Archive for the ‘Spirituality’ Category


P-R-A-Y-E-R.

“We have been so persistently taught that prayer consists in asking God for some human need that we have lost sight of our spiritual identity and have become a race of praying beggars.”

-Charles Fillmore

To some a four letter word. To others an opiate (to paraphrase Karl Marx) to keep the masses appeased and seeing themselves as fallen. Some an introspective/meditative/positive thinking technique that removes any personal or mystical agency for the miraculous. At worst, an intercession to a man in the sky that may deem us worthy or unworthy of aid.

And the stalled litany that removes mystic growth of the soul to true love communion with creation and loving Creator is removed by continuing the piece meal of pablum. Where is the meat? Those growing, become emaciated as they are not allowed out of pre-school, and those in pre-school are never given the challenge of spiritual growth into Kindergarten or Grade One (never mind 2-12 or upper colleges of spirituality) because no one wants to rock the tradition boat. Whether you are from the Abrahamic religions, Eastern spiritualities or meta-physicians.

5 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

7 “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. 9 Pray then like this:

“Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name.[a]

-Gospel of Matthew 6:5-9 (English Standard Version)

The debate over how we pray. While we miss the point on what is the point of prayer. In her 2011 book, How to Pray Without Talking to God, Unity Minister Rev. Linda Martella-Whitsett poses this question:

To what degree does praying in the traditional fashion support or detract from your growing awareness of your divine identity?

-p.45

Much like Brother Jesus in his teaching on prayer. Break the mold of what is taught by rote, without emotion, without self(lessness); without connection to the divinity that is breathed into us, and that is around us (y’know that love source we are from and return to). For it creates a false dichotomy that one method is better than another. There is no false dichotomy. All movements have their ways. Centering and grounding techniques to bring us to peace.

book

Great new book study with UCM Alberta

A priest mentor gave a sermon on praying for the dead, which would be seen as the ultimate traditional form of prayer. It has been taught to pray your loved ones out of purgatory into paradise (heaven). What I loved is he pointed out that purgatory in its purest form is having whatever has kept us from the Love Source, God, purged away instantaneously upon death. So why pray for the dead? It allows us to get out of our own pain/heads/hearts and speak that which is mired deeply within us.

What is that? It is grief processing? Singly, and when Mass is celebrated for the person, communally. It is healing.

In the metaphysical way taught by such as Ernest Holmes, The Fillmores, and Mary Baker Eddy to name a few, it is about going within to the divine identity that always exists. Much like the Lord’s Prayer Jesus leads into with his words from the Sermon on the Mount, these methods allow us to centre and root.

Image result for lord's prayer

Hey do you notice any metaphysical steps in this?

The Five Steps of Affirmative Prayer (Holmes’ way) are here. While my family prefers the method of this spirituality taught to kids. BINGO: Begin with God; Include yourself; Name your good; Give thanks; Over and Out.

 

Much like the Lord’s Prayer almost mirrors…

Image result for ACTS prayers

Into the Unity Five Step Process which is simply (from Unity.org):

