Good Grief. Don’t Change the Channel.

Good grief. Don't change the channel.

A wise woman once told me that the higher purpose of grief is to recognize our longing for profound love.

Picture this. You’re watching your favorite television show – maybe one of the final episodes for the season – and you lose the signal. What do you do?

a.) Curse the station.
b.) Hit mute and stare in disbelief at the static, hoping the signal will reset on its own.
c.) Dive across the room, grab the tin-foiled rabbit ears, and strike a statue of liberty pose.
d.) Get up and do something else.
e.) All of the above, not necessarily in that order and possibly on rotation.

When someone you love dies, you lose their signal and, after the shock, sadness sets in. Somewhere beyond the cursing, muting and staring you start feeling the gravitational pull of grief. This is when societal intimation encourages you to “get up and do something else.” After all, if you get sucked in too deeply, you might crash. Better to stay busy while the gravity field weakens.

Except this gravity doesn’t weaken without the grace of a higher purpose.

Everyone is a channel for God – if you’re willing to listen to everyone. But you’re not. And you can’t. God knows that, so your significant channel signals are pre-set for what you need. Read more

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Shame On Me?

Shame On Me, a blog by Bernadette Rose Smith

I’ve been lost in a circle of shame. Lost with untold stories. And my partner in crime is not here to release me. He died of cancer.

I tell others that there is no shame in a mess. That it is all usable by the Divine. To turn that mess over to God and watch the miracles multiply.

It seems I hold myself to another, less forgiving, measure.

I found the quote above in a Somerset Life magazine that was tucked into a care package of goodies intended to help me heal from flu/bronchitis complications after my breast surgery. Dropped off by an earth angel who had no way of knowing the key to freedom her gesture – and this quote – offered.

I was in agony. Not from the flu or bronchitis or even the breast cancer. They paled in comparison to the hurdle mounting within me. Read more

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Breast Cancer Bites. Kiss My Breast Good-bye.

Breast Cancer Bites. Kiss My Breast Good-bye.

I find myself on the merging ramp to a mastectomy and wishing to yield, for just a moment, before this breast becomes a blurred memory in the traffic flow of life.

She is the part I must release to protect the whole but she will not go without notice or appreciation for what she held space.

There is a body of experience in this sweet breast of mine. She and her sister were late bloomers. No doubt, I got that premature training bra because my mother was tired of fielding questions that always started with a whiny “When???”

As intimate partners go, both breasts have been first class beyond their champagne-glass classification. But she is the one that held space over my heart. For that I grieve her loss. I would love to kiss her for all that we’ve gone through together – but she is not that large nor I that agile.

Sound strange?

Our bodies are living, breathing temples that hold space for a fusion of body, mind and spirit – from the most elemental level to the most sublimely sacred that life has to offer. And each part speaks to aspects of experience that leave imprints – clues – as to how we maneuver through and integrate events from the significant to the mundane.

From the time she first popped onto the scene, this sweet gal of mine protected my heart from, as well as expressed it to, inexperienced curiosity seekers and seasoned explorers until she found the one who gave her no need to shield and every reason to expand into a union of body, heart and spirit. Read more

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Messy Love: Are You a Definer or a Refiner?

Messy Love Definer or Refiner

Here’s an idea to play around with. The next time someone or something upsets you, ask yourself, “Does this define me or refine me?”

Why? Because your answer determines how you move through the experience and the baggage you carry afterward.

Let’s see what Webster has to say about these two words.

Define: to determine the limits or nature of; describe exactly.

Hmmm. “Determine the limits” seems pretty limiting. And “describe exactly” is a crazy-making quest. I don’t know about you but my life – and upsets – defy any exacting description. This defining business is feeling a bit tense.

Refine: to free or become free of impurities. To make or become more polished.

To “become free” and “more polished.” All right. I’m exhaling here. This feels like something I can grab hold of when grappling with an upset.

How a Defining Moment Becomes a Refining Moment. Stop. Ask the question. “Does this define me or refine me?” Make a conscious decision. Then proceed in the direction of your answer.

When my ex husband left to explore a relationship with another woman – back in the days of Bernadette’s Pages – you could say his act defined our marriage (failed), himself as a man (untrustworthy), and me as a wife (not good enough).

Failed. Untrustworthy. Not Good Enough. Now there’s a tidy package that determined “the limits or nature of” what happened between us. Had I accepted this view as my definer I would have gotten stuck, acting out patterns of betrayal, anger, resentment, bitterness, guilt, shame, remorse, confusion, mistrust, defensiveness … Read more

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Recipe for Romance Anyway

Musings from the Messy Room: Woo God. Romance the World.

Be Flirty. (Take flight) Be Dirty. (Play in the dirt.) Be Loved. (From Heaven to Earth.)

Here’s a meSSy thought. What if you flirted with God? What if, instead of giving God your woe-is-me-where-is-he/she, you gave God a woo-is-You-love-me-through.

“There are hundreds of ways to kneel and kiss the ground.” Rumi

“There are infinite ways for God to caress and kiss our soul.” Me

Romance your life. Be YOU in love … anyway! Then it might be easier to recognize the lover who knows how to use romance for love’s sake. (And not manipulate for favors.) Embrace your sensuality … anyway. Romance the world … anyway. BE your sexy, delicious self … anyway. Make those Read more

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