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And, he’s dead.
And, a priest.
That makes perfect sense to me…Always attracted to those sensitive spiritual unavailable unliving types. Ha!
Is it reflective of a bad bonding pattern? He sounds like me in every way, right down to the unliving part…Abandonment issues & the flip side of that, emeshment issues, make for conflictive & heartwrending relationships. The pull, the push, boundaries floundering. Fully alive though not fully living.
I had had a previous encounter with his words, though I admit I wasn’t familiar with the man that penned them. I didn’t even remember his name. While recently wandering the streets of the internet we were reacquainted by chance. I just ran across him whilst searching for another.
Come to find, he was a prolific published author (& an Aquarius!), but I didn’t know that. I’m a writer not a reader! Reading just requires more intake & I’m full to the brim. I write to get things out. I tested as ‘learning disabled’ when it comes to reading comprehension & retention. And I tend to be a rambling stream of consciousness writer, having tested with excellent scores in English language & spelling. Strange isn’t it? I digress. This paragraph is a case in point. Now back to my soulmate…
Henri Nouwen was his name. (Check out the society created in his honor). He was a Catholic priest, professor, writer & theologian whose interests included psychology, spirituality, pastoral ministry & working for social justice (uh…soulmate material, except for the ‘catholic-priests-take-a-vow-of-celibacy’ part).
He was born in the Netherlands in the early part of the 20th century (I love foreigners; so of course that fits). He struggled with clinical depression, & tried to reconcile his mental illness with his Faith. I can relate to him as a fellow catholic; as a spiritual seeker; & as someone struggling with clinical depression & panic/social anxiety disorder. I too try to reconcile all of the above. (Maybe I should have been a priestess? Oh no wait, that’s a whole other discussion & I think I’ve stepped in a sin or two already).
How do we be with ourselves & with others, concordantly, most effectively? I so want to be the comforter & the comfortee. Separate yet equal, can it be? Personally & professionally?
“When we honestly ask ourselves which persons in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is they who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain & touch our wounds with a warm & tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief & bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing & face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” ~ Henri Nouwen (1932-1996)
On a purely personal level, what Henri is suggesting in the quote above requires a huge amount of trust, whether you find yourself on the giving or receiving end. Finding a soul of Kindred Kind renewed my belief that if even for a brief shining moment, we are drawn to find what we need, when we need it….Whenever, whoever, however, & in whatever form it shares itself, with unconditionally humble, tender, loving care.
On a purely professional level, as someone in the healing arts, I feel it is my honor & duty to have the mindset of which Henri wrote, to bear witness to another’s pain as well as to “touch…wound[s] with a warm & tender hand”. In my professional capacity, it is a one way street. I for them is how it needs to be. A still mind, a tenderly strong heart & healthy boundaries are the safety net for exposed free-falls.
“Caring…is daring. The giving AND receiving of ourselves is a vulnerable act of bravery. It is a necessity, if we are to be fully enlivened. Just be present. Caring without condition, from the heart, is a Gift like no other.” ~ Maggie Begley, Fundamental Field Practitioner
Such powerlessness is an uncomfortable predicament, terrifying for most human beings. As practitioners we are supposed to be the ‘doers’ that are being commissioned to act as healing agents. I have found that powerlessness is empowering in its own way. It is freeing for both parties if approached with a sort of detachment. Holding the space to ‘let it be’ is a worthy space to be in & of.
“Empathetic listening is without intervention, no criticism, no advice, no interpretation.” ~ Tess Castleman, Jungian Analyst
Where deep pain, artistry & hope coincide… inside -> out:
Tattoos have a long history as an art form, with the oldest evidence of a tattooed body being dated at about 3,000 B.C. Despite its enduring presence, only a few short decades ago tattoos were considered to be reserved for a subculture of military and biking men. Now it’s made a return to the consciousness of popular culture, with about 36% of individuals aged 18-25 sporting the permanent art. This rise in popularity and deviation from tattoo culture’s traditional place in hypermasculine expression is partially the fault of the same factors that influence most millennial trends: social media and television. Television shows such as Miami Ink brought the beauty and attainability of tattoos to living rooms, and artists now have platforms with millions of followers to showcase their enviable work. But tattoos hurt, sometimes a lot, so why are so many individuals flocking to the needle drawn art form?
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In that loopy fine line of health & sanity, may wellness swiftly gain traction & take the win. I’m betting on it. I’m all in.
Deck me with the full suit.
Needed in spades, precious diamonds, tenderize my clubbed heart.
No winners & no losers be. In this game, each uniquely we.
There’s nothing left to lose, except my perfect poker face.
May Supreme Fortune Reign:
NATURE, TIME & PATIENCE.
I gladly Reblog in honor of Indigenous Peoples & our lifeblood of Nature in Brazil & everywhere. And all those special souls who protect & defend.
By Beth Doane, Features Editor
A shaman once told Zoe Tryon that her life purpose was to walk between two worlds. Enthralled, she followed her calling and for the past decades has inspired thousands across the globe with her grace, courage and fortitude, as she fastidiously works to protect the Amazon and its indigenous people.
The daughter of British aristocracy, Lord and Lady Tryon, she was raised in a sprawling estate in the British countryside learning the proper English, blue blood protocol of royalty, celebrity and global travel. In her heart, however, Tryon yearned for a deeper adventure, fascinated by anthropology and culture. Earning her BA in Anthropology at the University of Sydney, Australia, she embarked on a life change in 2006, when she was introduced to the President of the Achuar indigenous people.
The Achuar are a remote community who live deep in the Amazon, and Tryon was immediately captivated by their way of…
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