THE SACRED in LIFE
What is sacred to you? How do you personally definite the word (or concept) sacred? No matter whether you are religious, spiritual or not, all of us sense when a moment or an individual is sacred.
Recently I discovered a book titled, “Recipes for a Sacred Life” by Rivvy Neshama. The back cover describes Rivvy Neshama as a “writer and community organizer whose spiritual path draws from many sources: Eastern and Western religions, Native traditions, and her mom.” The book reminded me of the series of Chicken Soup for the Soul books. My daughter, Megan, read many of those books as a young girl. I decided to give Megan “Recipes for a Sacred Life” for a graduation gift. When I presented Megan with the book, her first response was that it reminded her of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. : )
I liked that the author’s spiritual path was derived from many sources. That is so with my own spiritual path. Life is filled with wisdom from various people, places and things.
I believe the holy appears more often than we notice. Often our definition of the sacred is quite narrow. Also, many times we cannot see the sacred wherever evil exists. My journals filled with written memories of the horrendous abuse, incest, torture, and deviant religious practices as well as my thoughts are sacred … holy. The truth is sacred. The strength, courage and pain of the healing process of survivors may be sacred. Holy or blessed is a personal judgment – subjective. Many times it resonates in the heart with no need for words. What resonates with one of us may or may not resonate with someone else.
Along my path I have written and shared reflections in journal pages as well as reflections that I have shared with a select few individuals via e-mail, in person, or in letters. In many of these reflections, there was something of importance that I could not always put my finger on. One reflection I wrote that sticks in my mind was about a chance occurrence on a bus years ago in Spokane with a gentleman I barely knew who had just received his 30 or 60 day chip marking his sobriety. The connection of hope and joy was deep and intense. These types of experiences and reflections may be intensely personal and individual. Other individuals may or may not grasp the deeper meaning of a story or a moment in time.
Just as I read the pages of “Recipes for a Sacred Life”, some vignettes resonated with me and others did not. I know that another person might relate to the stories I do not. It is all okay. That is life – filled with individuality. I think of 12-step programs and the philosophy of take what you need and leave the rest.
When I write my blog posts and as you read them, I hope you do the same. Take what you want (the ideas that resonate with you) and leave the rest. Also, I know from personal experience that later, even years later, an article or story may now seem to have meaning for me that it did not have earlier.
The holy is often found in unexpected places and at times we least expect. Many times the sacred appears in the midst of illness, sadness or grief. Victor E. Frankel’s, “Man Search for Meaning” contains sacred moments. It has taken me years to further understand and grasp the sacred of what he lived and then shared with us on those written pages.
The bottom line is that the holy occurs in small, simple, every day moments of life as well as in the difficult and in the horrendous.
The Essence of life, Divine Love, is always with us.
May each of us notice and acknowledge the sacred in our life this week.