One of the greatest gifts we can give ourselves or others is the gift of beginning again. We all need to begin again over and over in life. This need may come from losses we or others may have experienced in life or from the guilt we might feel over words or actions that hold us captive and robs us of the joy of today and tomorrow.
We might think this ought to be easy to do but often it is not. Losing someone or something near and dear to us, being hurt by someone else, or feeling that we have failed to do what we think we should have done or said can hold us captive. Discovering the ability to help either ourselves or others begin again is a spiritual practice. And just like other good habits in our lives this does not come easily but it can and will come.
Here are just a few do’s and don’ts. Do not minimize the loss either for yourself or for others. Rather name the loss as clearly as possible. “I miss John or Mary,” “I miss the loss of my youth,” or “Instead of what I did say or do I could have said or done this or that.” Make it as real as possible so the beginning again is actually choosing a different way of thinking or acting.
Also, do not give advice. A study from Michigan’s Institute for Social Research indicated the most helpful responses to grief and loss was to receive expressions of care, to know someone was available to help in difficult times, given an opportunity to air feelings and the ability to be in the presence of others experiencing the same difficulty.
Holiness is helping ourselves or others begin again. Where do you need to begin again in your life today and where might you help someone else to begin again in their life? Pray about it and then be about the holy work of making it happen.
Lord help me to free myself to help others begin again.
Monday: Holiness is Living Within Your God-given Boundaries