I was determined to leave resistance at home and serve with a new level of grace. I was willing to be called and chosen, shaken and stirred, in whatever way would be most helpful.
That’s why on Saturday morning, when I was summoned to help prepare a feast for 50-plus people, I said “yes.” I went to the kitchen, found a sharp knife, and stood before a mountain of broccoli. It was mine. I was going to scale it like a German Tank. I would conquer the broccoli and have something to show for my effort. Tangible results. Evidence.
I picked up broccoli stalk number one and cut it into bite-sized florets. I peeled the woody stalk like Nikki taught me.
Today, driving my privileged dogs to their privileged hike in the mountains of beautiful Ojai, I had to pull over to the side of the road. I couldn’t see through my tears. A mother was on the radio. She spoke of her son, a boy killed in the nightclub in Orlando.
In the aftermath of this shooting, I know this: This one feels terrible. This one feels personal. This one feels like something must be done.
The mystical poet Hafiz wrote “Our separation from God – from Love –
Chama al-Din Muhammad Hafiz, author unknown
is the hardest work in this world.” I think Hafiz was onto something.
Mystical teachings tell us we can never truly be separate from the Absolute Reality of Love because the Absolute contains everything. Yet we create obstacles to Love. The most persistent obstacle I’ve observed is a sense of unworthiness. I have counseled numerous people who tell me they feel like “damaged goods,” and therefore believe they are unworthy of Love.
Another word for unworthiness is shame. Brene´ Brown, PhD states in a viral TED Talk, that shame thrives on three things: secrecy, silence, and judgment. We hide what we do not like about ourselves in the hopes that no one will see – or maybe it will just go away.
Dr. Brown also states that the one thing shame cannot tolerate is empathy. So in the spirit of dissolving secrecy and invoking empathy, I’ll share a story from my ministry that makes me look bad. I’m embarrassed to tell it – but here goes. Continue reading →