The Gift of Darkness

“Knowing your own darkness is the best method for dealing with the darknesses of other people.” – Carl Jung

I came across this quote a couple of days ago and thought, “Yes. This is so true.” Yesterday, I came across this news item from Atlanta, Georgia:

Antoinette Tuff: Meet the Woman Who Prevented a Mass School Shooting Yesterday

The potent part is in watching the interview.

What I take away from this article and interview is this: the experiences in Tuff’s life allowed her to have compassion for this distraught and mentally unstable 20-year-old, ready to end his own life and the lives of so many others. The darkness she endured helped Continue reading

Fanning the Right Flames: Cultivating Mental Discipline

I have been dropped into fire. This is about mental discipline.

I recently finished my level one certification in Reiki. I love it. I love the balance that near-daily meditation has brought to my life and I love learning to channel this healing energy. These practices are changing me for the better. They are showing me where my weak spots are and presenting me with challenge after challenge, while also soothing my weary soul, body, and mind, and lifting my spirit immeasurably when I’m able to give Reiki to others. It is deeply satisfying for me.

This morning, I was up at 8:15. I went to the bathroom, then came upstairs and waited about 5 minutes for my partner to gather his things and leave for his workday. I sat down and began breathing.

Not three minutes later, I could hear little footsteps on the stairs. Continue reading

Coming full circle: Christianity

I was raised Catholic. Went to Catholic school from K-8, wore the uniform, went to mass every Friday morning and once a month on Tuesdays. I never fit in. It never spoke to me. The rituals always seemed hollow and meaningless and confession was a joke — as though another human being had the power to absolve me of my supposed sins. I used to make up sins just to have something to say the rare times we were taken down to the church for confession (the church, at the time, was in the lower level of the school). Yes, I lied in the confessional and I don’t feel a single pang of guilt about it. In fact, I find it more than a bit humorous.

When everybody in my 8th grade class of 25 was signing up for confirmation classes, I was the only one who didn’t sign up. My Italian Catholic grandmother was less than pleased, but the guilt trips she tried had no effect. By age 12, I knew I didn’t live my life for other people. This, too, did not please her, but if ever she said, “How could you do this to me?” I have steadfastly blocked it from memory. Continue reading