If you only read one thing about the Boston Marathon let it be this:
If you are losing faith in human nature today, watch what happens in the aftermath of an attack on the Boston Marathon. The flood of donations crashed the Red Cross’s Web site. The organization tweeted that its blood supplies are already full. People are lining up outside of Tufts Medical Center to try and help. Runners are already vowing to be at marathons in the coming weeks and months. This won’t be the last time the squeakers run Boston. This won’t be the last time we gather at the finish line to marvel how much more we can take than anyone ever thought possible.
And watch this…
Although it seems unrelated I trust that you will understand how I see this as integral to ending violence…
if we were able to see the beauty in ourselves and each other we would never be able to do anything but love one another…
I sent this video to a group of my friends whose hearts I know will be bruised by all of the grief and the loss that happened yesterday at the Boston Marathon… a group who will seek to choose love over anger and fear. And it is in these moments that I call out to each of them, to remind myself that I am not alone in braving the world with an open and vulnerable heart, that I am not the only one that believes that kindness and compassion are the only way to peace.
I hope that they are able to see the beauty of themselves and others. It takes a tremendous amount of courage and to go against the grain, against all of those who will rail with anger, gnash their teeth and present violence as a justified response to violence.
I choose to fight violence with beauty.
So yesterday and last night I purposefully sought out beauty, to share things that restored my faith in humanity, that remind me that I am surrounded by so many loving, kind, generous, beautiful, caring, committed people.
And I wanted them to know…
And dear reader, this is for you as well…
And when I think of you…
Beauty is one of the first things that comes to mind…
Beauty that shines through each of you, radiant kindness and amazing grace.
So thank you for your beauty, for your kindness and your grace.
Continue to shine like the stars in the midst of the dark night…
The world needs your light.
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I gathered with women and men this morning from across the state of Minnesota to talk about moving a statewide plan to end violence forward. Why this is necessary, why now… and one only needs turn on the news this afternoon to be reminded why. In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon Bombs yet again we are forced to choose our response as a nation, as a community, as individuals.
So again, I make my choice.
To radiate love.
To stand in the midst of pain and darkness and declare my trust that love will overcome. To comfort those who grieve, to hold the light for those who feel lost in this darkness.
Perhaps this overcoming will not be in the timeline that I choose… I am willing to surrender my idea of a timeline, my attempt at gaining control over something so much bigger than myself. I acknowledge that fear and anger are so corrosive… and yet… time and time again I have seen love shift hearts, I have seen how true welcome create community, I have borne witness to pain transforming into forgiveness, into healing, into love.
I believe that the antidote to violence is community, caring for each other and setting compassion as our default emotion rather than fear and anger.
I believe the antidote is connection- not distance.
I believe the answer involves more vulnerability- not arming ourselves literally or figuratively.
The most brave people I have known have slayed their own dragons, have stood strong through storms of doubt, and have continued to seek love even when it was difficult.
To choose love when fear is the easy option, to keep your heart open when the easy choice would be to shut your heart down, to continue to risk even though there are no guarantees. That is true bravery.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Boston Marathon, Bravery, choose love, end violence, radiate | 4 Comments »
I remember reading a book by SARK when I was in college, and she talked about walking around with a little net where she would capture all of these little miracles. She called it the “miracle moment collector”. That idea stuck with me, and over the years, as I have collected quotes, art, poetry, bits of goodness here, there and everywhere I realize that I am doing it too.
And I have been reminded recently that it is both a learned behavior, but also an incredible gift. And since I think the best thing to do with gifts is to share them I would like to start a new series on the blog when inspiration strikes where I will offer what has brought a smile, a tear, a laugh to my face, with the intent to pass along all the miracles that I have been collecting. I cast my net widely, you will never know what you will get… there are so many miracles in the world, and so much goodness…
So for today these things:
The loveliest video I have come across in a long time.
What happens when strangers meet in a ball pit.
I love listening to the way children tell stories. The way they breathe as they talk, the way they switch ideas midstream, the way that they giggle and guffaw. There is something so magical about following the mind of a child.
The Scared is Scared
This is a woman that I wish I knew, and I can only hope that my legacy will be as beautiful as hers.
Adventures in cardboard.
I will admit, I now have a not so secret desire to hoard my cardboard boxes and come join them this summer. You don’t think they would mind if I joined in?
Now go find some goodness.
Posted in Beauty, So Much Goodness, Visible Love | Tagged ball pit, goodness, Miracle, SARK, Soul pancake | 2 Comments »
The other day I ran into a friend who had said he was thinking of me the other day because someone had asked a question and he knew I would love it. As I have written about before I am a bit obsessed with questions. I think they are pretty fantastic and often open up new ways of being, thinking and seeing.
Instead of “How are you?” his friend has started to ask “Who are you becoming?”
It was so exciting to me on two levels, one is because he knew that I would like it, and it feels good to be known, to be thought of, to be seen. And isn’t that what friendship is? To take note of something that another would like, to share bits and pieces of life and to say in ways big and small… You Matter To Me.
And two because it is simply a fantastic question. One that opens up so many possibilities for conversation and for truly engaging more deeply in one another’s lives.
And I thought about the deepening of friendships, of getting to know people on a new levels and how that happens. As I look at many of my relationships and how they have deepened over time and I look at ways that they have gotten stuck, ways that they have gone sideways, forwards and backwards I am reminded that friendships are living breathing things that need to be tended with love and attention. Sometimes we need to see people in new ways, to be reminded of who they are becoming, and sometimes we need to remind ourselves of who we would like to become.
For today… give yourself permission, space and time to grow into who you are becoming.
Posted in Courage, Friendship, Questions, Uncategorized | Tagged becoming, being seen, Friendship, You Matter | 9 Comments »
Today here in the US we celebrated Martin Luther King Jr. Day. And although many use it as a National Day of Service, with so much of my life being the director of a Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Advocacy Center is about service I generally use this day to be more reflective and to fill myself to be able to continue to be of service.
By this point I am usually drained from the extroversion of the past few months… between the Holiday gatherings, the weekend of service being an advisor with 1,600 of my favorite young people at the YMCA Minnesota Youth In Government and all of the rest of life that continues to roll on I usually need a day or two of hunkering down and finding some restoration for my soul. It was negative 12 most of today, and with windchill (which those of you who don’t live in MN it essentially means what it really feels like) it was negative 35. Crazy cold is an understatement. Today my restoration was found in some poetry and time enjoying the warmth of the fire and the counting of the many blessings that have been unfolding in my life over the past year.
I want to share with you some words from one of my favorite poets and I hope that they bring your soul the peace that they did mine:
My wish for you…
That you create some time to allow your blessings to find you, that you feel the warmth of a fire, that you “become inclined to watch the way of rain”, that you allow yourself to be deeply nourished.
P.S. If you like the Blessed sign that I have, you can get your very own from my friend Amy at Little Fish Designs. Some great items on there! Be sure to check out all of her fantastic wares.
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged Fire, John O'Donohue, Restoration, Silence, Soul | 1 Comment »
Given today I thought these sentiments were worth revisiting...
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Compassion changes everything. Compassion heals. Compassion mends the broken and restores what has been lost. Compassion draws together those who have been estranged or never even dreamed they were connected. Compassion pulls us out of ourselves and into the heart of another, placing us on holy ground where we instinctively take off our shoes and walk in reverence. Compassion springs out of vulnerability and triumphs in unity.
Judy Cannato~ Field of Compassion
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