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Monday, January 10, 2011

Sacred Spots

     Last night I went to an anniversary meeting at my old grammar school, St. James in Seaford. The speaker told her amazing story of overcoming alcoholism and addiction, in a funny, spiritual and straightforward manner. She was truly an inspiration and a gift to us all. 
   Since my pig tail days of traipsing through the halls in a plaid jumper, white blouse, terrible tie and droopy knee socks, they have constructed a sacred spot honoring Mary, the Blessed Mother.
    My girlfriend and I had some catching up to do so we sat in the car with the heat on, talking, sharing, venting and bitching our heads off, F-bombs and all. (I know you can't picture me doing that at all) All of a sudden a National Grid truck pulls up along side us. "Are the doors locked?" she asked me. It was 10:00 at night, what's this guy doing here? The middle aged man got out of his truck, took off his hat, patted down his hair and promptly knelt  in the snow in front of the Blessed Mother and prayed. My friend and I were stunned with disbelief and admiration. Our jaws literally dropped and we were instantly chastened and humbled by our irreverence in front of this sacred spot.
     About 20 minutes later another vehicle pulled up. We looked at each other and laughed, "What is this, Grand Central Station?" A mother and her daughter glanced at us quickly and then bowed their heads, prayed and drove away. Our conversation now took a different path and we started talking about our Catholic grammar school days, how we crowned Mary every May etc.
    My friend told me when she visited her grandmother they would always kneel in front of her statue of Mary and say a little prayer and what a fond memory that was for her.
     When her grandmother passed and everyone was deciding what items they wanted to remember her by, she ran to the statue of the Blessed Mother and claimed it. She turned it over and saw a piece of paper in the hollow of the statue; it was a note she had written her grandmother many  years earlier. She felt her grandmother knew she would be the one to eventually have the statue. It was a poignant moment.
     Sitting in that spot with my friend and the sequence of events of that night reminded me of some important truths. That while its important for me to share and vent and get things off my chest, after a time it becomes counter productive. After awhile, recycling the same grievances keeps me attached to them and in the problem, not in the solution.
     My mom passed last March, and she had a deep connection to Mary, Jesus' mother. I wear the medal my mom wore every day and it keeps me feeling connected to her and reminds me where I can turn with certain situations that need healing, when venting to a human becomes counter productive.
     Statues don't hold any power, they are reminders. They are images that can slow us down sometimes and redirect our thoughts. This isn't a message for Catholics who believe in Jesus or Mary, it's a message about finding what re-directs your negative thinking, what can help you jump out of the problem and into the solution. It's about giving yourself permission to feel your feelings, releasing them and having patience with yourself while you wait to let them go. Everyone's timetable is different. You might need more help, professional help if you're holding onto something too long.
Discover your higher power, what works to help you work through the difficulties of life. Feel free to post your discoveries. I may not be able to post them all, but please know that I appreciate your feed back and am listening to all who speak.
With love,

1 comment:

  1. Thanks, Kerry, for relating this experience. The humble devotion of the truck driver and the mother and daughter is inspirational. I like the idea of symbols, icons and objects of faith having the effect of redirecting our thinking. I have experienced a lot of negativity at work lately and have made a concious decision not to relive it on a daily basis by telling others about it. By not focusing on it I am free to focus on more positive aspects of my day. At night, I make the sign of the cross and pray. As I have gotten older I have found that these types of ancient practices that I learned as a child usher me into a state of mind that allows me to enter into s prayerful and serene state.

    I look forward to reading more of your thoughts and experiences.