1. Relax
Close your eyes. Relax, breathe deeply, and let go of outer concerns.
2. Concentrate
Quiet your mind. Begin to focus your thoughts on the spirit of God within you.
3. Meditate
With an open mind and a receptive heart, feel the peace of God’s presence. “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10 RSV).
4. Embrace the Silence
In the silence of your soul, know that you are one with God. Allow this realization to permeate your being.
5. Give Thanks
So is it talking outside or within yourself?
What is prayer?
It is communing with the love that we are sourced from. Tapping into the cosmic dust that exists within. personalized and cosmoligically. It is coming to an understanding of surrender, presence and love.
This is halted when Chemicalization (psychologically may present as cognitive dissonance) sets in. When we become stuck in the pablum of life not open to the grand cosmic buffet. Martella-Whitsett (2011) defines chemicalization as “a confused state of consciousness when embedded beliefs appear threatened by the introduction of new spiritual ideas.” (p. 41). The protection mechanism of life, as change triggers the grief cycle, and the grief cycles forces us to acknowledge that we are autonomous and interdependent people. It is easier to freeze where we are comfortable than to continue the journey.
That is why prayer is such a dividing line between movements, for it is within how we pray that we can label those who have “levelled up” and those who have not. Missing the point, that in the journey, many ways and means will bring us back to the grounding of understanding and resonance with God.
It may seem unbelievable…but…
P-R-A-Y-E-R
Takes many forms as a way to centre the person and community into the true source and identity of who they are. It centres us into seeing each and every person as part of the beautiful rainbow of creation and belonging. Labels define supports, not the intrinsic worth of the person.
Created in love. Meant to return to love. And most importantly, to live out of that love…to as the Christian Testament describes it…bring the Kingdom here.
That is to transform our world through one humble act of compassionate love at a time.
Are you willing to truly enter into prayer?
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Rebuilding the Mind Palace/Interior Castle using universal design. When those things are multi-leveled and crash on in, it hurts something fierce from the brain through the emotions to the body to the soul.

Raise your hand if you actually know how many times you have hit your head in your lifetime? (if you actually know, I loathe you). 12 days from now, 1 year ago, my life literally neurologically crashed in on itself (watch out for turning 39 years old it is a trap). Since then it has been taking life one chapter at a time attempting a rebuild or a reboot as the analogy may go.

Looking back, known, yet hard to prove scientifically it was the culmination of a build up of environmental factors and neurological factors triggered by most plausibly a microstroke(s) a year and a bit before hand. It involved nothing showing up on ER visits back then, and any crash down sick time in between looking like a flu or de-stress after pushing oneself, yet through different eyes weird symptoms lines up. Everything from weird vomits to headaches to coldness/fatigue/foginess/minor memory loss to soreness down to ones bones. But in the early coming bouncing back and things would cycle through happy black spaces and reboot quickly.

But, as the stubborn man I can be, always bouncing back. Not truly understanding how neuro-a-typical I was until it slipped away. To last year with almost daily ER visits. Weird seizure/convulsions; increase in the symptoms severity (to the point that my body was continually running hypothermic, yeah I was Ice Man baby)…facing stigma in the ER because until I wound up before an RN who had been a student on rotation in my programs that advocated for me, they kept putting me off as a fentanyl addict overdosing (even after my wife showed video, and they kept telling me it happens again come back). That was the trigger that fired me into Neuro, and eventually led to my leave from work to try and figure out a new reality. A new reality triggered, by literally, my old mind palace collapsing in upon itself. All the years of self care, healing, from the journey of helping walked, shattered. Body rife with pain, physical exhaustion, mind losing memory, the neuro-memory of tools for the work of aiding another, struggling some days so my words wouldn’t slur, or fighting with my weaker left side to not need a cane and unable to focus to read something as simple as a Murder, She Wrote mystery novel (when I would usually juggle 10 books within a four day span) and the vivid lived again flashbacks of the worst days of my life (think of a computer reboot on the old DOS systems when some things would not load and you would have gaps, that is what would happen within my reboots post episodes).

The full court press of figuring it out through our health care system (which I am grateful for), yet triage’s highest need-that is silo’s the person into pieces- (stopping the brain from yo-yoing inside my skull–still a work in progress, though slowed). Trust me, when your brain clicks on and off like a light switch you have the constant stress that one time it may switch off and won’t switch back on. I can sit here frustrated and angry. Yes I have those moments, not as many as I used to. Some answers, yet as those were answered, and some symptoms vanish, others would persist and leave people stumped (I think maybe 8 folks have looked at different brain scans trying to figure it out-yes I enjoy excelling at what I do lol) and am still awaiting more tests to close loopholes. The doctors still not able to answer if with my partial unsteadiness if I should use a cane, or with my weird mind I need a medic alert bracelet because well I am weird. It is all about seeking the answer to the question that is needed now (for I knew how it used to–freakishly mutant like I am told):

How does my brain work now?

