when we need flowers

So much of what passes for spirituality these days is about making us happy, about affirmations and having positive experiences. We engage in what the Sufi poet Hafiz calls “teacup talk of God” where God is genteel and delicate. Sometimes we really need this; we need to remember that we are good and beautiful and whole just as we are.

But sometimes we need to be uncomfortable. Sometimes we need to remember a God of wildness who calls us beyond our edges to a landscape where we might discover a passion and vitality we never knew we could experience. We may cultivate a freedom we have never known before because our fears become something to move toward rather than away from.

By staying present to the discomfort of life we grow in our resilience and our ability to recover from the deep wounds that life will offer us again and again. We grow in our compassion for ourselves, as we learn to embrace all of the vulnerable places within. And as we embrace these in ourselves, we grow in our compassion for one another. We grow in our ability to experience hesychia—that deep presence and peace—in the midst of life’s messiness and uncertainty.

In light of what we have endured in 2020, growing our capacity for presence in the midst of uncertainty is a gift we offer to ourselves and to the world. 

~Christine Valters Paintner

when we pause and realize how fragile the web of our lives really are

inquiry for today~ maybe you can offer your care somewhere today


Sit here,

so that I may write you

into a poem

and make you eternal

~Kamand Kojouri

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