The Faith Letters: Fragments

Dear Part of Me That Needs to Hear This,

What a journey it’s been. What a time you live in. What courage it takes to be awake in a world with an abundance of injustice.

When something is alive, it moves. That’s the journey of your faith. 

Your faith’s been on quite the journey these past few years. And just when you thought it was time to lay down your luggage and rest in community, your naive optimism encountered the mirage. 

You can shed your anger at the blind fear masquerading as enlightenment. The shallow spirituality of those who use God as medicine, applied carelessly, selfishly, proudly. They can congratulate themselves for having the courage to call on God at all. 

God. God, it sucks how they’ve corrupted His name. It’s still hard to use “God” or affiliate with religion because of the centuries of holiness weaponized by conquerors and power-hungry men. And the modern ignorance being safeguarded by false religion. 

God is the Truth. The Real. The One with many names. 

Every time I am tempted to trust another human as my guide, I am reminded of the Guide. 

God is greater. 

When you find yourself tired, remember your purpose. You are here to meet the Truth. To love. To leave behind something beautiful. 

And remember that you’re not the only one who has been hurt by deceit and ignorance. That is the story of humanity, after all. That’s the fall from paradise. 

And remember that you, too, have the capacity to hurt if you’re not careful. And perhaps even when you’re careful. Self-confrontation and humility will keep your integrity intact. 

The work you do every day to find Truth in the complexity of this modern world is no small feat. Some days it will exhaust you. Some days you will be overwhelmed. Yet this is your calling. And what an honor it is to have the hunger and patience to be an archaeologist of the truths we’ve been told.



Love To the Point of Tears

On nights like this, my tears feel so near. Like they’re wanting to come out for a breath of fresh air but not waiting for my permission. It’s not sadness. Or despair. These tears just want a chance to see the world. To leave my body and mix with infinity of atoms that surround me.

The first time, tears left at the sound of Anne Lamott’s voice on my car stereo, speaking directly to my soul.

The second time, it was finding a bag of cheese curls in my room when I returned home after being gone for just two days.

The third time was when my dad showed me an old family photo of his mom, dad, and three older siblings –the thought of my dad losing the three most beloved family members he had brought many tears out.

The fourth time was hearing that a family friend lost her mother in Egypt –she was visiting there just a couple of months ago, and her mother died having met her two grandsons.

And the fifth, was watching my mother stir a pot of milk on the stove, a sight that overwhelmed me in its preciousness.

“Live to the point of tears,” Albert Camus said. Words I cherish, and that I’m often reminded of when I visit my friend Anna’s Instagram. Live to the point of tears, yes. And also love to the point of tears, because those tears desperately want to escape you.

Midnight Musings: On Healing

I told myself I’d take a break from my daily nightly posts on Instagram so I could focus on business development, but my thoughts keep coming back to healing.

It’s half an hour past midnight, and I feel wide awake. It’s a bit chilly in my room because I don’t think the heater is on, but I’m wearing the most comfortable fleece pajama pants and a giant sweatshirt. It feels like the type of bliss after you’ve taken a warm shower on a slightly cold day because that’s exactly what just happened. And I feel like my whole being is happy right now.

These past few days have really been something. There’s a renewed energy that fills my spirit throughout the day. I feel alive and awake, and this energy feels a little unreal because I don’t know where it’s coming from. But I’ve learned a long time ago to welcome the guests of my mental house instead of asking them too many questions.

My posts about healing have been feeling a bit routine lately, which is also why this break feels needed. The purpose of my photo project is not to think about healing every night. The point is to experience healing by cultivating an awareness of it and creating a space where it can be invited. I guess the project is working because it’s all I’ve thought about while in the shower.

Here’s the musing part: Healing is, in its essence, based on the idea that what was injured will return to its original state –like healing from the flu or a cut on your skin. If the cut is deep, it may leave a scar, but usually, full healing means back to normal. So, what does that mean when it comes to healing of the spirit?

