Midweek Musings: September 16, 2021

Dear Friend,

Everyone approaches Spiritual Direction differently. I’ve had directees who wrote down what they wanted to talk about before we met each month, taking time to think through what had happened since we last talked and reflecting on their own prior to our conversation. I’ve had other directees who only ever wanted to talk about “spiritual” things: their prayer life or where they’d seen God recently.

I tend to take a more informal approach with my Spiritual Director. Usually I just start sharing what’s been going on in my life and the conversation flows from there. For me, talking through some of the details of life helps me gain a new perspective on them, helps me see connections between them, and helps me process them in ways I’m not able to on my own. And, often, my Spiritual Director has words of wisdom or observations that enlighten my own understanding and perception (it helps that we’ve been meeting for 10+ years, so she’s got a lot of history to work with).

This month, I was mostly lamenting about the variety of exhaustions in my life—from moving to school starting to our dog dying, there’s been a lot of transitions, which are always tiring. And I was lamenting about my own inability to let something go. I shared how I had processed my feelings, addressed them, understood them, but still felt them and didn’t know what to do to make them go away. My very wise director simply said, “yes, that’s right. Now you have to live with them, and that can be uncomfortable.” I always appreciate being affirmed, but there are still plenty of times when I would prefer a magic wand solution—something that might help me avoid feeling the feelings I don’t really want to be feeling. But sometimes, I was reminded, there are no magic wand solutions. Sometimes, despite our best efforts, we just have to live in the real, in the midst of whatever is happening and whatever we are feeling, whether we like it or not.

What about you? What reality are you living in the midst of these days?

Many blessings for the real you find yourself in,
Pastor Sarah

something Worth reading

A Rabbi’s Guide on Making Amends and Letting Those Grudges Go

by David Wolpe

Yesterday was the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, a day of atonement. In honor of that Jewish holy day, here is an article written by the Rabbi about how to make amends, forgive, and move on:

“There will always be things we cannot fully forgive and people who do not deserve to be restored to good reputation. And forgiving someone does not necessarily mean readmitting that person to your life. In most cases, however, Jewish teachings insist that fair judgment does not require damnation. Judaism, like many other world religions, maintains that human beings are capable of transformation.

“Judaism offers a series of ideas and guidelines for how to cope with offense and foster forgiveness. On Yom Kippur, it’s traditional to wear white, not only because white shows the slightest stain, but to remind us of the shrouds in which we will one day be buried. We do not have forever; we must struggle to right our souls now.”

Read the full article here.

something worth hearing

Woke Up This Morning (With My Mind on Jesus)

Mavis Staples

I can’t remember how I came across this video—surely it was on one of my many trips down the rabbit hole that is YouTube videos, but I saved it and keep coming back to it. I hope you like it as well.

something worth watching

How This Craftsman Weaves Huge Wooden Sculptures

WIRED with Charlie Baker

I watch a lot of YouTube videos—partly for Midweek Musings material and partly because I’m human. 90% of the time, I end a video after a minute or two, even if I think it might be good, because it’s not captivating enough to hold my attention. This video, however, I watched all the way through. It made me want to go foraging in the woods and take up a new form of woodworking. I hope you find it as intriguing and interesting as I did.

something worth praying

Blessing

Magaret Gibson

I know a woman who, when she hears wise words
uttered, turns

her palms upward. She’s as likely to place her hands
on my shoulders,

to comfort. None of it for show. Palms upward,
she’s a basin.

Palms downward, a wellspring, rain.

May we be basin and well to each other.
May we be rainlight

and the winds that freshen the morning. May we
sleep as roots and bulbs

in winter, faithful to the quickening throb of inner
undoubtable being.

May we rise up in our love as a fire leaps and kindles.
May we hold our hands

to the fire and warm them. “Stand watch over this burning,”
Rumi says in one poem.

And in another, the fire itself, the fire that is fountainhead,
speaks:
“Come into me, and don’t mind the sparks.”

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