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Always We Hope
~ Lao Tzu
Always we hope
someone else has the answer,
some other place will be better,
some other time,
it will turn out.
This is it.
No one else has the answer,
no other place will be better,
and it has already turned out.
At the center of your being,
you have the answer:
you know who you are and
you know what you want.
There is no need to run outside
for better seeing,
nor to peer from a window.
Rather abide at the center of your being:
for the more you leave it,
the less you learn.
Search your heart and see
the way to do is to be.
This came out of an exercise from my UUCA covenant group. My co-facilitator D suggested, shortly after the election, that she felt motivated to affirm where she stood, in order to be better able to stand up in the face of the insanity we felt was crashing down all around us. At our December meeting we took the opportunity to write statements of belief. I found it surprisingly empowering to do this.
I believe in always going the extra mile. I may get there late, but I’ll always stay until the end, after all the work is done.
I believe in asking good questions, because people are almost always grateful for the chance to tell their stories.
I believe in being generous because why not? Even if I don’t have much I will always share it with you, or with whoever needs it.
I believe in giving people the benefit of the doubt. Assume good intentions. Despite recent evidence, I have to believe that most people are doing the best they can with what they know and what they have.
I believe in saying yes. I’m going to learn from doing something new. I’m going to push myself. I’m going to make life a little easier for someone else.
I believe in community. I am a better person when I surround myself with good people and I give myself to the whole.
I believe in the necessity of loving yourself and taking care of yourself. You’re the only one who truly knows what you need.
I believe in asking for and accepting help. Everyone can do something and I definitely can’t do it alone.
I believe people know more than they think they do.
I believe in the power of music and words to inspire, to heal, and to make meaning in a chaotic world.
I believe that words always matter and I choose them with care and attention.
I believe that sometimes the wisest and kindest thing to say is nothing.
I believe that it’s never too late to try again and you’re never too old to learn.
I believe kindness is most important of all.
This poem came out of an exercise from the covenant group that I am co-facilitating at UUCA with my friend D. The theme for December is presence, and we were discussing and writing about when we have felt the presence of the holy.
What Holy Is
unfettered, your heart leaps and bursts
your self melts away
unexpected moments of peace, ephemeral
laughter that makes your eyes stream, face wrinkle, belly ache–surrendering to silliness
joining the seven thousand-heart choir on melody or harmony or something else entirely as Emily and Amy sing out
–any music that covers you so completely that you have to close your eyes and dance with your whole body or your two hands or your fluttering soul
reading a book whose wondrous, unforeseen rearrangement of words tears your heart to shreds and tenderly mends it back together
genuine, inspired hugs, even when they are awkward
–maybe especially then
intimate, startling vulnerability–locking eyes, witnessing tears, being understood