In the midst of that, and living with a constant migraine style head ache, we have lived a journey that we are thankful for an employer that has supported us with good benefits to aid in the healing. We have faced the challenge of keeping our 45ish year old house shored up (nice word for what happens when main drains meet poplar roots); renewing major appliances; minivan; fighting the government over my son’s wheel chair; fighting Alberta Education to treat children with disabilities with dignity when they lose friends; fighting with CBE to treat transporting of children with dignity. Fighting to hold my brain together to aid when questions are asked as innocuously as how the system of homelessness works for a Nativity play, that the asker would not know triggered a week of flashbacks at that time in the journey.

Some positive memories finally popping up, like a live action real of Facebook in the mind’s eye:

4 August 2012 · 

The greatest blessing I was reminded of in my time in ministry The Mustard Seed a former resident looked at me and said, “when it was my darkest and I thought no one cared, you told me to come home. Who knew Come Home would be such a life changer”

Yet it is not down a rabbit hole of despair. For the above Nativity play allowed me to aid my son in being apart of it; and our daughter to shine. We were able to make summer camps work for my daughter to maintain some normalcy. My daughter still being able to have a major slumber party she was planning at Christmas time and other sleep overs. I am getting better at reading and processing, not like it was before, but getting back a bit (chapter by chapter). Focusing on working on writing, as it brings focus to the scattering (and allows for downtime after when needed to reboot). Those moments when a friend makes time each week to get together, knowing your family has taken a financial hit, and still connects to discuss life, politics, spirituality and whatever else happens or a friend that has blessed your kid when needed with vcr’s so he can keep his independence. Another friend that seeks your counsel on different matters. The regular book study still happening in your home, and growing a little bit. Some have aided in the financial tightness that can exist between life and safety nets kicking in. My Dad and his wife, helping with meals, or whatever else (would have been a chilly winter without his furnace expertise), and just being grandparents and having their granddaughter out for sleep overs on the farm. Being able to be apart of a few parades with your kids like they are used to in summers (its their philanthropy and volunteerism). The moment in the VBS feast when the adults ensure that not only is your daughter invited to the youth group, but they have planned out all the logistics to ensure your son can get through to the event and belong.

It is a time when you get to know your friends and family. You get to see who continues to journey along with you, not simply those who help, but those who adjust and still keep up life that was before. For health and healing, is a process of the whole person. The system only handles a piece of it. The rest is the belonging one has in their social circles of support.

Discerning your true place of belonging.

This journey is hard. It is frustrating. Some days my memory or mind will betray me. Some times my emotions betray me, for no reason.  It is getting better. I am still the person I once was. I am learning to be the person I am now in this chapter. It is like a preface of a new book, this is what brings us up to the point before the prologue. The unofficial start before the official pieces of the life narrative.

The preface is arriving at the entrance of a new labyrinth if you will. The prologue once understanding how everything is functioning, and rebooting without so many gaps… well that will be stepping into the new labyrinth and beginning the walk to the centre.

Or

Turning the page into the prologue and entering the centre is when the prologue ends.

And the great writer of my story.

Types the simple words:

Chapter One.

That will be a day of new gratitude.

Tonight, I am grateful for the blessings of my Mind Palace that collapsed.

I am thankful for the implosion.

I find gratitude in creating a new work… Thank you to those who have supported us on this pilgrimage. (And yes, FYI, my soul mate is a living angel and saint for journeying with me before any of this happened, and continuing on).

tommy2

 

 


It may be a bit ranty. But as a geek I believe I have a right to be ranty. What the heck folks is up with the vulgar/bullying of “Fandom”? I know fan is short for fanatics (hence the growth of hooliganism in soccer). But geeks we were the place of hanging out and fun discussions? The mainlining of our world has created the hate line of social media.

