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

img_0101-2

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}

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

Why I want to serve a Mission

do-small-things-with-great-love

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}

 

Spaces for Thinking and Writing

We live together, we co-inhabit,
Yet we merely pass between corridors
An hour before
My feet walk upon carpets we share,
Rarely we share anything else,
Rarely we exchange thoughts
Or feelings or laughter,
In these seven months
In this terraced house
Stacked between rows and rows
Of closed doors and littered porches,
Except for number 25
Who posted a Christmas card
And made me smile.

Friends are not things I can manifest,
Fairies were friends, books were friends,
Paper, a pen were friends,
Instead of talking to people
I write words that make no sense
Because they don’t listen anyway,
There’s nothing to talk about,
How can I be a friend
If I have nothing to say?
I’ll speak with my heart, with my arms,
With my hands, with my eyes,
With my silence, with my soul,
And you can try to understand
The gentle whispers I leave
That become lost in a crowded room.

My life is connected by experiences,
Hazy and distant collaborated
Alongside blank spaces
In which time is only for one thing,
As people live, socialise, talk, gather,
It is only imminent
That I attempt to comprehend
This world we live in,
Through tears and joy,
Pains and fears,
Through everything in between
That hasn’t found its way into the dictionary,
More of my life is for pondering upon this life
Than living this life,
For thinking, observing, analysing
Human tendencies, actions, words,
Feelings below the surface
Requiring x-ray vision on the soul.

Some parts are more interesting than others,
Some people I dive into more than others,
I’m not afraid of that,
But there’s a lot of pain around here,
I need to jump back out,
Clean my spirit,
Maybe that’s what I’m afraid of,
That the purpose of it all,
Is only to write about it all.

You’re Missing and I’m Missing

Warmth on entering a home, laughter, small hands,
Excitement of overcoming obstacles,
Talking about the beauty of the moon
Reflecting in your eyes
As my head falls gently upon your perfect shoulder.
You are missing for as long as God keeps us apart.
For as long as He wants us to fight alone,
To swim in stormy seas,
And swing through jungle trees
While cheetahs leap at our ankles,
We fly alone until He says “enough!”
When my greatness and your greatness
Are good enough to combine.
Weak things He makes strong
And I have to be strong to make you strong.
He speaks through my words that fall into your heart
And my blackened lungs must heal
To trust you enough to love me for eternity.
I always dreamed of eternity
As my soul longed to visit the other side of earth
Where rainbows shine in snowflakes
That fall encompassed in tears of joy.

My fibres reached for you,
My skin crept beyond my fingertips
Stretching into the space
That separated me from your ribs I birthed from;
I searched for the bird inside your chest
As I crept and listened and shouted and pleaded,
And fell to my knees
Asking the night sky to give you back to me.
We were together once,
When you and I chose one another,
We knew we’d be apart.

I have run from my fears without your hand to hold,
Afraid that my soul would be snatched again,
Apprehensive to allow people to see my face
Beneath a white veil disguising a smile
That would live for you and die for you.

Our romance materialises
not from gestures or pastel words,
Not in communication or boldness
But in the silence of our peace
As we remember we were created together.
I have missed you,
And the emptiness you left
Is begging the stars to fill it
With the light you gave me before we lived here.

Time has become more bearable,
Are you getting closer to nourishing my heart
With the rhythm of the pulsing universe?
Find me, quick!
We’ll travel between layers of worlds upon worlds
And shoot arrows of willow
At galaxies leading us to divine exaltation.

via Daily Prompt: Missing

I Don’t Believe the Masters Degree

I beg for the fire in my soul
To come alive, come alive again,
The world is too cruel,
Too dark, too narcissistic,
Too money obsessed, too careless,
Too confused, too chaotic,
Its dull eyes reach
For my sparkling blue
Reflection of the sky
That I cling to
With dear might
With all of my might
Like the super moon
Holding onto gravity
So it doesn’t fall
Crashing into our oceans
And creating tsunamis,
Waves wiping out civilisations
Because they dismissed love,
Forgot to breathe with the earth
Forgot to cry for the trees
Forgot to dance with the sun
Setting and rising
Nourishing cornfields or apple trees
Hidden behind closed doors
Of a farmyard’s gates,
Silently growing, slowly changing
Sprouted from a first seedling
Amidst curling, swirling winds of fury,
Seas parted, tectonic plates arose
In scattered volcanoes
Whose lava smouldered
A history lost to the stars
A world unknown
A life not ours
A planet lived upon
In time and in tunnels of time
Travelling through time
But not yet from our time,
A God doesn’t live by time
He lives outside of laws
Manifested by human perceptions
Incapable of flying to space
Behind closed eyes
But they even try
To put God in a box
Only because
They don’t know Him enough
To know that He is free.