Just be. Recently, I had the opportunity to visit my sister Robyn and just be calm and comfortable on her couch. The kids were in school. The husbands were working. Her dog Tammy was snoring happily between us. I told Robyn that I wanted her help with the Wise Words Wednesday post for this week.
My invitation was two-fold. One, I needed a post. Two, Robyn has been taking it easy as she is recovering from a recent procedure and this would provide some Intentergy into her day.
So when starting off a Wise Words Wednesday post, I need wise words. After sharing some thoughts that can not posted on this platform, Robyn tapped into her infinite reservoir of memorable quotes and said she her go-to phrase is “Just be.”
I will be honest. We have turned off our TV this week. (Mostly because I feel like the first five days of violence in America’s streets were enough to give my kids the understanding that things are not okay.) Secondly, it has allowed hubby and I to turn down the noise of the media and have serious and sincere discussions with our children about what’s going on and the ugly history behind it. The truth is we can’t turn off the ugliness in our world. There is no universal remote for peace, kindness, or equality. We can, however, turn up the discussion on what must change and tune into what will make our world a better place.
Currently, I am reading Born a Crime: Stories from a South African Childhood by Trevor Noah. I began reading this before George Floyd’s tragic death, but the book’s contents have rang painfully true for me in these times. Previously I’d read about the history behind the apartheid in South Africa and the impacts of Nelson Mandela’s release from prison, but never did I give the circumstances of those who lived it much consideration. In my mind, it was as if a switch must have been flipped in South Africa, one day the apartheid ruled and the next day things were hunky dory. The problem with my thinking on that situation is as wrong and hurtful as those who are allowing generalizations and stereotypes to rule their reactions and beliefs about the protests and riots today. I am grateful Trevor Noah’s book provided me with the opportunity to grow in my understanding.
Noah does a terrific job of addressing his life experiences and the viewpoints of the South African apartheid in a candid and witty manner. I with that everyone would follow his lead and use this perspective to see the race situation for what it is and eliminate the handy rationalizations that allow the division of people’s to perpetuate.
My two older kiddos have read the I Am Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. book and have had numerous lessons about the way he changed the world, but my 5-year-old had some questions about why he didn’t go to school today.
A terrific book on the life and times of Dr. King
The simple answer was we didn’t go to school today because we are remembering and honoring the life of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
His question in return, “Why?”
Well, where do I start?
I told my son about how African-Americans were not treated equally in America and how Martin Luther King Jr. was a smart and kind man, who tried to get people to work together so that everyone was treated equally. He wanted his children to grow up to have the opportunities all others had. He didn’t want people to have to live in fear of being beaten or left out because of how they looked. Dr. King preached about how peace could and would bring about change if only everyone would open their hearts to its healing powers. He asked people to respond with kindness and understanding instead of anger and hitting. His ideas gave us wonderful guidance as to the ways we should treat one another and resolve our issues.
You just can’t rush peace. Clearly mankind has not found the means for bringing serenity to the world in the millions of years that we have inhabited it, so why should we expect peace to come quickly and quietly into our daily lives?
As I sat down to write this post, all three children stormed into the office after me. One wanted to talk about a homework assignment. The second wanted to watch baseball. The third wanted his second supper for the night. (I literally JUST finished cleaning up the first supper, where he ate three helpings.) All three kiddos laid guilt trips on me because I had gotten home late and went straight into making the first supper. This post clearly wasn’t going to get written without a fight. Continue reading “You Can’t Rush Peace”→
As fireflies make their evening entrance and whippoorwills warm up their whistles, the light wanes and twilight touches porches across the country. There is no better time to feel the power of sundown and breathe in the shift between day and night.
Twilight possesses the power to slow time and heal the aches of the day. I recently had the chance to share a sunset rocking in porch chairs with my cousin. All our lives it seems like we have been racing to get to whatever destination life has in store for us next. Our pride in the tenacious nature with which we usually attack our lives was set aside. The sway of our rocking soothed our need to speed through the rest of the day. Sitting there, being serenaded by the crickets, it seemed as if the sunset was giving us permission to slow down and embrace the chance to just be.