Y’know what I like? Not worrying if the story is “canon” or how it fits with the last story arc or into the bigger universe. I enjoy good stories of the characters I love, stand alone or intertwined. I am sure if anyone who has followed my pulp writings for the past 32 years could see huge gaping holes in continuity a whole caravan could go through never mind a sub-atomic Ant-Man.

Why am I ranty? Because I love being in the room when my kids are reading a fav book or comic or watching a movie. I love watching them engage with it, whether it is their first or thousandth time. They will let us know if it is a sad part, a happy part, if the villain is being a jerk like villains should be, the jokes (they laugh out loud) and they cheer the heroes on… oh and guess what? Yes they know when watching Star Trek Scotty will figure it out, but my son still cheers the “miracle worker”. My daughter still cheers for the Quidditch matches in Harry Potter. They know who their favourite Doctor is, but still cheer on, or weep the stories/transitions.

Oh, and yes they love action and adventure, super hero movies. My son laughs out loud if Ant-man can escape Thomas the Tank; my daughter loves the “we have a Hulk” line. They laugh loudly re-watching cartoon movies (which even if I didn’t have kids I probably would still own)…and my son declares clearly even with his spastic speech in Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 “Peter’s daddy’s a dick.” Yes son, yes he is.

Oh, and they still gasp in Empire Strikes back when Vader stretches out his hand to Luke and rasps “Luke I am your father.” and Cheer when the Millenium Falcon flies away or the Death Star explodes.  Get a bit weepy over Rory and Amy’s love with Doctor Fezzie’s seasons of Doctor Who (as my kids affectionately call Matt Smith’s Doctor). My son chuckles when Sisko punches Q; and cheers loudly when Rom (who he says is like him, also he claims Groot) finally gets to play Baseball.

The list can go on and on in everything they are in to. How they share their passions and joys with friends and family. How they always wonder, what if this happened with this character.

Y’know, when being a fan of pop culture was fun. Not being a regressive knuckle dragger. My hope is like with their Daddy, the wonder will always stay, and what happens is when a new story is told with their favourite characters they can see the joy in it, or that it was simply a miss and move on to the next (thank you Justice League for bringing back a true Superman– Daddy’s happy dance-).

As you enter the story, yes there is great commentary to be discussed in everything around social justice (as with any good writing), but also take time to simply be immersed in the story and enjoy the ride. You can have something function on two levels, and you don’t have to be a tool towards the creative forces if you disagree with the vision.

Watch or read it with a child’s wonder.

To paraphrase Yoda, “Be one with the story.”

Do or do not. There is no try.

-Yoda


We do not encourage being present in the moment. No matter the aspect of life we are existing in: personal, professional, membership clubs, etc. We are rushing most of the time. We want the next step, the next big thing. With our children we are constantly pushing them to thrive harder, take on more, what happened to that missing 5% from the 95/100. You have to know what you want to do with your life, you are after all 10 years old. What is your 5, 10, 15 year plan? What is the career path you see laid out before you?

What you can’t help with that now it does not fit the plan laid out. Oh, something came up, well it has to be put off until later, not what we want now.  Ridged. Scheduled. Planned out. No wiggle room. Must achieve what you say and do it exemplary.

Trace Adkins’ You’re Going to Miss this, watch/listen here 

Kenney Chesney’s Don’t Blink. Watch/listen here.

If you are not the person or parent preaching/planning like this there must be something wrong with you. Want to confuse a teacher at at CBE parent-teacher conference, ask about social things in the school, speak of holistic education, talk about the outcome being citizenry and zest for lifelong learning, not just a university entrance GPA. Talk about the child/student discovering who they are, their passions and interests and growing a path from that.

Want to confuse friends? Put out there that University or Technical school is not a must for your child. That your child may only have 1 extra-curricular they are booked into, that they want to just spend time in play with their friends. That the kids want to be kids.

