An instrument of peace

“Lord, make me an instrument of peace.”

With that single line St Francis defined a life of mindfulness and loving kindness long before those terms were first used. Long before pop culture turned them into an industry. A t-shirt slogan.

He goes on to describe how that instrument looks. It is one of understanding and giving. A life in service of love.

“Lord make me an instrument of 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

And where there is sadness, joy

Oh 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

It is in dying that we are born to eternal life”

This is how I want my life to be yet I often fail in these intentions. Instead, I want to be understood. To be consoled. To wade deeply in my sorrow. To be loved despite my shortcomings.

When I find myself on the needy end of the spectrum that runs from giving to receiving I remember that I can not only offer these gifts to myself, I should.

My efforts to be an instrument of peace must begin with myself because to offer peace to others I must first have it within me. The good news is that inner peace is often gained in the offering of it to others. It is a beautiful, endless, self-sustaining circle.

This was my meditation this morning:

That I forgive myself and not beat myself up for being human.

That I keep strong the faith that brought me here.

That I keep the flame of hope ever burning within me to light both bright days and dark nights.

That I be willing to find and feed my joy, especially when it seems so far away.

That I love myself as I wish to be loved by others and that I share that love regardless of my pain.

That peace isn’t just something we feel, it’s something we practice.

I believe I need more practice.

Peace be upon you.

Here, Now

neptune.by.Justin.Morrison

Here
Now
Not in a way defined
by philosophy memorized
or recited
Not through some blind faith
in something
someone else
somewhere
said

I’ve forgotten
all I’ve read
Left behind
philosophy
religion
words read
lines memorized
to lay
Here
Now
in the Heart of Love
and the arms of my Beloved

True faith
and Hope
hold me
keep me in this place
where all that exists
is what I allow
and she
is the only influence
Here
Now

 


 

Image: “Neptune” by Justin Morrison

 

Home

234B8682-C016-4CC6-AFB6-CC7AB7AEA34C

If someone had told me several years ago that I would drive into a hurricane to be with the woman I loved I would have smiled at such a romantic notion but denied the possibility. I had, after all, sworn off love. I was not ready.

So I spent those years preparing myself. Learning what love is. How to express it. To share it. I took the time to learn what it is that I wanted from love and from life. To become the person I am now so if I ever had the chance to experience real love I would be ready.

Last week I drove into Hurricane Nate to be with the woman I love.

At the same time, I also drove out of the hurricane that was once my life. Hurricane James. I left the last remnants of that former life with the furniture and bed, still made, dishes washed and left in cupboards, keys left to a friend as a gift of my former home in North Dakota as I broke free of the chrysalis where I transformed.

I spread my wings and, for the very first time in my life, knew exactly where I was going and what I needed to do.

It took a long time to get here. A lifetime. It is a journey I would gladly make again because it has led me to a place of love and of hope.

My future, while still uncertain in many ways, feels more sure than it ever has. Every step I make is made with faith. With courage. With the knowledge that those steps are no longer made alone. Every step is made with “Us” in mind. It makes a difference.

My heart feels large. Expansive. Enveloping. Full. It has been joined with another, my Beloved, in ways I could only imagine before now. Ways I knew existed but had never experienced.

I have travelled a long way to get here and I have a long way yet to go, but I am, finally, home.

 

 

 

After a long day

Buno.Lemos

It’s okay, Love
It’s okay
Lean back into me
Let me wrap my arms around you
Rock you gently
Kiss your neck
Silence the day
With wordless passion
As we watch the Moon
Now round and full
Light the clouds that gather
and will away the worry
With love

 


Image by Bruno Lemos

Timeless

timeless.by.Moe.Shirani.jpg

Time is as often friend as foe. It flows steadily. Never ending. We can tell ourselves that it is an illusion. That only “Now” exists. But that’s a half truth. Now is the only place we exist but we live in a progression of time. In our human form we have a beginning and an end. We are born, we live, we die. What happens in between is a combination of circumstances and events guided by will or careless indifference and interpreted by intention and understanding or misunderstanding.

