Tag Archive | healing

Come Join the Dance

BBC-Radio-Orchestra-April-1971-The band struck up a joyful tune
With beat lively and fast;
“Come join in, the host proclaim,”
“We’ll party and have a blast!”

But some of the guests ignored his words;
Others just stood around.
A few joined in the circle;
Many were by fear so bound.


The band played a more gentle tune,
A melody subdued,
Which made some guests begin to sway
With a quiet attitude.


The ones who liked the faster beat
Sighed and wandered away,
While some talked over the music,
Touting what they had to say.


At last the band began to play
A song with depth of heart.
No one could resist its sound,
So they stopped drifting apart.


As the people heard the music
Speak to their very souls,
They joined together in one dance
That began to make them whole.


So may the band play on and on
Until there’s joy and peace;
Until all people everywhere
Live in hope that will increase.



Outrageous Grace

This song has been around for a while, but it is so appropriate for the tumultuous times in which we find ourselves.  Be comforted and encouraged:


“Transformation in the world happens when people are healed and start investing in other people.”  Michael W. Smith


“Personal transformation can and does have global effects. As we go, so goes the world, for the world is us. The revolution that will save the world is ultimately a personal one.”  Marianne Williamson


Who is responsible for transforming our world?  Can we leave it up to institutions?  Politicians and government?  The Church and faith-based organizations?
What would true revolution look like?  Does it have to be violent?  Or would it be our refusal to join in the angry, bitter, hateful and frightened acts of others?
What would happen if we searched for truth and chose very carefully?  How much power would we take back if we considered the news we hear;if we stopped believing every opinion, conjecture and accusation presented to us?


This is a good year to ponder these things.  IT is a time of choice.  We do have power and responsibility:  Don’t let anyone or any entity take that away from you.  Don’t settle; really make a decision.


Darkness yields to dawning light;
Ones asleep for a long, cold season
Begin to awaken and stir.



Thoughts and dreams once lost in time
Slowly rise up from deepest places,
Where they wait and hope for rebirth.



Feelings bring fresh sensation,
Sweet misery made from pain and joy
Sing new songs of resurrection.



Sleep cannot last forever,
Nor can suppression anesthetize
The heart and soul of humankind.



Life is stronger and brighter;
She calls us to join her in the dance
Of joyful hope that leads onward.


631_little_old_ladiesI was talking to a friend who lives with her mother so that she can assist her.
One of their regular outings is to the local senior center, where her mother, whom I will call Anne, is among peers and has the opportunity to visit.
My friend was telling me that a number of people have started approaching her without addressing Anne at all.
How sad.  This 99-year-old woman has had a lifetime of working, volunteering and serving the community.  She is intelligent and well-informed.
She has a hard time hearing these days, so one might have to repeat things, but once Anne gets it, her answer will be good.
When people address her daughter, they miss out on pleasant conversation with her; Anne misses the pleasure of interacting with friends.
How rude:  Anne is still a whole person.  Being left out is dishonoring and demeaning.  My friend says that Anne has left the gathering feeling hurt on more than one occasion:  Something that doesn’t need to happen.
Anne is by no means alone in her experience.  My late nephew, John, called me two years ago when his parents and he were at a family reunion.  He felt so hurt because people either didn’t acknowledge him or talked down to him.
I myself go through this on a regular basis, at stores, restaurants, Church, family gatherings and just about anywhere people are together.  I have learned to cope with this unpleasant experience by staying away or advocating for myself whenever possible.  Sometimes, I simply have to let it be and concentrate on the people who include me.
I have learned that this is not wrong with me or even about me in the first place.  IT is about people’s own fears, discomfort, assumptions and yes, prejudice.  I understand this all too well, and I don’t accept it as all right or necessary.  People are capable of learning and maturing.
We are all far more alike than we are different.  We all want to be accepted and included.  Even people with the most severe disabilities among us perceive and feel.  I cringe when I hear family members or care givers talk about the person who has the disabling condition in that one’s presence, especially when their words are disparaging.  I think of someone I know who runs a group home for people with developmental disabilities:  She told me that one young woman can be such a nuisance, while that person was standing beside me.  On another occasion, I had a family member thank me for letting my sister stay with me, while my sister was standing right in front of us:  Dishonoring and uncomfortable.
There are people I know, who greet me as an equal and treat me with dignity.  They don’t seem to need a lot of time to get past my visual impairment.  Instead, they speak to me directly and expect an
intelligent response. One example of this would be a sales person with whom I did business yesterday.  He spoke to me; he answered my companion when appropriate.  I spent a nice amount of money at his store.
If you are more like this gentleman, you can be a great deal of help to any of us who are at the receiving end of attitudes and actions that push us away or down into the “less than” place.  First, you are wonderful models, which make you powerful advocates.  Next, if you can redirect or coach people without condescending to the elder or person with a disability, please do.
So what can be done if you find yourself among those who act in fear, discomfort and assumption?

