...self care is never a selfish act- it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch.

Parker J. Palmer, Let Your Life Speak

Monday, May 4, 2009

Hanging by a Thread

My one-time allergist looked at my nose and just quipped, "OK, but you're hanging by a thread." Living in Houston since late '86, I've found many ways to cope with vulnerability to sinus problems. I've tried a little of everything to avoid various infections. At the time of the exam, I thought I was doing much better than just hanging by a thread!

The doc's rather rude awakening is the gift of being brutally honest, one we all need at times I'm sure. Spiritually though, maybe the best thing we can do is to let go of whatever we're holding onto so tightly. Like the young boy who can't jump down from the tree he just climbed, we'd be free if we only we'd let go. Our world, our horizon would burst open as a result. And we'd be on the ground, safely home.

Someone told me to tie a knot when I feel like I'm dangling by a thread, but for some reason, that doesn't help me. I can hear those words in the mouths of Job's friends. I tell people to hang in there all the time, so that's also a judgment on me. I've come to see that hanging or tying knots are not really the best metaphors for the spiritual life, even if they might be used by a good physician.

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Having been in ordained ministry in the UMC for 34 years, I've experienced the truth that although, clergy are frequently present for others, no one can offer what they don't have.That's why if you're a clergy person, you need someone who will listen to you. Not the random next closest person available, but rather someone like a spiritual director, a therapist, a peer who can be fully present to you. I hope the links and posts you find here will give you ideas, humor, hope and encouragement. Scott Endress

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If you want a formula for making the best of the less-than-perfect and making the most of what you have been given, then begin to compare your lot to what you were before you were born, and it will empower you with wonder every time. John Claypool

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