I was once told relationships are not for punks. It took me a while to get at the meaning behind that, but what I have learned over the years is that being in an intimate relationship requires courage, strength, and a willingness to make one’s self vulnerable. By intimate, I am not just talking about physical intimacy, but emotional, mental, and spiritual intimacy. That intimacy is developed over time. Intimacy comes when we open ourselves up personally and make ourselves and our lives vulnerable. Over time, your whole life becomes naked to them and to yourself. In an intimate relationship, we open ourselves and are opened by our partner to seeing the powerful and weaker parts of who we are. We also give our partners the permission to do the same. Over time we learn how to know when to stand our ground and when to compromise. We work with each other to become increasingly grounded in who we are and support each other in the journey. When I think about the two human beings in my life with whom I am the most intimate with one thing is true of both, the Ultimate Consciousness is involved in both and the truth is ever revealing itself as we journey together. We are never finished growing or evolving. We are works in progress. Read more
How are you?
This seems to be one of the most common conversations we have with people and the sad truth is there is generally no honesty in this conversation Most of the times we do not genuinely want to know how others are or what they are feeling and most of us are not “fine” all the time. What does fine feel like? Are we lying to ourselves and others when we deny what we are feeling? Is this yet another mask we wear to prevent others from getting to know us or to become vulnerable in a relationship? Are we afraid to be honest with others or ourselves about what we are really feeling? We cannot begin to heal within ourselves or in our relationships with others until the wounding stops. So if denying our feelings is wounding, then we are preventing ourselves from healing. Read more
Sometimes it can be a scary thing when we listen to the things we say to ourselves, never mind each other. When we consciously listen to what we are saying to ourselves, we can catch ourselves slipping into a state of negativity. A space when we begin to lie to ourselves. When we hear someone we love start to say negative and self-deprecating things about themselves, we might jump in and help them to look at the space they are in that is enabling them to speak this way about themselves. However, who does it for us, especially when those thoughts are not coming out of our mouths, but just floating around in the back of our head. Read more
The last several years have been a time of intense personal growth and spiritual transformation. When I first started on this journey, I had this vision of being loving, patient, kind, compassionate, balanced, wise, etc. I felt as if I was supposed to embody the qualities of spiritual leaders who had come before me like Mother Theresa, Jesus, Buddha, or some other vision of divine perfection. I had this notion I was supposed to be a model of walking divinity; that everything I said and did was supposed to be a living monument of love, patience, justice, humility, and divinity. I had this notion I was supposed to be perfect all the time and was not allowed to have any human moments or feelings. Read more
When I was in seminary, I remember taking a class called Intro to Preaching with Dr. Gail Ricciuti. Gail is one of my favorite professors and now a dear friend. In the early weeks of this class, she laid out this multi step rigorous plan for writing a well-constructed sermon. I remember the first time I wrote a sermon using her steps, I was able to get through the first few steps, and then I had to lie down and take a nap. What I realized is that each time I woke up I had my sermon in my head. To this day, whether I am writing a sermon, which I rarely do any more, or writing a reflection, which I now do quite often, I follow the same steps that I followed back then; when in doubt take a nap. Unsure of what I was to write about this week, feeling tired, stiff, and whiny (sure sign I am tired or sick), Read more