Friday, February 7, 2014

Simply Imagine That Day



Can you imagine? Can you close your eyes and see it?

Can you see that day when it simply does not matter who you are, where you came from, your country of origin, your religion, your sexual orientation, your political stripes, the colour of your skin..that we treated each other well. Can you simply imagine?

I can ...as hard as it is on days like today, when my mayor orders a Pride flag taken down, as hard as it is when some asks what is that garb on your head, as hard as it is as I monitor and witness abuse after abuse online...I can imagine.

What will it take to get to that great day? I am unsure.

I know for me someone who has flipped flopped and believed many things over the years, who has thought some pretty hard core things for periods of time, I am unsure. What I do imagine? Kindness, mercy, investigation, a getting to know your neighbor, an inclusion.

So often we disconnect. We choose to brutalize each other with our tongues, with our thoughts, with our actions. It hurts. The pain is real. Then we disconnect, we don't talk, we let hate and discord fester. How about we seek connection instead. How about we imagine on that great day that nothing else matters and we can reach out in love, in mercy, in forgiveness, in kindness and seek to understand. Wouldn't that be something?

I can imagine that day. Can you close your eyes and see it?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Judgement and Faith

Some recent events including a conversation with a friend, it being awards season and all that goes on with it this time of year. I began to think about how quick we are to judge each other, to make unsolicited comments, to mock, to tease, and to justify not only our questioning but our own way of thinking. This happens especially in areas of religion. I remember being a Southern Baptist youth and attending classes and being taught many of other faiths were not only wrong but in cults, when they were simply finding another way, another path to God.

Often we are more then our brother or sisters keeper we often are their judge and jury as well.

In the Gospel of Mattew it says this

From the New International Version.

Last night I was at the Canadian Sufi Cultural Center, I loved the fellowship, and was reminded of two little facts. I have been a spiritual person all of my life but that spirit has been has been one that questions, one that wonders, that wondering has lead me on many a spiritual walk. I have been blessed to have walked alongside leaders, scholars, and the average joe of many faiths and learned so much over the years as I have walked my own personal path of faith. The fact that I have been a spiritual wanderer is of little significance, it really doesn't matter. As I was reminded last night there are many paths to God, not one.

Often we are quick to look at our differences, to judge, to question another how about instead we look for the ways we are the same. As I approach middle age for me I am finding now I can see the similarities more clearly, the ways of kindness, the ways of love. Too often we look at our differences and judge, how about trying a cloak of love, a cloak of kindness?

Many are turning from organized religion because they see dogma, infighting and the politics of places of worship, they see judgement on those of another faith, they are turned off. I know I have been. This will not change, unless there is a change in mindset.

One of the greatest commandments we are given no matter our faith, is to LOVE.

You can not love, with judgement. You can not show kindness and judge, you can show compassion and love.

I have found when I embrace compassion and love wherever and whenever I can I am a better woman, a better human. My goal is to reach out in love and kindness, to embrace differences, to seek the beauty in it all, and to remember that the individual paths to God are going to be different, but that is quite ok.

Whether you see me at the Sufi Center, a masjid, a church, a temple, or even attending a PowWow my goal is to learn, to grow, to be a woman of faith, of love, of compassion and courage. I think that makes me pretty much on the right path for me.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

On Faith, Fear and Terror

As I sat here today watching CNN, I was again sickened by an act of terror taken out by someone who chose to enter a building of worship simply to inflict pain.

This isn't the first act of domestic terrorism to come to a church's doorstep in the United States, nor do I believe it will be the last.  Whenever we extoll one faith as THE way, we dismiss the views of others. Often I have seen fear and misunderstanding turn to hate. Really as I watched today I was taken back to a time and place when I actually was scared because of my faith.

Back in 1998, I was an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and lived in Ruidosa, New Mexico. During the month of May of that year, 4 Mormon churches were desecrated and the stake center ( the congregational meeting for a large geographic area) was burned to the ground. Luckily no lives were lost, but hundreds were left without a place of worship for a time.

I remember well the damage done to my own church building, I remember the fear that was felt by members of the church, I remember well the men who decided they would start guarding the local buildings to try and prevent more damage. I remember well the gratitude when an arrest was made. But I also remember trying to understand why someone could act in such a way, what could cause such hate.

Then after that 911 happened and since  911 I have asked that question quite a few times as I have watched the dialogue of so many who spew hate, and when hate becomes embed it is easier to make an excuse for an act that will terrorize other, damage property and even end in death. The hate needs to stop. There needs more dialogue between those of different faiths. There needs to be understanding. If you believe in a GOD, you need to embrace the first fundamentals of any faith.

