A new week….

May you receive great encouragement
when new frontiers beckon.

May you take time to celebrate
the quiet miracles that seek no attention.

May you experience each day
as a sacred gift
woven around the heart of wonder.

John O’Donoghue, Benedictus

photo giorgio minguzzi

Our Inner world

File:US Navy 081005-N-1522S-023 A baby falls asleep in her father's arms during the homecoming for the guided-missile frigate USS McInerney (FFG 8) to at Naval Station Mayport after a six-month deployment.jpg

Do not despise your inner world. Our society is very outward-looking, very taken up with the latest new object, the latest piece of gossip, the latest opportunity for self-assertion and status.

But we all begin our lives as helpless babies, dependent on others for comfort, food, and survival itself. And even though we develop a degree of mastery and independence, we always remain alarmingly weak and incomplete, dependent on others and on an uncertain world for whatever we are able to achieve. Our emotional life maps our incompleteness: A creature without any needs would never have reasons for fear, or grief, or hope, or anger. We are all going to encounter illness, loss, and aging, and we’re not well prepared for these inevitable events by a culture that directs us to think of externals only, and to measure ourselves in terms of our possessions of externals.

What is the remedy…? A kind of self-love that does not shrink from the needy and incomplete parts of the self, but accepts those with interest and curiosity, and tries to develop a language with which to talk about needs and feelings.

Martha Nussbaum., American Philosopher, Lecturer in Ethics and Law, born 1947


File:Thatched cottage Maghera Ardara. - geograph.org.uk - 1073951.jpg

Belonging is related to longing.  If you hyphenate belonging, it yields a lovely axiom for spiritual growth:  Be – Your – Longing.  Longing is a precious instinct in the soul. Where you belong should always be worthy of your dignity. You should belong first in your own interiority.  If you belong there, and if you are in rhythm with yourself and connected to that deep, unique source within, then you will never be vulnerable when your outside belonging is qualified, relativized, or taken away.  You will still be able to stand on your own ground, the ground of your soul, where you are not a tenant, where you are at home.

John O’Donohue,  Anamchara

photo bart whelan

Not avoiding

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To see myself and my life as they truly are is joy. 
After all the struggle and avoiding and denying and going the other way,
 it is deeply satisfying for a second to be there with life as it is. 
The satisfaction is the very core of ourselves.
 Who we are is beyond words –
 just that open power of life,  manifesting constantly in all sorts of interesting things,
 even in our own misery and struggles. 
The hassle is both horrendous and wholesome.
Charlotte Joko Beck.

The wrens nest

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make their nests of fancy threads 
and string ends, animals 
abandon all their money each year. 
What is it that men and women leave? 
Harder than wren’s doing, they have 
to abandon their longing for the perfect. 
The inner nest not made by instinct 
will never be quite round, 
and each has to enter the nest 
made by the other imperfect bird.
Robert Bly, from Eating the Honey of Words
photo sylvain haye