This has been a challenging week with lots of introspection and many many emotions - some more comfortable than others. I believe what I have experienced and learned here will continue to unravel for many months, possibly years, to come.
“Astonishing things and revelations appear in our lives all the time. Let it be. Unto us, so much is given. We just have to be open for business.” Anne Lamont
There were many “aha” moments during our meetings. Here is one, “This structure is about expressing unconditional love, compassion, and forgiveness, beginning with the relationship to one’s self and expanding to include one’s immediate loved ones, community, and world. When this structure is stabilized, we no longer seek relationships to make us happy; rather we bring happiness to our relationships.”
During my stay here I have met many people but I am in most awe about the two women I spent time with who told me their stories about challenges with their work, losing their careers, fighting back and winning. Sometimes I second guess what happened to me at the Library and I get stuck in the coulda, shoulda, woulda loop. Hearing from these women soothed and reassured me that (obviously), I am not alone in what happened to me and to feel more at peace about the outcomes.
I also feel that I have come out of my shell a little bit. These past two days I have been more outgoing, loving and open to others. This is a gift and feels wonderful.
“We are so quick to judge one another. And just as we are hard on others we are even harder on ourselves. With mindfulness, our natural compassion grows. We can see that we are all carrying our own burden of tears. You are called upon to witness this pain - in yourself and others - with compassion. It is by first practicing self-compassion that you find not only a way to hold your own struggles and sorrows in your heart - but through them you learn how to connect with the sufferings and sorrows of all those around. You will find that love and care have an extraordinary capacity to transform the sorrows of your life into a great stream of compassion.
Be gentle with yourself. Know your limitations. Extend your compassion only as far as you feel your heart opening naturally. Plant your seed of trust it will grow in its season.
As you face loss, frustration, hurt and conflict, invite a sense of your own dignity. Sit up, stand up tall. Have respect for yourself, and patience and compassion.”
I am excited about this next part of my journey and hope that everyone is having a lovely, peaceful and joyful weekend. I’m off to go watch the livestream of Agape and get filled up with the love and joy that comes to me each Sunday from this amazing place (Agape). It is almost two years to the date that I walked in the doors of Agape and my life was changed forever! What a gift!