Hope for Healing

As 2020 draws to a close, here’s hoping for a fresh start to the new year. No one could have predicted how 2020 ended up unfolding. So much change in so many unexpected ways. It reminds me of how uncertain, unpredictable and precarious life really is. We think we can anticipate and depend on certain things, but in reality, it can all disappear at any time. Pema Chodron offers much insight in her teachings about living with change and uncertainty. By having regular spiritual practices that ground us, we can more skillfully navigate the winds and storms of life without becoming unmoored from our roots.

Because of the unexpected nature of this year, I am especially grateful for my meditation practice. When things feel really hard, I experience the benefits of refinding my center and maintaining a larger perspective. My spiritual practices help me to step back a bit from the intensity of the emotions that arise and keep me from becoming mired in fear, despair and overwhelm. Of course, I am always cultivating those seeds of peace, love and compassion within. My aspiration is that my actions can spring from the deepest wells of loving kindness steeped in my heart. When times are so difficult for so many, I desire to foster more healing and ease rather than contribute to the widespread suffering so evident.

As we begin this new year with high hopes for a safe and effective vaccine so that we can move through this pandemic, may we honor the health care providers on the front lines. As the Winter Solstice marks the return of the light and gradually longer days, it is also the start of winter and continued quarantine for so many of us. If you can, reach out to those who you know are alone and/or struggling. I’ve been sending snail mail cards out to folks this year to reach out and spread some love and care. It will be a tough winter for many, so any ways that we can provide some ease and joy are valuable.

As we approach the political transition this month with relief in our hearts, may we keep in mind that although the new administration is much better than the previous one, it is still steeped in white supremacy culture. We have much work to do to keep our elected officials accountable and move toward dismantling white supremacy culture. May 2021 be a year of healing – healing from the ravages of this pandemic, healing from the harm of the past 4 years, healing of our earth and the fragile climate that is rapidly changing. Mostly, may this be a year of healing within ourselves. So much suffering and trauma has occurred on so many levels this past year. May we take some time to soothe our wearied spirits, to take exquisite care of our precious selves, to offer love and care to those around us and to extend that to all beings on this planet. May it be so.

Blessed Be, Diane Melvin, Religious Education Director

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