Monday, April 14, 2014


When my daughter was young, I spent many hours watching children's shows on the public broadcasting network. Naturally, one of the constants on her list was Sesame Street.

I found it comical that when taking this picture, I thought of Cookie Monster gobbling up his cookies. Here, the branches are set to gobble up the moon.

Daily, I overhear others making connections over many things in our lives. A person in the check-out line says "You look just like...." to the clerk who's newly encountered. A new parent picks up a box of cereal commenting, "This used to be my favorite cereal when I was a kid. No way is my kid eating this sugar-coated nonsense!" A pair of teenagers in a clothing store share which famous person wore a shirt "just like this one" to a concert.

I laughed at this image because it reminded me of a younger version of my daughter and myself. It brought back sweet, loving, joyful memories. Perhaps the look-alike person was someone the speaker missed or thought of with fondness. Each of us connects what we encounter with something else. We have a file inside our brains keeping track of all that we've done, all those we've cared for or fought with or admired, the words we spoke and others spoke to us. I love those kinds of gentle connections that bring joy with them.

The connections made with people or situations that were not so positive are far more subtle.  Words spoken or looks given that brought with them feelings of shame or fear or separation are more difficult to pinpoint, to connect to the surroundings. I internalize the feelings in all of these situations, yet my mind seeks to erase the images of those moments. My bond to the specifics of the uplifting situations is strong and sure. With the darker side, it's more nuanced, fewer details ~ which is good, a form of self-protection.

I actively seek to stay open, not to judge myself or others for whatever it is I perceive. Also, to peer closely at the moments when I take on or dismiss what I feel and determine what is real and true or fake and false, what lifts me up or what brings me down. As I attend to these shifts, my awareness growing, I connect more with God, more in the NOW, and generally more at peace.

What about you? What makes you happy? What makes you angry? What do you do to connect or reconnect yourself to peace?

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