The Confounding Wonder of Sowing in Tears & Reaping in Joy
Truth resonates. Those two words have come to mind many times in the last month since I published my second book. What began as entries in my private, tear-stained journal took me 20 years to complete. One reason is that, initially, my reflections were not meant to be shared. Another reason is that every story, and book, is supposed to have 3 things: a beginning, a middle, and an end. It was the third part that took me the longest time to write.
Those two above-mentioned words often come to mind, because even when we don’t believe a certain thing, or we don’t view something the way someone else does, another’s experience can still speak to us in a powerful way. When truth is expressed, it touches something deep. It quickens something within us, and resonates with us. This is illustrated in one of the blurbs written for my book, Broken Ground of the Soul - The Healing Power of the Psalms.
The reviewer wrote, “Broken Ground of the Soul took my breath away. I’m not a follower of the bible, but the words of the psalms and the writer’s words reached across time and space and really spoke to me. It’s a powerful message for anyone who is grieving and is having difficulty moving through it. This gives anyone reading Linda’s small book hope.” (Gerry Cerf, the Executive Director of Women Incorporated).
Even for those who may not believe in the ancient, sacred texts of the Holy Bible, they still hold resonating Truth. In Isaiah 55:11 it is written, "So shall My word be that goes from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it."
We decide how to spend our moments
Do you want to be right, or be happy?
Another curious aspect of life in general, and this little book in particular, is that it is not only about grief and hope. It is also about betrayal, forgiveness, the ways of evil and the Holy, and how our minds work. In giving some background about the book, I wrote: “Ask six thoughtful people what this book is about and you’ll receive six different answers. The book addresses human complexities and the miraculous ways of the Holy, and such workings have many facets.”
From day to day, we may tend to think in terms of agreeing and disagreeing. Yet on some weighty matters, including matters of the heart, we can often gain more by focusing on understanding. It has been said, “You can be right or you can be happy.” When we shift from always seeking agreement, and wanting to be right, and instead seek to understand, whole new worlds of meaning can open before us. Another example of how we can shift our perceptions and behaviors in a similar manner has to do with listening. I believe many, if not most, of us listen with our focus being on what we are going to say in reply, rather than listening with the deep intent to understand.
For these and other reasons, I use several stories and metaphors in the book. When we draw on the right side of our brain, we can access more creativity. When we expand the aperture our heart, we provide a greater opening for more. We become aware of the existence of additional nuances and facets. Other ways of seeing, can lead to other ways of being. A seminary professor of mine used to say, “Our point of viewing determines our point of view.” We often need to look at familiar things differently, in order to grow. This is how change can occur, and how we can come to experience healing after brokenness, and joy after devastating loss. God is always present, and forever looking for any opening we give, any opportunity to impart blessing and renewal. Rumi wrote, "The wound is the place where the Light enters you."
Endings and beginnings
Living from the inside out, not the outside in
I love living in the desert because it continues to surprise me and stretch my perceptions of life and appreciation of Nature. Albert Einstein wrote, “Look deep into Nature, and then you will understand everything better.” These eleven simple words contain an irresistible invitation and a sweeping claim. My response, as noted in the book is this. “Nature gazing enables us to plumb the depths of the quantifiable, while pondering the distant reaches of the ineffable."
The older I get, the more I’ve come to see and believe that we have tremendous power. Yet so often we relinquish it. We allow other people, and external forces to unduly influence our thinking, feelings, how we act or react, and the kind of life we end up living. Once we begin to live from the inside out, take responsibility for our lives, stop blaming others, and quit feeling like a victim, everything shifts. In a very real sense, Broken Ground of the Soul is about how we react, or choose to respond, to the inevitable betrayals we all face throughout life.
The choice is ours
What I've come to realize, after surviving a devastating loss, is that I was a living example of the Hegelian dialectic. I explain it this way.
“The Thesis is that Life is sacred, beautiful, and eternal. The Antithesis is that Death surrounds us and is inevitable. Ultimately, the Synthesis is that we can choose to receive and rest in that sacred peace which passes all understanding, defies so-called reality, and transcends our circumstances. We can nimbly live with fear and love, dread and hope, suffering and awe, deep knowing and impenetrable mystery.”
We are imbued with free will and choice. God designed and created us with keen faculties and volition. We have the ability to choose how we will view, react or respond to things. Which is both a powerful realization and a potent responsibility. It is also liberating. The power of the understanding and meaning we bring to something largely determines the way we will experience it. The real beauty of this is that grief holds within itself the possibility of happiness. Everything in Creation is designed for life. Nature is regenerative. "Every rousing, regenerative process is an exuberant affirmation of life, a testament to how creation is fashioned for renewal, expansion, evolution, regeneration, and transformation."
We learn from the Psalms that, "The confounding wonder is that what can confine us is the deeply buried, cocooning seed - the very seed from which we emerge, transformed. Our pain and sorrow can become the seedpod from which a new us emerges, ripe with joy. The process of our undoing can make us new.
Have you ever reached a Synthesis, through the regenerative power of faith?See results without voting
Beyond comfort, we are offered healing
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