Friday, June 29, 2012

We are bigger than we act...

I am gratified by the SCOTUS decision on the Affordable Care Act.  I would actively support a single payer system if it were on the table.  When it comes to health care, I lean way left.

That said, I feel genuine compassion for so many Americans who are convinced that the ACA will bankrupt our nation, lead us down the road to socialism, and irreparably castrate America, as they understand America.  I know how they feel, because I felt the exact same despair when Citizens United was upheld by SCOTUS.  I will support any effort to overturn the Citizens United decision, as Mitt Romney is vowing to do with ACA.

The rhetoric on both sides of these and other contentious issues is out of bounds, and certainly beyond anyone’s definition of Love.  Talk is cheap and often meaningless.  Love is expensive and priceless. 

My fears are no more or less valid than yours,
My causes and concerns do not pre-empt yours.

When you stand on the other side waving your
Placard at my placard, I can still choose to love you.
When the sun sets, when calm is restored at the end of the day
I can pray with you, knowing our prayer is the same….
Let wisdom, truth and love prevail.

Monday, June 25, 2012


Have I ever mentioned that I find marriage difficult?  Certainly my own history demonstrates my personal struggle with the institution.

It dawned on me recently, however, that my perspective has been skewed.  The truth is not so much that marriage is hard but that I am hard on marriage.  Talk about high maintenance!  That would be me.

No one believed she was better prepared to be a “Christian wife and mother” than I at the ripe age of 20.  I had been trained by the church my entire life in addition to having great parents as role models.  I understood the marriage thing!  (This is where I pause while blushing and allow a moment of compassion for myself.)

My naiveté and self-righteousness obscured for far too long how difficult I am to live with.  I am rough on husbands!

I mention all this now because as I grow older and wiser I find I have tremendous empathy for couples.  My heart goes out to any two adults who embark upon the journey of lifelong committed, monogamous, honest, supportive relationship.  I have even more compassion for couples stumbling along the way, doubting themselves and one another. Marriage has challenged me in ways I never imagined, and often I failed to meet the challenge.  I’m not very good at it.

Nevertheless, I find persevering and trusting in a lifetime commitment to be an exquisite classroom for self-discovery, faith and trust, compassion and loyalty, honesty and transparency, humanity.  Marriage has benefitted me far more than I have ever benefitted it. Though I no longer believe in saving any marriage if by doing so honesty and integrity are sacrificed, I continue to have great respect for those who are willing to work at it until it is obvious that the next step to regaining or preserving personal integrity is divorce.

I’m interested in your thoughts and experiences.  Has your experience of marriage been easy and comfortable?  Or, like me, has marriage pushed and prodded you, frightened and challenged you, and revealed that you are not who you thought you were?

Monday, June 11, 2012


The commencement speech recently given by David McCullough at Wellesley High School has caused quite a stir.  In the speech he tells the graduates that they “are not special.”  That is not, of course, all that he said to them.  He went on to inspire them to be contributors rather than stars.

Some day I may write a book called, You’re Not Special; I’m Not Special.  Since I first read A Course in Miracles’ premise that most human misery derives from the egotistical need to be special I’ve been intrigued by the profound contrast between specialness and uniqueness.

No one is, or should be, special; all of us are, and must be, unique.  I do not want to be recognized or acknowledged for my specialness, but for my uniqueness.  My uniqueness is God-given; I can’t take credit.  My yearning for specialness is ego-driven and separates me from others.

Authenticity, when it exists, springs from a person’s uniqueness.  So often, though, our addiction to specialness causes us, usually unconsciously, to attempt multiple and varied manuevers to “improve upon” our unique selves so that we will be treated as special.  Never works, not for long.

I hope the graduates at Wellesley understand the significance of the gift they received from Mr. McCullough.  I suspect most of them will soon forget, and embark on the quest to become “somebody special.”  My hope for each of them is that they will have true friends along the way who appreciate their individuality while chuckling at their misguided attempts to be, and be treated, as special.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Bullet Points 6-5-2012

    1.               I am uncomfortable with public prayer, as in folks bowing their heads, holding hands and praying out loud In restaurants.  I am grateful for every morsel I put in my mouth, but public piety makes me inwardly cringe.

      ·               More to the point, my views on prayer itself have changed.  I am uncomfortable with groups of people holding hands and praying, or not holding hands and praying, or being led in prayer by one person.  I love shared moments of silence. 

      ·               Conversation can be prayer. I love and am inspired by conversation, one on one or in small groups, about what is important in Life--God, Love, forgiveness, authenticity, integrity, Truth, truth, justice, fairness, compassion, responsibility, relationships--you get the idea.

      ·               I would rather not know a politician’s religion. 

      ·               Having lived in cities most of my life, I am still amazed at how comfortable and “at home” I feel in Paris, Texas.  Had I been living a lie?  It reminds me of the stories I heard from my father about growing up in Runge, Texas, and visiting my grandmother there.  It’s nostalgic.

      ·               I love to counsel, you know, to mind other people’s business and give advice.  Only by request, of course, or at least, usually.  Even more fun and energizing is counseling small groups of people who long for deeper authenticity and congruity in their daily life.

      ·               I don’t understand why liberal Catholics remain Catholic.  I am disturbed by the Vatican’s “crackdown” on American nuns, but more disturbed that the nuns feel a continued loyalty to the Vatican.  I am really uncomfortable with patriarchy.