First:  In all honesty and without shame, start with your own struggle.  You likely have no idea about what it is like not to see or hear.  That’s okay; in fact, I don’t expect you to understand, since that is outside of your experience.  You do know what it is like to have interests, feelings and treasures that you would like to share with others.  You know what positive connection feels like and how to offer that as you interact.
You do want to be accepted and included.  You know what it feels like to be put down or left out:   Such occurances are common to each of us.
When have you felt most honored?  What was that like?  How could you share that with people around you?
When do you feel best about yourself, especially in relationships? How can you build on that?
What gifts do you have to offer?
How willing are you to receive from people around you, even when they seem to be quite different?
The real cure, after all, is to know and love yourself so that you can reach out to others and be open to who they are.


The morning is clear;
It’s a new day.
I set fresh expectationts
And try a different way
To view the world and live;
Express new hope and dreams;
For the old thing I thought
Is not quite like it seems.


I’ll sort through the stones
Of yesterday;
Some I will gladly treasure;
Others I’ll throw away.
There are some stones to keep
With some transformation
That brings out their beauty;
That builds inspiration.


I’ll start with fresh hope;
I’ll sing and pray,
Until my expectations
Chase any gloom away.
I’ll set my gaze forward;
Press into all that’s right.
The dawn of this new day
Is wonderful and bright!


Have you laughed at least once today?  Have you found one tiny reason to smile?
It’s amazing how even the slightest chuckle will lift our heavy spirit and help us to find new perspective.  Laughter relieves pain, lowers blood pressure, knocks the depression monster down to size…and just makes us feel good all ’round!
I have not read any of the reports myself, but I hear that there have been studies to show that people who laugh recover from serious illness more quickly than those who remain somber.  I have been told that this includes people with such things as cancer.  Hmm, it certainly can’t hurt, right?
I remember a presentation at a continuing ed workshop I attended years ago.  A therapist was sharing stories about groups she facilitated for survivors of sexual abuse.  One game she had participants play was, “Haha.”  She would have them lie on the floor so that each person’s head was resting on someone’s stomach; then she would start with one “ha.”   The next person had to add a “ha”, making “haha.”  Then the next one added yet another, until the whole group was laughing.  Her point was that people who go through trauma often lose the ability to laugh and need to learn how, all over again.
Hope and joy are the keys:  When we know that we can expect good things in life; that we are precious and loved completely apart from circumstances, we can laugh.
Steve Backlund, of Global Legacy wrote a book called, “Let’s Just Laugh At That.”  He identifies lies that we tend to believe; then, you guessed it, he says to laugh at them:  It takes their power away.  I think there is truth to this.  Lies only have an impact when we give them serious attention; laughing communicates that they simply aren’t that potent.
Sometimes, the hardest things are the ones we need to laugh about most.  Perhaps we don’t really laugh at them so much as in spite of them or as a declaration over them.  We may only succeed at a hint of a smile at first; yet if we can look to hope and joy, we will be able to lift our heads, put a spring in our step…


and laugh.