Strength in Weakness

Cultivating Heart

“The meaning of awe is to realize that life takes place under wide horizons, horizons that range beyond the span of an individual life or even the life of a nation, a generation, or an era. Awe enables usto perceive in the world intimations of the divine, to sense in small things the beginning of infinite significance, to sense the ultimate in the common and the simple; to feel in the rush of the passing the stillness of the eternal.”        {Abraham Joshua Heschel}

At the end of our darkest moments we crawl with the last energy that straggles from our fibres, holding on to the hope of a new day that will be brighter and more peaceful than the last. We grapple for something small to hold onto, something that stays with us in that quiet space where we battle with our demons. Sometimes all we can remember is that there will be a day that won’t be painful anymore and every day is worth fighting for because some day we will reach that perfect day.

In recent physical health struggles where I’m bound to my bed, I’m reminded that this is for a reason. I’m reminded that all of our experiences we live through are so that we can understand. So that I can have compassion for others. So that I can wait in patience for the discomfort to subside. This time knowing that I’m not alone. In these bouts of physical weakness I know that I will be made strong. As the pain gradually fades, my spirit is brought back to its’ still, tranquil solitude where even more so than before I am grateful for every spin the earth makes on its’ axis and for every step I can take. At the end of this suffering I can feel more gratitude for my body that is able, for this human body I have that shimmers in the sunlight; I’m more grateful for the peace of mind, for the sights and the sounds, for the ability to express myself freely through words, and for the ways that I can try harder to love my family.

These times of difficulty when we feel weakened in heart, when we feel broken, when we wonder how we can go on, they change our souls. They turn us inside out, twist us around, and spit us out so that we can be more beautiful than we ever were before.

{ETHER 12:27 “then will I make weak things become strong.”} The Book of Mormon

Lone Raindrops

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Last Monday I moved house again. I have lost count of how many times I’ve moved; of how many times I’ve flicked through old pages holding encounters, woes, stories only I know. It has been 13 days since I wrote in my journal. The turquoise book seemed buried too deep and it felt as though I had too much to write yet I was emptied of writing. Somehow I could not bare the task of writing my thoughts, emotions and events, it all appeared far too heavy and I needed rest from constructing sentences out of pain that produced joy.

Sometimes we need to empty ourselves. We need to let ourselves breathe; let ourselves be still; and let ourselves ponder.

Circumstances arise when we need them and God knows what we need and when we need it most. Our challenges are to bring us closer to accomplishing great things. They provide us with moments to acknowledge our blessings and they are opportunities to be stronger, braver, and more resilient time and time again. Through each challenge we are prepared for the next, we gain more compassion or patience or self-belief. We build upon our foundations with each difficult experience, layering comprehension of this earth life.

‘Imagine for a moment that you are a drop of water. As it happens, you are a very unique little drop – beautifully shaped, with only a cute little distortion in the way you reflect the light. People praise your beauty, and in time you come to believe that you are special.

But as time goes on, you become lonely. You long for the companionship of an other – another drop of water who will love you as you love it and help you feel less alone. You find that other, or you don’t; you fall in love, or you don’t.

And then one day it starts to rain. Seven billion drops of rain fall in a single afternoon and you are no longer alone. Briefly, you touch mitochondria with a single raindrop and before you know it, two have become one. You are still alone, but you are larger than before. With each drop of water you merge with, your entire being expands, until all seven billion drops become one ocean.

And you are still alone. And all is well.’

{Michael Neill, The Space Within -Finding Your Way Back Home}

God’s Spirit

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At times it can be difficult to see all of the blessings in our lives. It can feel as though we are only facing challenge after challenge. Just remember, brighter days will find you.

Today is my one year baptism anniversary into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. So here is a poem I wrote on the 16/04/16.  Click here to find out more.

A Spirit I am, a Spirit I was, a Spirit I’ll be
Wandering fruitfully across earthern plaines
In two legged bodies of speckled flesh
Journey through darkness, pushed on through sadness
Tumbled into tornadoes of utter despair
Growing and building, developing and learning
Making choices, breaking promises, falling from grace
Into abyss of nothingness before rising again
Bolder, brighter, bountifully exalted
Worthy of singing ‘come, follow me’
Chasing the light like trails of fireflies
Diving and leaping through lake, river and sea
Head first into peaceful purification
Where woes of mind’s past sink between crabs
I dissolve into weightlessness taking flight in the clouds
Past angels breathing stardust into my palms
All truth is revealed in God’s gracious smile
With soft words dancing upon cooing doves
A Spirit you are, a Spirit you were, a Spirit you’ll be

Getting Over Life’s Doubts

In the past week I had been experiencing intense doubts about myself, my life, my abilities, my purpose, my choices, my religion and my goals. A momentary combustion occurred and I had what I deem a quarter life crisis one week after I turned the ripe age of 25.

