Monday, June 25, 2018

We Were Made for These Times



"My friends, do not lose heart. We were made for these times. I have heard from so many recently who are deeply and properly bewildered. They are concerned about the state of affairs in our world now. Ours is a time of almost daily astonishment and often righteous rage over the latest degradations of what matters most to civilized, visionary people. 

You are right in your assessments. The lustre and hubris some have aspired to while endorsing acts so heinous against children, elders, everyday people, the poor, the unguarded, the helpless, is breathtaking. Yet, I urge you, ask you, gentle you, to please not spend your spirit dry by bewailing these difficult times. Especially do not lose hope. Most particularly because, the fact is that we were made for these times. Yes. For years, we have been learning, practicing, been in training for and just waiting to meet on this exact plain of engagement.

I grew up on the Great Lakes and recognize a seaworthy vessel when I see one. Regarding awakened souls, there have never been more able vessels in the waters than there are right now across the world. And they are fully provisioned and able to signal one another as never before in the history of humankind.

Look out over the prow; there are millions of boats of righteous souls on the waters with you. Even though your veneers may shiver from every wave in this stormy roil, I assure you that the long timbers composing your prow and rudder come from a greater forest. That long-grained lumber is known to withstand storms, to hold together, to hold its own, and to advance, regardless.

In any dark time, there is a tendency to veer toward fainting over how much is wrong or unmended in the world. Do not focus on that. There is a tendency, too, to fall into being weakened by dwelling on what is outside your reach, by what cannot yet be. Do not focus there. That is spending the wind without raising the sails.

We are needed, that is all we can know. And though we meet resistance, we more so will meet great souls who will hail us, love us and guide us, and we will know them when they appear. Didn't you say you were a believer? Didn't you say you pledged to listen to a voice greater? Didn't you ask for grace? Don't you remember that to be in grace means to submit to the voice greater?

Ours is not the task of fixing the entire world all at once, but of stretching out to mend the part of the world that is within our reach. Any small, calm thing that one soul can do to help another soul, to assist some portion of this poor suffering world, will help immensely. It is not given to us to know which acts or by whom, will cause the critical mass to tip toward an enduring good.

What is needed for dramatic change is an accumulation of acts, adding, adding to, adding more, continuing. We know that it does not take everyone on Earth to bring justice and peace, but only a small, determined group who will not give up during the first, second, or hundredth gale.

One of the most calming and powerful actions you can do to intervene in a stormy world is to stand up and show your soul. Soul on deck shines like gold in dark times. The light of the soul throws sparks, can send up flares, builds signal fires, causes proper matters to catch fire. To display the lantern of soul in shadowy times like these - to be fierce and to show mercy toward others; both are acts of immense bravery and greatest necessity.

Struggling souls catch light from other souls who are fully lit and willing to show it. If you would help to calm the tumult, this is one of the strongest things you can do.

There will always be times when you feel discouraged. I too have felt despair many times in my life, but I do not keep a chair for it. I will not entertain it. It is not allowed to eat from my plate.

The reason is this: In my uttermost bones I know something, as do you. It is that there can be no despair when you remember why you came to Earth, who you serve, and who sent you here. The good words we say and the good deeds we do are not ours. They are the words and deeds of the One who brought us here. In that spirit, I hope you will write this on your wall: When a great ship is in harbor and moored, it is safe, there can be no doubt. But that is not what great ships are built for. "

By Clarissa Pinkola Estes 

American poet, post-trauma specialist and Jungian psychoanalyst, author of Women Who Run With the Wolves.



Note:
Several years ago, our family used three vessels to canoe and kayak over the 4th of July to one of our dearest places in the world. 

A place on the Oregon Coast where the river meets the sea. A sacred place where we brought our three children, and our best friends brought their three children, all of us together, to play on a peninsula of sand on the Oregon Coast. We shared this over and over, many times over 20 years, until the mother and the 12 year old daughter were killed in a tragic rollover car crash that left the husband and two remaining sons bereft. 

And here in this special place where the river met the sea,  the husband and father was later hiking and no doubt filled with memories and fell to his own death 3 1/2 years ago ...14 years after his loss of wife and child.  Loss upon loss.

Memories of so many wonderful times in the past,  but also of two sons,  now married and with children of their own, missing and feeling the loss of both of their parents and grandparents for their children.





Now, on this trip, the canoe I was in was in with my family, was in trouble. We could not battle the headwind or the waves. Debating between beaching on a side where we could not traverse the rocky beach or returning to the side where we had started and hoping for rescue, instead the members of our family, wondering where we were and  realizing our dire straits, came back for us and towed us with their kayak. 

Just when we had reached that end place of feeling stuck and unable to progress..and were unable to choose between opposite but equal choices... help arrived,  There is always someone there for me, for you, for all of us. 

We may feel physically or emotionally exhausted, or like we are between the  proverbisl rock snd the hard place, but we are more resilient, more capable of facing hard times in our lives, more willing to admit to needing and accepting help. 





We were all made for these times........



 Michele Bilyeu Creates With Heart and Hands as she shares her imaginative, magical, and healing journey from Alaska to Oregon. Creating, designing, sewing, quilting, and wildcrafting... from my heart and with my hands.

9 comments:

  1. What a beautiful post. I live in the moment, what happens in the world around me, is not my concern, what is thrown in front of me, is.

    Debbie

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  2. You've got exceptional boundaries, Debbie and no doubt a lot less stress! Thanks so much for this comment its always great to spark thoughtfulness and introspection, especially during challenging times.

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  3. Thank you Michelle for your beautiful post, that resonates today x

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  4. Beautiful essay; thank you. Each one of us can't do everything, but we can each do something. The hard part is taking the first step or closer to your analogy--pushing off from the shore--setting sail.

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  5. Thank you Michelle for this comforting and inspiring post and for not hiding behind the fabric. I'm surprised at the lack of comments regarding the turmoil in our country by other bloggers I follow. I feel we must all speak up.

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  6. Thank you Julia Wyer! It certainly does.

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  7. You are so right, Susan. It starts in little but consistent ways but we can do it!

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  8. Thank you, Tammy. We all do as much as we can both privately and publicly We have to for the survival of our planet,as well as our children, grandchildren, and loved ones we leave behind. Not to mention tge quality abd quantity of our own lives in the years ahead.

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  9. Here you go again...guessing my angst and responding to it with grace...as usual...sending love to u xoxox

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Michele Bilyeu blogs "With Heart and Hands" as she journeys between Douglas, Alaska and Salem, Oregon.