It confuses folks, because it is the antithesis of the world we have created. Yet the world we have created has created an outcome that anyone could see coming– children with mental health issues most (if they experienced) would not see until middle age…yet we are talking those at one point in psychiatric history should not be labelled or diagnosed as such is now normative.

What happened? Listen to the two songs above. We have created a world that cannot be in the moment. Cannot be present to the experience that is now. Cannot find contentment in the now. Yes change happens, yet change needs to come from not wrestling with the current gremlin of felt insufficiency or drive to be seen with esteem.

Change comes from following your own interior compass of who you are.

And you have that interior compass, because you have had the time to discover who you are.

Be honest with yourself. In your rush in life up to this point to stick to the plan, to achieve:

What have you missed?

When you close your eyes and think of life, what was gone in a blink?

You cannot change the past, but you can live into the present which in the future will let you look back and know that you didn’t miss what was most important in the blink of an eye.

For your heart eye was on what mattered in life, not the shiny bauble before the magpie.

Bonus listen: Tim McGraw’s Live like you’re dying


When one traces the history of Christianities through the Creeds, statements of faith, liturgical styles, and Biblical Canons what is seen is different communities attempts to assert themselves as “the one true path”. Not realizing the beauty of the forest that was fed by the one river within the community traditions birthed by the life, teachings, death, and new life of Brother Jesus.

The Johannine community writings are such writings. They are the “Gnostic” portion of the Canon decided under Constantine. More likely added because they brought the mystic more fully to the forefront of the Christian Testament, but also because it allowed for the more mystery faith communities to still remain as part of the new Empire Religion, and older mystery religions to easily assimilate.  These writings are Gospel of John, 1-3 John, and Revelation.

The Last book of the Christian Testament is one of the most controversial, even from early Canon setting. Revelation (of St. John). Read it, it is like a religious acid trip. No other word to describe it. It has been used to speak of the end of  the world, fueled an understanding that apocalyptic writings meant that, and has been used as a text of control. When in fact, it is a text that has survived many occasions to be exorcised from the Bible by those using religion to control the people. Why does it matter? In the 7 letters to the 7 churches, it is the story of sedition (treason) and shattering the established oppressive Empire that states those that are “persons” and those that are not. The language was apocalyptic and mythological to hide the under current so as not to increase the genocide of Christians and other monotheists of the time by Roman authorities.

Spiritual Practice:  After reading Revelation, spend time writing a revelation letter to your own religious community. What form and images would it take? what changes would be called for?

2 & 3 John are later letters, that illustrate a bit more of a structured church with bishops/presbyters. But still show us a community struggling with concepts of reconciliation and belonging.

1 John is a commentary. Yes you read that right. It is the commentary on the Gospel of John bluntly putting forward what a community of Love and belonging is.

The Gospel of John. As noted, the Gnostic gospel. Written for a very metaphysical audience as noted with the opening lines of creation not speaking of the physical, but of the light being birthed into the darkness. Echoing the creation narrative, but showing the inward light shining outwards. As a community of belonging is laid out through stories, teachings and miracles, it is shown how the darkness will brutally try to shatter authentic belonging through love. The 2003 movie Gospel of John is available free online, a DVD copy has each chapter of the DVD aligned with the Gospel chapters and is quite useful for group exploration and discussion. For scholarly read of the Gospel of John I point you to the Roman Catholic theologian Raymond Brown, no one is better.

The central theme of all of Johannine writings are summed up in the simple new command, better described as a gift:

So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other.

-Gospel of John 13:34, New Living Translation

The great mystery teaching of all time.

L-O-V-E.

Out of that belonging. It is scary enough the world will try to destroy those that live it.

Will you live LOVE today?

