The options for today were:
- write about your hopes for yourself, your family, and the world
- Using the technique gazing into the waters, see what might bring you hope. Do you hear birds chirping? Do you see the buds just beginning to peek through the trees? Is the snow covering the earth like white wool? What does you special place say to your spirit? Write down your experience using the technique of streaming?
- Open a drawer and take out several objects at random. Using these write about your willingness to hope. For instance, you may take out a stamp and scissors, using gazing into the waters and streaming write about the stamp as a symbol of sending your spirit the message that it is safe to hope for a force that cares about you. Or you can my write about why it wouldn’t be safe to hope for this. The scissors may be a symbol that it is time to cut off with something, someone, or some thoughts. Explore what that might be.
One of the things I came to realize after journaling yesterday was that 10 minutes was just not enough time for me to really go as deep in my writing as I wanted to go. I found myself writing about wonder periodically throughout the night and throughout the day today. One of the things I found myself wondering was if I had other biological family members out there in this great big world. Every once in a while someone will tell me they met my twin somewhere. I have always wondered if my biological parents had any other children with or after me. If so, where are they? Would I even recognize them if I were sitting next to them? When I was younger, I used to wonder about this more then I do now, but sometimes I still wonder about this. Sometimes I wonder about my foster parents. I wonder what made them become foster parents. I wonder what they enjoyed most about caring for me. Sometimes I wonder why I am still alive. I wonder how I managed to survive the fetal distress I was born with. Sometimes I wonder how my brother Jess is doing and if he will ever find it within himself to speak to Mark or me again. Sometimes I wonder if I can ever make it through the day without questioning something.
But there are so many other things that make me experience wonder then just questions about what I do not know. I wonder at the way snow sparkles under the sun and how beautiful it looks through the window. I wonder at everything that a piece of food goes through before it makes it to my plate to nourish my mind, body and soul. I wonder about the creativity of the Creator and the diversity of colors in nature, the textures, the shapes and how all of it comes together in some way that just defies understanding to me.
I wonder about the Creator. There is such power in naming. So sometimes, I wonder if the Creator cares what name I use when I am having a conversation with Spirit. I wonder if the Creator understands when the words of my mouth do not necessarily match what I am thinking in my head. Does the creator understand that just because the human in me wants to tell someone how I feel uncensored, the spiritual being in realizes I am just having a human experience?
I wonder if people realize how small this world is. I am constantly amazed at how the Universe brings people together sometimes. For example, my friend who I met on Facebook who lives in the Czech Republic who shares a birthday with me. Or the way in which I met my friend who lives in Liberia. Sometimes I just wonder if people get how connected we are as a world.
Sometimes I feel like a 2 year old who never wants to stop questioning and wanting to know why, why, why, why, why. I used to be afraid to ask why, but I need to know. I need to know why. Why? Why? Why? Why?
I am sure I will have more to say about wonder at some other point, but I also want to talk about hope. My hope for myself is that I will never stop evolving as a spiritual being in this very human world. My hope for my family is that Zoe and I will continue to work together to be more loving of each other and ourselves. My hope for the world is that we will remember that we are all created in the image of the Creator who is LOVE. LOVE. LOVE. It is that simple. I hope that we will all learn how to love each other and ourselves as we have been loved by the Creator in whose image we were created. That is what I hope for. I hope for a world that revolves and evolves around love. Love in action. Love in though. Just love.
What keeps me hopeful is something I learned from Ghandi and that is that the Creator is capable of bringing about transformative change in the world. I do not have to look very far to witness this. I have seen what has happened in the life of my son who has gone from being in restraints the majority of the day when he first came into my life to a place where he is now restraint free and for the first time in his life is initiating a conversation about facing his fear of flying and heights and getting on a plane to come to New York to visit me. I have hope when I see my students who begin a semester so nervous about speaking in a discussion, move through their fear and become some of the more active participants in discussions by the end of the semester. I have hope because I remember something Father Jim Callan from Spiritus Christi church in Rochester, NY once said – nothing can hold back the spring. As I look out the window at feet of snow, I remember that this too shall pass and before I know it, I will be looking at the green grass again and hearing the birds sing and the buds will be back on the trees and flowers will be blooming. When I remember that all this is part of the circle of life, I am hopeful.
I am hopeful when I see people like Paul Farmer of Doctors without Borders creating ways of delivering health care to people who need it most and treating them with dignity and respect, there are so many people, places and things in the world, which give me, hope.
Sometimes things symbolize hope for me. One of the things I have on top of my desk in my office is a water fountain. I love water fountains because they remind me that nothing is the same – things are ever changing – even when things appear to be the same, they are different. I mean the fountain seems to be doing the same thing over and over, but the reality is that the water I am seeing is not the same; it has been affected by the process it has gone through as it prepares to come out of the fountain again. My seashells give me hope. I love to hold them up to my ear and if I listen closely, I can hear the sound of the ocean. If a little shell can remind me of a place where I feel peace and love and connection can bring me to a space of inspiration and grace, then I know that the Creator can and does use everything to keep us all connected to each other.
Every time I am in the kitchen I feel hope. I do not quite understand all of it yet, but there is something amazingly spiritual for me about the kitchen and everything, which happens there. It is a place where I get to be with all we have been blessed with, appreciate the ingredients for who they are, recognize that each has been on its own journey to get to me. I realize that it comes to me, as I come to the creator, ready to be appreciated, treated with dignity, respect, and ready to be transformed. When the Creator is able to work through me to transform a collection of ingredients, I know the Creator can do the same with me and this gives me hope.
Probably the one last thing I can think of which gives me hope is just waking up. Because I am mindful that not everyone always gets to do that. So when I wake up, I am hopeful that the Creator will use me somehow to make a difference in the world.