Tuesday, November 1, 2016

All Saints' Day 2016

Sojourner Truth, Bartolomé de las Casas, Miriam, Origen, Malcolm X, Queen Elizabeth I, Iqbal Masih, & Teresa of Avila
Considering the seasonal closeness and thinness of the veils between the worlds, thoughts of the saints dancing nearby, celebrating with and in spite of us, brings a smile to my lips. In that place beside yet distinct and distant from us, there is no more separation. The saints find joy in everything. They celebrate, love, embrace, and glow with the light of their joy.

Where we find ourselves in the world, in this same moment, can be trying or frightening or enraging or sad. We are influenced by the moods, words and experiences of others as well as our own. However, the word influence comes from Latin and means into flow. We have choice of what influences us, what flow we step into. We can be in the flow of a mud-slinging election season. Or in the flow of the severe changes in our work environment. Or in the flow of the grief and death of a friend. All of these things touch our lives in their particular way. We can choose how much, how long or how deeply we want to allow ourselves to be in that flow. Don't deny the feelings. Don't wallow in them either. Learn the power of balance.

Sometimes, the immediacy of someone's words or actions or disappearance in our lives whacks us off our emotional feet. That is what being embodied humans is all about. We feel in all possible ways. It's good to feel ~ to allow the joy or sadness or grief or love to rush over us. It's also good to take perspective on those feelings, to look at the joy of the dancing saints in the icon above, and recognize ourselves in that as well.

At this season, the closeness of the saints can bring us to tears of sorrow, grief and joy all at the same time or perhaps wildly in turns. While we feel our own personal feelings around them, may we have the grace to touch into their dancing too.

What do you feel about the saints who have passed through your life? Who are they? How have they affected you? What can you do to acknowledge their presence in this season?

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