The word blessing evokes a sense of warmth and protection; it suggests that no life is alone or unreachable.
Each life is clothed in raiment of spirit that secretly links it to everything else.
Though suffering and chaos befall us, they can never quench that inner light of providence.
Close your eyes.
Gather all the kindling
About your heart
To create one spark.
That is all you need
To nourish the flame
That will cleanse the dark
Of its weight of festered fear.
John O’Donohue, Benedictus, To Bless the Space between Us
What is this self inside us, this silent observer,
Severe and speechless critic, who can terrorize us
And urge us on to futile activity
And in the end, judge us still more severely
For the errors into which his own reproaches drove us.
T. S. Eliot, The Elder Statesman
There is a simple practice we can do to cultivate forgiveness. First we acknowledge what we feel – shame, revenge, embarrassment, remorse. Then we forgive ourselves for being human. Then, in the spirit of not wallowing in the pain, we let go and make a fresh start. We don’t have to carry the burden with us anymore. We can acknowledge, forgive, and start anew. If we practice this way, little by little we’ll learn to abide with the feeling of regret for having hurt ourselves and others. We will also learn self-forgiveness. Eventually, at our own speed, we’ll even find our capacity to forgive those who have done us harm. We will discover forgiveness as a natural expression of the open heart, an expression of our basic goodness. This potential is inherent in every moment. Each moment is an opportunity to make a fresh start.
Although it seems like a contradiction, saying no is actually an act of compassion for others, because when we do things that aren’t appropriate or we’re just too damn tired to fully participate in, they only get a piece of us — a small, crabby piece, if you are anything like me. And it shows compassion for ourselves, a reminder that we’re just as precious as everyone else and sometimes we need to be nurtured as well.
Geri Larkin, Tap Dancing in Zen
One kind word can warm three winter months