1319. We have to go into the despair and go beyond it, by working and doing for somebody else, by using it for something else. ~Elie Wiesel

One wants to believe that there’s one relationship
in life that’s beyond betrayal. A relationship that’s beyond
that kind of hurt. And there isn’t.
~Edited quote by Caleb Carr

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There is a brokenness
out of which comes the unbroken,
a shatteredness
out of which blooms the unshatterable.
There is a sorrow
beyond all grief which leads to joy
and a fragility
out of whose depths emerges strength.
There is a hollow space
too vast for words
through which we pass with each loss,
out of whose darkness
we are sanctioned into being.
There is a cry deeper than all sound
whose serrated edges cut the heart
as we break open to the place inside
which is unbreakable and whole,
while learning to sing.
~Rashani Réa

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An ex-student of mine posted a letter on Facebook today in which she asked us all to remember that for a variety of reasons not everyone will have or is having a wonderful Christmas time. And so today, I’ve given thought to things that break and shatter us at times. No one is exempt from sorrow and grief in this world. And though we must and should allow ourselves time to “hold” onto and weep over the “dark nights of our souls,” it seems to me that we also have to leave each and every heartbreak at some point in time in the past and then seek and use the “lessons” that the gouging of the soul has shed light upon.

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. ~Psalm 34:18  ✝

**Images via the Internet; collage at top created by Natalie

1227. You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty. ~Mahatma Gandhi

When I despair, I remember that all through
history the ways of truth and love
have always won. There have been tyrants,
and murderers, and for a time they can
seem invincible, but in the end
they always fall. Think of it–always.
~Mahatma Gandhi

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I have heard from two friends today whose hearts have been hurt deeply. And as we all do, they are questioning why and how people can be so hateful and hurtful. Years ago when I was coping with a very hurtful situation, a friend of mine told me that only “hurting people hurt other people.” And over the years since I’ve come to see that Jack was exactly right. But then that doesn’t address another part of my friend’s questioning which was a.) do I think there are more hurting people these days and b.) if so, why? Before I answer that, let me say first that the fact that one of the Adam and Eve’s children killed his brother did not bode well for mankind’s ability to co-exist from the get go. We live in a fallen world in which good and evil do exist and have from the moment the choice was made to defy God’s will. And millennia after millennia has provided more than adequate evidence of a common inability as a whole to be loving and to get along peacefully. Now to address two of her queries; yes, I do think there are more hurting, hateful people, and the source is the media and the internet as you suggested. Just look at what we are being fed 24/7–It’s “cool” to be a bad-ass, it’s “cool” to be disrespectful, it’s “cool” to bully others, it’s “cool” get revenge and on and on it goes around the clock and ad nauseum. But like Gandhi I’ve not lost faith in mankind’s ability to self-correct. And it all starts with each and everyone one of us. The tools at our easy disposal are kind words, kind gestures, and lots of smiles especially to and with those who are hell-bent on behaving badly. We also have to choose to surround ourselves with people who support and affirm who and what we are; we have to choose to walk away from those who want to fight verbally or physically; we have to choose to forgive transgressions which in the end if not released only poison ourselves; we have to choose to be kind to ourselves as well by finding or creating some kind of sacred space where we can restore and re-energize our emotional well being; we have to choose to leave any and all past hurts behind us never to be brought into the present again; and we have to find places and ways to sit in silence in order to listen to the still, small voice inside who loves us and wants to heal our brokenness. And finally we have to greet each day and each breath with gratitude for the gifts that they are; we have to learn when enough is enough; we have to realize the finiteness of each breath, each step, each day; and for heaven’s sake we have to quit trying to seek a “version” of ourselves and find the real, authentic person inside. Is all of the above easy to do? No, but then what is in this life? Is it essential that we try? Yes, for the ones we leave behind when we are gone!

“But to you who are listening I say: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you… ~Luke 6:27  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

970. In the world of words, the imagination is one of the forces of nature. ~Wallace Stevens

Words can sometimes, in moments of
grace, attain the quality of deeds.
~Elie Wiesel

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Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble. ~Yehuda Berg

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. ~Colossians 3:17   ✝

**Images via Pinterest; collage created by Natalie

887. Life’s too short to start your day with broken pieces of yesterday… ~Unknown

Every day may not be a good…
but there is something good in every day.
~Alice Morse Earle

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Realize that true happiness lies within you. Waste no time and effort searching for peace and contentment and joy in the world outside. Remember that there is no happiness in having or in getting, but only in giving. Reach out. Share. Smile. Hug. Happiness is a perfume you cannot pour on others without getting a few drops on yourself. ~Og Mandino

I fall, I rise, I make mistakes,
I’ve been hurt, but I learn.
And I’m alive and thankful.

As you can see my computer is up and running again, at least somewhat. All the problems have yet to be resolved and I have a lot of new stuff to learn, but hey it’s good for my aging gray matter. Because I’m so late in being able to get going on this thing today and I’m still working on issues with it, I’m sorry to say that I’m not going to be able to read all of your posts from yesterday or today. But tomorrow is a brand new day, and things should be back to normal soon.

I will praise God’s name in song and glorify Him with thanksgiving. ~Psalm 69:30  ✝

**Image via Pinterest

753. And then something invisible snapped inside her, and that which had come together commenced to fall apart. ~John Green

Drop the last year of your life
into the silent limbo of the past.
Let it go, for it was imperfect,
and thank God that it can go.
~Brooks Atkinson

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Have you ever had one of those stagnant years where the lackluster of life seems to have dulled and you are stuck in a kind of limbo? Well that’s the way life seemed during my Sophomore year in college. Not only had my father’s death at the end of the previous year dashed me against the hard rocks of an excruciating reality for the first time in my life, but my faith had been shaken, deeply shaken by events in and around his funeral. Not only had I to contend with his death and hypocrisy in the church but also the reality that some anger “business” between Dad and I was now never to be resolved and forgiven. That combined with some deplorable actions by the clergy and leaders in the church lead to what would become a decades-long derailment in my walk with the Lord. So indeed something had snapped inside me. I was barely 19 years old and I had commenced to fall apart which became clearly reflected in my first semester grades that year.  By midterm I found myself on scholastic probation both for the University as well as for my sorority.  Even my dreams of living in Paris had paled under the duress of my heartache and befuddlement. And for months and months nothing changed; lines had been blurred, dreams had faded, and hope had grown dim. I was stuck, stuck in limbo, stuck in unfamiliar waters of being, and all the while suffering, hurting alone since I’d been told by elders I should put my grieving aside and be strong for my mom and two younger sisters. But life has a way of moving on whether one feels its progression or not, and by the end of the second semester, my grades had come back up and a tiny ray of light began to break through the gloomy cloud cover that had been shrouding my world. To be continued… (2 weeks, 6 days and counting)

A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit. ~Proverbs 15:13  ✝