We all experience this at some time in our lives. We all wonder where our life is heading and if we are going in the right direction. We all consider if we had taken a different route how our lives would now be more fulfilling and more successful. We all question our skills and ask if we are good enough, if we are good enough to believe in ourselves and if we really do have something valuable to offer the world.

In these times, we can remember that there are people who need help, there are people all around us who need uplifting, supporting and comforting. Through our own doubts and fears, if we can gather the courage to focus not on our own conflict of the heart but on the needs of others then truly we will be lost in a good work. Maybe in reality this is only escape and distraction from our personal turmoil but when this emotional chaos hits what better way to expand our energies than by looking outside of ourselves?

Take a look around. Begin with simple gestures. Send kind messages. Offer honest compliments. Take part in community service. Buy a Big Issue. Share the skills that you have. Volunteer abroad. Strive to become more patient and loving. Talk to a stranger. Share inspiring media. Develop a new talent that will benefit others.

Each day as we wake and rise we have this gift of life, we have a new opportunity to create our life as we want it to be, to decide where we will put our energy.

Rob Bell Quote

  • Begin whatever you’re doing by remembering that you are here and you have been given a gift.’

Ask yourself these questions:

  • ‘How am I going to respond to this life I have been given?
  • ‘What am I going to do with it?’
  • “What am I going to make here?’
  • ‘What new and good thing is going to come out of this experience?’
  • ‘What kind of life am I creating?’

(Rob Bell. How to be Here, A Guide to a Life worth Living)

*If you’re feeling brave, feel free to comment your answers

One of Those Places

I sat in meditation
Pebbles nibbled my flesh
Warm winds whipped around me
At last the sun kissed bare skin,

Two boys frolicked in the shallows
Safe from shadows overcast by clouds
So many years ago on this same beach
My sister and I had rolled in mud,

By the sea I remember
Where I came from
Long days laughing in water
Some kind of magic floating in the air,

One of those places again
Clouds stand still
Birds swoop and dive
Particles shimmer, time pauses
Here I can stay forever
Cocooned in paradise on earth.

Why I want to serve a Mission

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Last April I was baptised. I was introduced to the church through meeting missionaries on the street. A month after my baptism I pondered on serving a mission myself; I deeply desired to change lives in the same miraculous way as all of those who had taught me. The missionaries taught me about the scriptures and the gospel, about the commandments and the organisation of the church, but most importantly they taught me how I was loved. They showed me that I was cared for, that I was not alone, that difficult times were to make me stronger, that I was understood, that I had a purpose, and like every other person on this earth, they showed me that I was special.

With them I felt the greatest joys, shared my deepest sadness, and grew to love a God who had always been beside me. Through them, God loved me. Through them, God touched my heart. Through them, God filled me and He filled my life with an unchanging peace, a purity, and a divine intervention.

My dark wounds have been made light and my burdens have been made easier to carry. Maybe this sounds crazy; to devote 18 months to spreading the word of the gospel in a country I don’t yet know. It can be anywhere in the world. This time last year my motivation to work, to wake up in the morning, to smile, was the hope that someday soon I could travel somewhere beautiful again. But when I travelled before, in all of the excitement, self-discovery and exploration of foreign lands, I needed greater purpose. It was not enough to be helping small communities to live environmentally friendly and though I adored their simple, authentic cultures I could not refrain from questioning the deeper significance and finding none. They were just living, and I was just living. I wanted more. I wanted to get to the root, to the beginning, to the foundation of creation, to my exact natural being. Something has changed within me, and I want to inspire that change in others whether it’s related to religion or not. It doesn’t matter if people don’t accept my religion or if they don’t want to talk about God; it matters only that they know they are loved. That’s the reason I will serve a mission…to love the people who need loving, who have been hurt, wounded, broken-hearted, lonely, and lost so I can remind them that they have a purpose too.

{thank you: http://wind-rose-grace.tumblr.com/ -for the quote}