I sometimes I want to curse my naivete for letting me get hurt in the first place. And I grieve the way my pain changes me –the way my armor grows thicker and how unfair the necessity of it all seems. But, I’m realizing that maybe this why my healing journey feels difficult. My beliefs about the necessity of changing in response to pain are, in essence, getting in the way of healing. What if instead of worrying about how I could’ve been naive or manipulated by someone, and feeling angry and resentful in response, what if I focused on forgiveness?

The world doesn’t have to be turned upside down just because an event in our lives doesn’t make any sense. People will disappoint us and betray us and take advantage of us, but if we let that be a reason we stop believing in the goodness of people then we’ve caused ourselves more suffering than anyone else ever could have.

I’m ready to let go of the need to be right. This manifests for me as expecting to have known better than to make a mistake or misjudge a situation and believing that my view of the world must have been faulty for the disappointment to have even occurred. But I’m ready to let go of that.

Difficult as it otherwise may be, perhaps the greatest joy of this healing journey is getting to see myself with more clarity. I’m ready for more of that. And for more intentional living that makes space for peace and living life with eyes wide open.

P.S. It’s closer to sunrise now that I’m hitting publish. My sister came into my room and we’ve been talking for the past two hours. I’m actually sleepy now, but I wouldn’t trade those moments in conversation with her for anything that may come my way tomorrow. I’m sending you all my love and blessings. Good night :).

National Poetry Month: Day #30

God bless the people
who stay up until
you make it home
who text you good morning
and good night
and every good between.

God bless the people
who call you
on a Sunday
and pray for you
on a Monday
and invite you
on a Thursday
to their gathering
on a Friday.

God bless the people
who greet you with a smile
at the counter
and the drive-thru window
and toll booth.

God bless the people
who make this life
a little more gentle
and ask nothing
in return.

National Poetry Month: Day #29

some days write themselves
other you write in blood

some people float
in your life
others you carry
on your back

some sorrows open you
for healing
others have you running
the other way

some laughs
turn you into a kid
others make you conscious
of yourself

life is strange
in its seasons

but beautiful
all the same

National Poetry Month: Day #28

the flowers that bloom
when you’re not waiting
and watching closely
are the ones
the overjoy you

and if it overwhelms you
to wait for your spirit
to bloom and bloom
then be with the flowers

National Poetry Month: Day #27

it starts out with a prayer
and a talk I find so refreshing
so I dance along to your beat
I feel the interest progressing

tell me what your heart beats for
I want to make you my blessing
count me of your northern stars
I’ll write you guiding expressions
teach me how to live like a bird
and I’ll carve a path up to heaven

but you show me badges instead
and turn the velvet to venom
you poison hope with two words
“I think” is your common expression
you worship in labs and not lands
and you’ve made being right your mission

darling, you were a sight
but I wanted a vision
and your honey tongue was sweet
but I was looking for a weapon

National Poetry Month: Day #26

these days it feels like
two thousand and eighteen
thoughts swallow my mind
before I’ve had breakfast

there’s noise everywhere I go
and I play my music louder
but they hack my headphones

I learn to speak up louder
but now I have to scream to be noticed
and you have to fight, too

so I search for a treetop
to get a better view
only to find they’re on rooftops
and they’re flying drones
hustling to a claim
of this thing called reality

and they say
shoot your shot
and I smile
for the encouragement
for not realizing
their guns
were pointing
at me

National Poetry Month: Day #25

the breaths we take
in our first days
and our last days
may compare
in length
and in softness
but between them
is an eternity
in consciousness

our bones
and our tears
weight more
with time
but our words
and our laughter

ever day we live
there’s more of us
and soon enough
we grow wrinkles
to fit all our skin
and the spirit
we’ve collected
along the way

National Poetry Month: Day #24

the anger of artists
is revolutionary
only when the battle within
has been won

so bring your heartache
and sketch it in charcoal
smudge it with your palms
until all you see
is a black hole expanding

then sketch it again
and repeat
until you can sketch it
in pen

if you can know your pain
the way you know
your breath
in silence
then you’re ready
for the revolution

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