Soaking in the serenity of the moment, we both acknowledged that we felt better somehow. I knew I was tired before our visit, but after taking that time to quietly experience the evening, I found that I would rest better that night.
By witnessing twilight touch the porch, we allowed it to touch our hearts and minds, we invited the sun to take away our worries and weariness.
When twilight touches the porch, we really need to be a part of that moment.
“The Serenity Prayer” is one that I pray a lot. By “a lot” I mean, I have seriously considered tattooing it to my forearm because it is that much a part of my day.
Recently I found “The OTHER Serenity Prayer” written by Eleanor Brown on Pinterest.
It goes like this:
God, grand me the serenity to stop beating myself up for
not doing things perfectly,
the courage to forgive myself because I am working on doing better, and the wisdom to know that you already love me just the way I am.
What a perfect prayer!
If you feel like you are struggling with your own imperfections, say this prayer for yourself.
If there is someone in your life who could use a reminder that we are all works in progress, please share this with them.
I am grateful for the wisdom and understanding this prayer brings. Bring it to someone you love, especially yourself.
Serenity is gained one forgiving, loving moment at a time. Take the time to love and forgive yourself and spread the same grace to those you meet.
By: Melanie A. Peters
P.S. Serenity cannot be found until we discover love.
I am always impressed by the way some individuals are able to encapsulate the emotions that are shared by literally millions. The sadness that has invaded our lives and hearts in recent weeks has largely been caused by fear.
The following are posts or lyrics of others that I have found quite profound. Hopefully their words will eliminate any insecurities that you may have about isolation and separation because of the fear that has invaded your thoughts and emotions.
Kelly Sanders Smith, a friend and fellow teacher, shared this thought on Facebook and opened my eyes to a sad reality about what the generations after mine sadly consider as common place.
Every night when I go to bed my mind floods with the shortcomings of my day. Most of the time my distractions stem from my own mistakes. The snippy words barked at my children in frustration.The letter I forgot to send. The phone call that I meant to make. The laundry in the washing machine never made it to the dryer.Did I feed the dog?
If I let my mistakes run rampant, my mind never lets me sleep. The only consolation I find is in the knowledge that I am basically good. Yeah, I am weak.Yes, I am full of mistakes.But, for the most part, I am basically good.Continue reading “Basically good…like everybody else”→
After a long day of travel, we arrived at our rented, vacation cabin. We spent the evening checking out the lake and camp grounds, did some fishing, and tested out the kayaks. When the kids finally realized they were hungry, each began to gather smalls sticks to start our fire. Hubby purchased firewood from the local woodshed and got it going. I dug out the hotdogs, buns, marshmallows, and skewers.
The open-flame grilled dogs were extra delicious and the kids probably wasted more marshmallows than they ate, but it was fun to watch. When the camp fire and “roasting” things began to lose its appeal, the kiddos hopped in the hot tub. I cleaned up the meal mess. Hubby checked out the area map and brochure of attractions.
It was not until well after dark and the kids were tucked into their respective beds that I was able to do what I wanted on vacation…sit quietly.
There is something powerful and energizing in a camp fire. Watching the flames dance and hearing the logs crack you are fully award that in front of you is a living, breathing creature. Even though I was alone by the campfire, I could not feel lonely. Continue reading “A Fire All My Own”→
Most people only think of television or the radio when it comes to channels. Way before tv took over our mindscape, channels meant a way to guide or divert things like water or attention.
“Prayer of St. Francis” has long been one of my favorite church hymns but lately it has had a much more powerful meaning. There seems to be so much hurt and hatred in our world caused by the sensitivity we have created amongst ourselves. We need to redirect our emotions and energy toward creating peace.
No two people were made the same. (Thank goodness!) We need to embrace the things that make us different and let go of the things that we believe divide us. This isn’t about race, gender, or religion. It’s about love.
Too many believe that they cannot love or be loved by certain groups. Those kinds of ideas must be derailed and their love and thoughts must be channeled by means of peace.
Please continue to direct your energy and intents to ending unrest and hurt. Bring unity and coexistence to daily routines. Tune out the ideas that only violence and revenge can end the disparities. Let peace be the channel by which we find love for everyone and let injuries find healing through our actions and words.