 


Time is not linear. Yes, that is how we track it, but truly we tend to circle back to our regressive roots as cultures more often than not. Almost make that break through on belonging and then BANG! door is closed. The BANG! is usually caused by a slow but steady marketing technique- foot in door. It literally started with door to door salesmen that would use the tip of their shoe to block a closing door so they could use a cold read on the customer to give an in roads to a sale.

We see it today. It is still used within group circles (religious, political and social justice jump to mind the most). In good case scenarios one can look at this technique used for things such as Universal Health Care; human rights; to name but a few.

Unfortunately it has become more familiar in the not so good realms of our societies. A United conservative party candidate recently tweeted of using the technique if they formed government to limit funding, and access to abortion.

In Trump’s America, the resurgence of Fascism started within the Christian Right Circles. First they forgave his philandering ways; Republicans made excuses for his racism and misogyny in allowing him to continue to run; then he mocked a reporter (person) with Cerebral Palsy, and it was still okay. Open and active racism had become acceptable. Apologetic of evangelical Christian faith went into full defense mode, and now there is kids in cages and people scratch their heads as to why.

It reminds me of a great Star Trek story. In the original series was an episode, “Space Seed” that had Kirk & co rescue the Botany Bay. Khan and his crew were survivors of the Eugenics Wars. Yup. Eugenics, genetically engineering to the superior species- perfection- what the Nazi & Stalinist holocausts were all about (extermination of Jews, persons with disabilities, political dissidents, multiple births (i.e twins), LGBTQ2). In the lore of ST it was a war, and Khan and his people were the outcome finally overthrown as Earth realized the horror of their ways. In good Star Trek fashion their lives are spared even after they try to capture the ship, and are left on Ceti Alpha VI to make a new way for themselves.

The sequel was probably one of the best Star Trek movies ever made: Wrath of Khan. Which brought a great quote into the universe of Trekkies:

The needs of the many, outweigh the needs of the few or the one.

-Captain Spock

An older Admiral Kirk with his original lead team, on a ship of young cadets are on a mission to save the Genesis experiment (literally life from lifelessness, or reversed not so kind). The lead scientists are an old flame of Kirk’s (of course) and a son, David, he never knew of. (watch the movie, get Space Seed on Netflix, it makes for a good conversation night). The battle against regression, anger, and hatred is the battle of the Enterprise against Khan. One that costs the next generation (Scotty’s nephew is amongst the causalities). And a friendship ends.

Trekkies were rocked, as Spock died to save the ship, the crew, and be able to get the win. The inevitable hatred and belief of superiority, supremacy of one species over the other, destroyed Khan and his followers.

And you can see the idea that lefties have clung to this idea of the needs of the many can outweigh the needs of the few. So has the right. Civics 101 is simple, the political continuum is not linear, it is spherical, and extremism on both ends comes out to the same hatred filled conclusions. It begins with a simple foot in the door.

For progressives the foot in the door currently in in environmentalism. The great End Plastic Straw Ban Challenge. It is precipitated on the idea that plastic straws are evil and need to end (as well as single use plastics). It started from a horrific picture of what humans using Mother Earth as our toilet, and gutter, has done in regards to straws and turtles.

Yet it is the Khan superiority play. There is a multitude of variances or different types of straws that can be used. Many involve a higher cost (socio-economic challenges). BUT, and this is a big but…

It misses that there is a percentage of those with mental health that need single use plastic straws to overcome germ phobia when drinking.

AND

More, there is a percentage of persons with disabilities in that the only viable straw they can safely use to drink, have some type of independence, is a single use plastic straw.

(and on the socio-economic front, there is a higher percentage of persons with disabilities in the lower socio-economic spectrum)

Want to see hate outside of the Trump feeds? Check out the feeds on the straw bans.

A foot in door. Straws make up 1/10 of 1% of plastics, yet we will target it because it inconveniences the majority the least. Who cares that it actually is a life issue for some. The needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few or the one. It is so much truth even Star Trek taught it.

WRONG!