I have yet to have found a faith that is not based on love, on kindness, on submission to God, this is the common denominator I have found in all the faiths I have encountered and studied whether Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Sikh, and Hindu. There are things that do bind all faiths, we need to embrace those more. We need to take a stand for each other, and show the love and kindness that are own faiths are built on.

As the Sikh community tries to recover from today's tragic events, may those of us who are of other faiths step up beside them and encourage them and bless them, as we go forward how about reaching out to that neighbor who is just a little different, to that person who dresses different, prays different etc., you never know what you might learn-you may find you have many things in common. I know I have and I am thankful for that.


Friday, January 6, 2012

Revisiting

This week I returned to something familiar, this old blog of mine. I read old posts, and reminisced. I thought about the past few years and all the twists and turns it brought. I thought about the woman I am now, I thought about the dreams I had when I was so much younger, you know those high mountainous goals. I thought by 40, I would be married, house, kids..raising a family, working hard.

I had another birthday last week, another year gone and those dreams of yesteryear are becoming but a distant memory. The dream of teaching, the dream of a good marriage, the dream of travel.

Instead life through me a few curve balls, you know the kind, that no one sees coming.

There was the rape, and the miscarriage.
There was a short marriage.
There was the fire.
There was the hurricane.
There was the cancer.
There was job losses and gains over the years.
There were 14 moves.
There was a daughter bullied so badly she ended in the hospital.

There was so much one could call it craptacular.

There were also friends found in each location who became my steady rocks.
There was a place to lay my head each and every night even when I was homeless.
There was food always.
There was the blessing of having a beautiful daughter.
There is the job I have today.
There were skills learned along the way.

I have learned you can make the best of plans, dream big, and all of that, but what you do in the small moments is what counts. It is what you do when life throws you that curve ball, because each of us will have our own.

My dreams of yesteryear may be gone, but what came along the way, the hard times, and the blessings along the way have made me who I am right now in this moment. I'm learning more and more about life in the moment. I am learning about faith, about the simple things that can bring the most joy. I have become a woman of strength, a woman who is content, and still optimistically dreaming, because the craptacular will come, but the biggest lesson learned it will also go.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Emotion

Have you ever just wanted to curl up and have a good cry?

That has been me this week.

So many emotions have been weighing heavy on my heart.

When my brother in law lost his father last week I was thrown back in time to when I lost my own dad. Even years later I am still missing him. I miss that nightly call. I miss his voice. I miss his sense of humor. I miss drinking tea with him.

Then to top it off my best girl friend found out recently she has borderline stage 4 cancer. She has only a 50% chance of surviving this. She is only 40. This week she shared her fear that she would not make it through this. I did my best to encourage her, to give her strength all the time fearing the loss of my friend. I can't imagine my life without her being a mere phone call away.

Then there has been my Mom who is getting ready for a grand adventure in her later years. She has packed up her home and is moving across the country to be with a man she met online. This brought up many emotions for me as I did that exact thing some 14 years ago. I want to be happy for her but I find it difficult as I know the dangers of picking it all up to start new. I know what it is to move across a country for love. I also know what it is to see it go up in flames all around you.

The other side of mom packing up her place is that she has been giving away many things to us kids. My home now houses my grandfather's waterfall cedar chest, an old picture of my favorite family pet, my grandmother's china and mom's wedding dress( from years ago). There is also a ton of family pictures to sort through. It is like a trip down memory lane. A trip filled with memories bad and good.

I feel drained, emotionally spent.

Then to top everything off this week there are 3 anniversaries, dates I wish were not seared into my mind. the anniversary of my step father's death, my wedding anniversary, and my divorce anniversary. With the memory of each of these more emotion comes tumbling to the surface.

I am trying to deal with my emotions. In the stillness of the night I find it especially hard. So many things weighing on me. Right now it is so hard not to get caught in the emotions. I am finding it hard to be present as my mind drifts to other people and how I miss them, or want to encourage them or warn them. This week I keep having to remind myself to breathe. Have you ever felt utterly caught in emotion?




Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Quest for the Perfect Leaf


On Monday it was Thanksgiving here in Nova Scotia.
Family tradition is a good fall hike.
We ventured forth looking for the perfect leaves.
The tree on the bottom was our favorite





Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Fall is Here




Can you smell it, taste it, feel it? Fall is here! Fall is my favorite time of year. I love the colors, the leafs, the crispness of the air. Are you a fall lover?




 
Copyright 2009 Simply Hollie Template and Design by Sweet n Simple Design
Scrapbook elements by FarrahsDesignerScraps at PolkaDotPotato - Stitches by Jasmin-Olya Designs