Saturday, March 17, 2007

Spiritual Journey

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy;

O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.

For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.

~St. Francis of Assisi

And from where I have come pretty much boils down to this. This is what the journey so far has left me with regarding faith and spirituality.

I said in my last post, that I had been through an interesting journey so far in my life. Well all of the spiritual searching ultimately led to something more simple than what I thought it might be. I came to the crazy conclusion that yes, I am a believer, but I don't believe that "God" (by whatever name you call him/her) wants us to fight amongst ourselves sowing hatred and unforgiveness, self-righteous judgement, and all kinds of cruelty. I believe He/She wants us to have the simple faith and love of a little that has been unstained by the cynicism and hate of the world.

I can't think of a prayer that more reflects what I believe our Higher Power WANTS us to pray for, long for, and strive to see fulfilled, yet trusting Him/Her to make it REAL within our hearts. Even if we don't feel everything we ask for.....this is what serves the world best.....and we will be given the purest desires when we ask for them. If the people of the world could align themselves with THIS prayer, this petition unto their Higher on this planet and beyond, would be a more beautiful thing.

Of course, this is only my opinion. We are all entitled, by our God-given right to free will, to formulate our own opinions. Funny though, He/She seems to reserve the right to CHANGE our opinions with growth and experience. I pray that my heart will be open and full of light to see where I'm being divinely led.

--Image courtesy AFP and

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Simplicity and Survival

Today as I sat at my computer, I was plagued with something that was either depressing or motivating, or maybe a little bit of both. I really want to leave this world having contributed something memorable. I want to leave an imprint on the lives that I have touched....something impacting for good....something that will affect people in a lasting, warm, and loving way.

If I was to make that statement to someone that knows me well, say my family, or close friends, they would say, "Lori, you've already done that. You have a wonderful son...." and I DO! "You have a beautiful family that loves you, and you have done so many unique and unusual things. You've had an interesting and adventurous life." And I HAVE! However.....from the time I was maybe 12 years old, I have always wanted to write. I don't create and leave something somehow tangible, something that stirs others' hearts and minds. It seems very important to me. The dilemma is....I have no earthly idea how to do that or where to begin.

So I sit and blink, my empty blog posting page, wondering what I have to contribute to this online world of which I am a part. And with all of the life experiences I have had, with the talents that I have for communication and the love that I have for writing, I STILL cannot seem to compose a cohesive plan for how to accomplish this one important goal of mine.

There are so many many blogs. The personal/diary type blogs are so ridiculously numerous and they are probably the least read of all blogs. And yet if you have something to share that others can embrace and relate to, they can be so very vital to SOMEONE who reads them, even if only one person.

My sixth grade teacher was a marvelous woman. I remember her telling our class that you should write about something that you know well. You'd think at the age of 43, I would surely know SOMETHING well. I have to chuckle at the notion that her advice seems less helpful today than it was when I was younger and thought I knew a lot about many things. It seems the older I get, the less confident I am that I know much of anything. I'm more in tune with the truth that all of life is a classroom and that we are endlessly learning, and the older I get, the more quick I am to proclaim my lack of knowledge!

So what do I have to share? I haven't actively written in a long time. I used to write poetry, some of which was published in an American anthology. I used to write music and play acoustic guitar and had such a passion for that. Over the years of raising my son and working, that too faded into a blurry and now distant past. It seems that somehow over the past 20 years, I I'm not too sure of who I am anymore. I am unsure of my talents, my joys, my ideas. I feel so tentative and timid. Yet I know that deep inside....I am still there.

Perhaps the most vital thing that I have to share is the story of how I survived the many "adventures," as my mother kindly calls them, of my life. I think using the word "adventures" is probably my family's way of dealing with the myriad of foolish things I have done. Because looking back....they seem more like a symphony of tragedies and miracles than an "adventure." I have survived meth addiction, abusive relationships, mental illness, two failed marriages, assorted spiritual confusions and commitments, including being a vegetarian "enlightened" by metaphysics, a born again fundamentalist Southern Baptist "enlightened" by fear, a holy roller charismatic Christian devotee to evangelism and the gifts of the Holy Spirit enlightened by "deliverance" from drug addiction and hopelessness, to where I am now, which really doesn't resemble ANY of those things much.

I have done a lot of seeking, both spiritually and intellectually. The "conclusion" that I came to is that life is most enjoyed in simplicity, and that I, personally, have a tendency to complicate things for myself.....such as the simple procedure of blogging. :D

And speaking of "conclusions"....I will conclude this entry with one statement. One of the core elements of deep peace and joy is simplicity. In seeking joy, happiness, peace of mind and heart, success, and love.....I think often what we lack might well be just that....simplicity.

At the moment, I simply need some sleep! So with that I will end this entry and look forward to the next.

Happy Journeys,