty: Love, belonging, trust, joy, and creativity to name a few.”
— Brene Brown
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