The Eugenics story line was a trilogy. In Star Trek III: The Search for Spock Kirk and company literally had a chance to possibly save Spock. To allow life. There careers, and status were on the line. But if there was a chance all could move forward in life, then it was worth taking. It was not classed as rational, or logical as Spock’s decision was. It was made out of the decision of being family. Of belonging. Simply put it was the outcome that sometimes:

The needs of the few or the one, outweigh the needs of the many.

As we move the door open by foot. Let’s look at the way it was used for good. Let’s ensure we are not using it to push an agenda of passive or assertive hatred.

Let us step outside our own concern, as Star Trek showed us. Step outside our own concern, and be able to understand experience from another perspective. Be able to comprehend that even if this makes no sense to me that perhaps, simply perhaps, we need to do better as humanity.

When you hear people saying to save the world we need to ban plastic straws and celebrate as the bans roll in. As persons with disabilities go, hey but that means “me” or “my bud” can’t— BELIEVE THEM!

Stand up to the extremes that harm life.

In each of the stories of Eugenics the crew of the Enterprise had a choice to make.

They chose life.

Will you step outside of yourself, empathize, set aside your regimented ideologies and do the same?

Are you able to choose life?

Or does belonging in hate mean more no matter how pretty they make it?

 


But Jesus said, “Let the children alone, and do not hinder them from coming to Me; for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.” Matthew 19: 14 New American Standard Bible

My Mum and Nan’s favourite bible stories were the ones where Brother Jesus was with the little children. Where he upbraided his followers for trying to stop the kids from being kids and being with him. These matriarchal Anglican wisdom teachers had their own complexities of life as all humans do, but they understood something about children. Something we can tend to lose as we age, and was the point of the wisdom teaching.  That kids got the point of life– ALL BELONG. I have shared much about the exuberant love for all my son has in his blessed life with his super powers (what others would call disabilities), but there is more to the story. He is the elder brother. The teacher of a younger sister.

She has been blessed to grow up in a world where truly there was no labels, or concepts of can’t or being “normal” in growth and development. Where whoever you are is celebrated as a beautiful wonderful thing. Yes some will say as a sibling of a child with a disability she should be in a support group or counselling for what she has lost, but that is the grieving model. The medical model of focus on “can’t” instead of “DO”. By focusing on do, we celebrate both in their wonder and achievements, personality and interests. It can be tense because one is a scholarly introvert and the other a bombastic knowledge-experience seeking extrovert.

But what is cool is watching how my little princess has grown. By not focusing on “loss”, but living in celebratory love she has friends that cross the cultures, religions, and abilities. The cool thing is she does not see their differences, she sees her “besties”. She experiences life with them. Those that would say a friend is “confined to a wheel chair” or “walker” she sees someone with wheels to race with. Someone classed as non-verbal, she plays games to get their eyes to dance. As friends worry their daughter new to Canada who does not speak English, my daughter sees the language of play with a new friend. She loves art, science, learning about her aboriginal heritage and from the Elders, she has a passion for mythology and magic, story telling and current events. She helps the little kids learn to be kind, and to read. She helps in the library at her school, and when helping out with a group getting resources she takes into account everyone’s ability and interests not just her own.

An old friend each time she talks to me gets the update, she just got a feather for kindness or her year end award for volunteerism and kindness. My friend chuckles, saying that is quite the journey of community building. Did I forget to mention this is a friend I worked with building community for those who needed homes? And yes my kids were there sharing life too.

We spend far too much time being like the disciples in the story of the children no matter the setting-community, schools, church, work, etc… and not enough time just being the kid. The one that just wants to figure out how their “besties” can BELONG.

So yes, I am proud of my kids and the persons they are growing in to. I am proud my daughter is keeping our proud matriarchal wisdom alive.

The question for you today is:

Can you step into the heart of a child and allow all to belong?

Rub a dub dub

thanks for the Grub.

Amen.

-My Daughter quoting

Great Granddad’s Grace