I chose to embrace that knowledge some time back. To acknowledge that I had a beginning. That this body will at some point fail. That how I live now is entirely up to me. Not everyone gets that choice. Some are born into short and brutal lives. Some never get the chance to live at all.

I don’t know what tomorrow will bring. I see glimpses from time to time. Beautiful sunrises and sunsets in the arms of my Beloved. Compassionate days that flow into passionate nights. A flow of energy between us that builds and shares and expands. Perpetual. Timeless.

I want those things.

Time, however, often chooses the pace and, thus, can affect the quality of Now… if we allow it to. Plans made need to be shuffled again and again before they can be implemented and even then I must remain flexible to last second alterations.

This is where I am now: Making the best of unexpected changes. Unexpected changes making the best of me. Guiding the future with intention and understanding with one difference, mutual desire.

Not the base and often destructive sexual or sensual desire of immature love, though certainly that exists, how can it not? I do desire the physical connection of my lover. Intensely. More than that, however, is the desire to give and receive love. Physical. Emotional. Psychological. Spiritual. To create something together under the guidance of those intentions of compassion, connection, union, care, growth, and so much more that I so often describe as simply “love and gratitude” and through those intentions build something lasting. Eternal. Timeless.

Today the flow of Now across which time passes and at the edge of which I exist is both friend and seeming foe. It prevents immediate satisfaction of our goals. Blocks access to the woman I love. But every second that passes brings me ever closer to her and to Divine Union with her. In this it can only be considered friend.

I could focus on the obstacles or focus on the goal. The choice is made easy by these facts:

The obstacles are temporary.

Love is timeless.

I choose love.

 


 

Image: from the “Timeless” series by Moe Shirani

Seven Days

Black.Elk.Peak

Sometimes Life with a capital “L”, that interruption to our usual routine, can be an intrusion, unwanted. The car breaks down. The job I do becomes unstable. New bills. New hassles. Life getting in the way of Living.

Other times it can be a most welcome gift from the Divine. Unexpected and welcome. Invited. Life and Living working together to create new paths.

The last seven days of my life have been just such a gift.

Seven days of smoky skies and noisy rides and sunsets and of rediscovery and of joy and of meaning. Of long hikes and sweet nights and endless sunrises and hard laughter.

I have doubted myself many times over the years. Doubted that what I have been working for could be accomplished. Doubted that my constant calls would ever be heard. Doubted that I am who I present myself to be. Doubted even my faith in the Divine that I have devoted so much time to.

No longer.

A trip to Black Elk Peak, that sacred place in the Black Hills of South Dakota where the Divine always stands with outstretched hands and a compassionate heart that I have visited before when seeking answers, was made at the end of the seven days and this time the Goddess herself granted me an outpouring of blessings with a delicate rain from her very hand that crossed my face and mixed with my own tears of loving gratitude. An undeniable message that my path is true, my footing sure, my future promised.

There are times when Life gets in the way and there are times when it opens a doorway to a lifetime of meaning and purpose and of love. Be ready. Do the hard work now so when that door opens you can spread your wings and fly through it.

 

 

This is my Heart

this.is.my.heart

I scan the news with horror
How can we
Presumed advanced
Assumed superior
Be anything more
Than most inferior
So long as we treat others
Our sisters and our brothers
With hate
Because of the color of their skin
Or the person they love
Or the person they are

They are Human
All of them Sacred
All of them
Us
All of us Carry
A Spark of Divine
All of us Sacred
All of us
One
All of us Sacred Human

I turn it off
There is no room for hate

This is my Heart
There is no room for hate
This is my Soul
There is no room for hate
This is my Life
There is no room for hate

My Heart is a place
Of Peace and Compassion
Of Truth and Passion
Of Hope and Sensuality
Of Joy and Sexuality
Of Teaching
and Learning
and Sharing
and Growing
and Acceptance

and Awakening

There’s no place here for hate
It has no place in my Heart
This is a place of Love
A place of Love
A place of Love
A place of Unconditional Love

This is my Heart

It is large enough for Everyone

 

 

Image by J.M.Greff