I heard a woman from Kenya describe her upbringing in truly terrible conditions. She had endured horror after horror: hunger, rape, kidnapping, prostitution and barely escaped being trafficked. But nothing in her voice or body language suggested anger at everything she had experienced or despair over the environment she grew up in. In fact, the joy she felt at having earned a degree and finding her way to Chicago emanated from her being.
It was a powerful reminder that we are not our circumstances, we are not what we’ve been through, and we don’t have to let our experiences define us.
“Strength! Courage! Don’t be timid; don’t get discouraged. God, your God, is with you every step you take.” Joshua 1:9, MSG
Inhale Resilience, Exhale Resignation…
Inhale Persistence, Exhale Powerlessness…
Inhale Joy, Exhale Despair…
A young activist recently thanked me for publically recognizing the service of those who protest America. I believe there is nothing more American than protest; after all, going back to the Original American Protest, the Boston Tea Party, protest has been the means through which Americans have demanded change.
Protesters, like Colin Kaepernick, serve America by reminding us to live up to our ideals of Freedom, Equality and Justice. They too are patriots.
“There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice, but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.” ~ Elie Wiesel
Inhale Resistance, Exhale Status Quo…
Inhale Activism, Exhale Complacency…
Inhale Protest, Exhale Powerlessness…
I found this poem, Letting Go, by an unknown author in Pastor Charles “Chuck” Swindoll’s book, The Grace Awakening.
It’s become my favorite new thing because saying grace is easy … LIVING grace is hard.
“To let go doesn’t mean to stop caring,
it means I can’t do it for someone else.
To let go is not to cut myself off,
it’s the realization that I can’t control another.
To let go is not to enable,
but to allow learning from natural consequences.
To let go is to admit powerlessness,
which means the outcome is not in my hands.
To let go is not to try to change or blame another,
I can only change myself.
To let go is not to care for,
but to care about.
To let go is not to fix,
but to be supportive.
To let go is not to judge,
but to allow another to be a human being.
To let go is not to be in the middle arranging all the outcomes,
but to allow others to affect their own outcomes.
To let go is not to be protective;
it is to permit another to face reality.
To let go is not to deny,
but to accept.
To let go is not to nag, scold or argue,
but to search out my own shortcomings and to correct them.
To let go is not to adjust everything to my desires,
but to take each day as it comes.
To let go is not to criticize and regulate anyone,
but to try to become what I dream I can be.
To let go is not to regret the past,
but to grow and live for the future.
To let go is to fear less and love more!”
Inhale Love, Exhale Fear…
Inhale Acceptance, Exhale Denial…
Inhale Powerlessness, Exhale Control…