Affirming Companions

photo by Thibault Carron in Kirkjufell, Iceland

Sometimes, we owe it to ourselves to stop and learn again from "lower animals" what it means to affirm and be a companion. 

We live in a world where we are increasingly told to be aggressive rather than truly assertive; self-affirming rather than affirming and authentic to one another.

Is this the world we want to make, where our need for together-ness is met through likes on Facebook or followers on Instagram, as loneliness pervades our culture?

I found this in my email this morning from Seth Godin:

Important, popular or viral

 
Important work is easily dismissed by the audience.

It involves change and risk and thought.

Popular work resonates with the people who already like what you do.

Viral work is what happens when the audience can't stop talking about what you did.

Every once in awhile, all three things will co-exist, but odds are, you're going to need to choose.

At Roses in the Alley, we have chosen what we feel is the important work.
 
Can you help us by taking the time to stop and be a companion and affirm someone near you?
 
Hint: We really aren't expecting many "likes" on this post.  It's not popular, and certainly not viral, but it is important.
 

 

The Winds of Change??? We hope!!

Wind is a force of nature that is both very necessary and very dangerous...

The wind beneath our wings can lift us to great heights. We go can so much faster and further with the wind! The wind gives us electricity in a way that is friendly to our planet and we can see more of our planet because of it.

If it weren't for the wind, sails would have never been invented. Therefore America and many other places would possibly have never been discovered.

The wind is a glorious phenomenon, but one that has been very cruel to our country and others as of late.

It has caused storm after storm that has hurt and crippled beautiful parts of our country. It has swept a fire through the other equally as beautiful side of our land.

This necessary force of nature has not been kind.

With all this wind our country has experienced recently, one can only hope it's the planet's way of telling us that the wind necessary to our society are the winds of change.

We seemed to have been heading in the right direction, but now the winds have changed on us. The question is, do we as people have the ability to adjust the sails ...  together?

Who Are You These Days – An Original Presence

Who Are You These Days?  Are you an Original Presence?

We can define our lives with terms given to us by others, whether friends or adversaries. But isn't this just reactionary, what everybody else is doing?

Who is writing the scripts of our lives? 

Can we be an original presence?

Consider this idea:

"... an original presence is needed, a presence in accord with our originality. The right to exist and to act anywhere and in any case does not derive from following others’ methods, but from what we are.

A presence is original when it springs forth from the consciousness of one’s own identity and one’s affection for it, and finds its consistence in this."

-Notes from a talk by Luigi Giussani to a group of university students in Riccione, Italy, in October 1976

To be an original presence is to be authentic, the real you, not somebody that fits in with what other people think we ought to be. It isn't about the Instagram loves and the Facebook likes. 

We obviously live and breathe within our current culture and often we are unconscious of how much it impacts us. We use someone else's concepts, constructs, boundaries, conditions, agenda. 

Maybe it's time to shut some of this out  a bit, and sit down with ourselves; time to listen to our core while we still can.

And so we are back to our original question  "Who are you?"

 

 

All Will Be Well – Close Up!

What does "All Will Be Well" look like close up?

How can we reconcile the events we meet every day with the ideas of hope and joy?

At least for us at Roses in the Alley, we find an answer in this ancient letter:

"whatever is true, whatever is honorable,
whatever is just, whatever is pure,
whatever is lovely, whatever is gracious,
if there is any excellence
and if there is anything worthy of praise,
think about these things.
Keep on doing what you have learned and received
and heard and seen in me.
Then the God of peace will be with you."

- Paul to the Philippians (from a Roman prison - between A.D. 59 and 63)

It isn't easy,  but it also isn't difficult, really.

It requires awaking our spirits and choosing to accept a new lens freely given.

We would never suggest a denial of our realities. We would just offer the hope that reality  extends beyond the scope of our limited sight.

 

All Will Be Well

All will be well, but how?

At times like these, with news of natural disasters and the cruelty of man towards man,  when violence seems to be in every breath and disunity the "order of the day", it might be easy to give in to despair and depression. 

But when we pay attention, when we are truly awake, there is still another story to tell, another viewpoint to see. And it is a far more hopeful one which has the power to rekindle joy.

In the Daily Dig from Plough today came these words from Julian of Norwich, a mystic of 13th century England:


Daily Dig for October 7

Julian of Norwich

...deeds are done which appear so evil to us and people suffer such terrible evils that it does not seem as though any good will ever come of them; and we consider this, sorrowing and grieving over it so that we cannot find peace in the blessed contemplation of God as we should do; and this is why: our reasoning powers are so blind now, so humble and so simple, that we cannot know the high, marvelous wisdom, the might and the goodness of the Holy Trinity. And this is what he means where he says, “You shall see for yourself that all manner of things shall be well”, as if he said, “Pay attention to this now, faithfully and confidently, and at the end of time you will truly see it in the fullness of joy.

Source: Revelations of Divine Love

Echoing through 8 centuries, these words are as real to us today as they were then.

Can we pay attention, be awake, and see? Can we help each other to find joy and hope in the knowledge that somehow all will be well? 

Mother Nature; Beautiful and Dangerous!

"Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influence of the earth." -- Henry David Thoreau

I have always been lucky enough to live somewhere that goes through all seasons. We all have our favorites and each one brings upon us different tastes and smells and feelings of nostalgia.

To revel in each season's change is a truly wonderful thing that we should take advantage of EVERY time!!! As we have seen from this past storm season, sometimes we are lucky to get to the next season..

Earth's beauty and danger are, unfortunately, a package deal. We enjoy Mother Nature's beauty while contending with her grumpiness.

Look no further than what those storms did to some of the world's most beautiful places.

So along with enjoying the seasons and resigning ourselves to Earth's influence let's remember that WE are one of the most beautiful things put on Earth!!

We have the ability  to influence the World and help each other get through each season and welcome the next!