"Biblical faith calls it the image of God in which we are all created. Thomas Merton calls it true self. Quakers call it the inner light, or 'that of God,' in every person. The humanist tradition calls it identity and integrity. No matter what you call it, it is a pearl of great price...
"Our deepest calling is to grow into our authentic selfhood, whether or not it conforms to some image of who we ought to be. As we do so, we will not only find the joy that every human being seeks - we will also find our path of authentic service in the world. True vocation joins self and service, as Frederick Buechner asserts when he defines vocation as 'the place where your deep gladness meets the world's deep need...
"But before we come to that (sacred) center, full of light, we must travel in the dark. Darkness is not the whole story - every pilgrimmage has passages of loveliness and joy - but it is the part of the story most often left untold. When we finally escape the darkness and stumble into the light, it is tempting to tell others that our hope never flagged, to deny those long nights we spent cowering in fear.
The experience of darkness has been essential to my coming into selfhood, and telling the truth about that fact helps me stay in the light. But I want to tell that truth for another reason as well: many young people today journey in the dark, as the young always have, and we elders do them a disservice when we withhold the shadowy parts of our lives...
"Self-care is never a selfish act - it is simply good stewardship of the only gift I have, the gift I was put on the earth to offer to others. Anytime we can listen to true self and give it the care it requires, we do so not only for ourselves but for the many others whose lives we touch..."
--Parker Palmer, from the book "Let Your Life Speak"
Things I am thankful for today:
1. Sleeping in (by accident... the dog didn't wake me up early like usual!).
2. Breakfast with Mom.
3. Getting my reading done for book group.
4. The hubby changing our dinner plans - I needed comfort food!
5. Book group - they make me smile.
6. Friends who understand.
7. Canceling plans to go out of town this weekend. I will miss seeing our friends, but I will thoroughly enjoy being home, too.
8. Burning CDs for Melissa - I had no idea how many songs were on one playlist! And they're my "happy songs!"
9. LOTS of morel mushrooms in our fridge - thanks to the hubby! (He brought even more home today!) 10. Bailey the dog missed "the mama" tonight.
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