Day 4: Ask Yourself: What Do You Struggle With?
The message below went out on Thursday, January 19, 2012 to those Standing on the Side of Love supporters who signed up for daily Thirty Days of Love emails. You can sign-up for the 30 Days of Love emails here.
For a number of reasons, lately, I spend a lot of time worrying about money. While I have everything I need right now, I struggle with my fears about the utter lack of a financial safety net in my life. I fear how I will ever pay down the debt, get ahead, own a home, financially support children, and see more of the world that calls to me. Throughout my adult life, depending on my bank balance, money has always made me feel either trapped or free.
I know I am not alone. Many of us hold these fears, but we are also afraid to share these fears with others. We are ashamed. We don’t want to burden others, even when our struggles may be quite serious. We certainly don’t want to seem ungrateful for the ample luxuries in our lives, which might be as simple as being well fed, day in and day out.
Today’s action involves the examination of our struggles, and casting off the shame we feel by naming them:
We are living in turbulent times; each of us is struggling in our own ways; many of us are worried about our own livelihood, our black holes of debt, our ability to care for our families, or the prospects for our children’s future.
What are your heartfelt concerns … what keeps you awake at night? What societal systems in place have helped or hindered you in your journey?
Share your thoughts with our community on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SideofLove.
For each of the questions we pose this week, the two responses that inspire the most FB ‘likes’ will receive a free Standing on the Side of Love bumper sticker or rally sign.
I hope you are enjoying National Standing on the Side of Love Month so far. It’s amazing to see this conversation take hold at the UUA, in our online community, and in communities and congregations across the country!
Being the Change,
Standing on the Side Love
P.S. If you would like, please invite your friends and family to join us on our journey over the next month as we investigate our Story of Self, Story of Us and Story of Now. They can sign-up to receive the daily emails here:
P.P.S. The prayer/meditation below seemed like a natural fit for today’s reflections:
Spirit of Life, God of Love, grant me the courage to love boldly in the face of my greatest fears. Grow me in your wisdom and let my actions speak when silence threatens justice and indifference disturbs peace. When gossip, hate, and cruelty arise among friends or in public places, help me bravely walk forward with love. When I defensively assert certainty in the presence of the unknown, grant me the courage to live comfortably in the unanswerable questions of life. Bless me with the eternal gift of not knowing and let it take root in me until it pushes forth shoots of understanding and branches of humility.
-From “Be the Change: Poems Prayers and Meditations for Peacemakers and Justice Seekers,” by Stephen Shick, Skinner House books.