Keep telling the Story of love
With a heart full of love, I bring you this 32-page collection of writing and poetry:
My mother sighed as if exhaling a huge weight. “That’s true,” she said. “Before the surgery, I was never able to really love. I mean, I loved you – and your sisters – but I couldn’t trust that you loved me. I was so stiff and self-conscious, always doubting myself.
“But after the surgery I went through this opening where now I just love you. I don’t worry about whether you love me. I just, you know, love you. And then I can feel the love. ”
And then she said the most remarkable thing…
“Back then, when I was in the hospital, when I almost died, God came and talked to me. We were walking toward the light and I asked him, ‘Can I have just a little more time?’ God asked me, ‘Why do you need more time?’ And I said, ‘I want to go back and just once, really experience love. I just want to fully love. I know how to do that now.’”
This ebook includes essays and stories – and one poem, called “Stand in Joy.”
Keep Telling the Story of Love is about our tender humanity – our open- heart surgery, our ungraceful aging, our vulnerability – to hurricanes, floods and other forces of nature – and to our own middle-of-the-night fears.
The ebook is divided into three sections:
1) There is no broken you
- There is no broken you
- Turn sideways into the light
- As if love is breathing your heart
2) What to do with suffering
- Your own suffering
- The suffering of others
- “Everyone suffers, you can’t give up”
- Shifting out of suffering
3) When the world seems to be falling apart
- Stand in joy
- Cracking the box – The courage to release what is not love
- There are always helpers
- Wind at the windows
- What I am remembering: Notes from the post- Sandy blackout
It’s a PDF file.
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There is a way to make stress (or peace) out of any situation. I sit outside on the lawn swing; surrounded by beauty – the dew-jeweled grass, a white-gold sunrise, my book open beside me, a cup of tea, all my iTools – laptop, phone. Yet, here is this stress. What can I do?
A few years ago, my dad said something that really resonates with me: “We’re all disabled,’ he said. “Some of us wear it on the outside. Some, on the inside.”
I think of my yoga teacher, who has spent the last three months on the floor of her bedroom after a fall – and a back injury. I think of my husband, who wakes up every morning in pain – and figures out how to get through it.
I think of friends, family members and clients struggling with depression, cancer, botched surgery and broken marriages. I think of the elders at my father’s nursing home, slumped in their wheelchairs after strokes, paralysis and Alzheimer’s.
I think of their families, devastated, guilty – walking through the emotional olympics of watching someone you love suffer and being unable to stop it.
I’m reminded of another teacher: the homeless woman I met 25 years ago in Grand Central Station who, when I gave her two slices of pizza I’d saved from the weekly office party, looked deep into my eyes and spoke from a deep well of wisdom, “Go around the corner and really make a difference.”
When I did, I found hundreds of hungry people standing in line for a paper bag lunch offered, once a day, by the Coalition for the Homeless. That woman inspired me – and so did those hungry, humbled, homeless people whom I met and served for several years. We are all disabled by something. It’s what we make of it that matters.