“I am only one, but still I am one.
I cannot do everything, but still I can do something.
And because I cannot do everything,
I will not refuse to do the something I can do.”

Edward Everett Hale

Saturday, 30 July 2016

The Right Words at the Right Time

For a while, I have been struggling with some guilt, over some behaviour in my past, which has made me feel unworthy of love.

But sometimes, by purest grace, you are given the words you need to hear. Today, on Facebook, these words by John O'Donohue turned up in my feed:

"When personal guilt in relation to a past event becomes a continuous cloud over your life, then you are locked in a mental prison. You have become your own jailer. While you should not erase your responsibility for the past, when you make the past your jailer, you destroy your future. It is such a great moment of liberation when you learn to forgive yourself, let the burden go, and walk out into a new path of promise and possibility. Self-compassion is a wonderful gift to give yourself. You should never reduce the mystery and expanse of your presence to a haunted fixation with something you did or did not do. To learn the art of integrating your faults is to begin a journey of healing on which you will regain your poise and find new creativity. Your soul is more immense than any one moment or event in your past. When you allow guilt to fetter and reduce you like this, it has little to do with guilt. The guilt is only an uncomfortable but convenient excuse for your fear of growth." (emboldening mine)

This has hit me like a train. It has taken this to finally help me to recognise that I am *more* than my past behaviour, and that to carry on letting the guilt over that past behaviour define me, I have indeed put my soul into prison. And so I am worthy of forgiveness, worthy of love.

Now I can finally believe that I am worthy of love, that my past behaviour doesn't define my whole self. I can't believe it has taken so long for the penny to drop. But drop it has. Thank you God! And thank you, John O'Donohue.

Saturday, 9 July 2016

A Small Kindness

I had to go into town this morning, for an eye test, and to buy some bits and pieces. I was just about to head back to the car-park, when I noticed a stall in the Grosvenor Centre foyer. It had been set up by some members of the St. Giles congregation, and they were offering free hand massage and nail painting.

And so I stopped, and got my hands massaged by a kind lady called Elizabeth. We got talking, and I asked her why they were doing this. She explained that they wanted to show God's love to the people of Northampton. And that there were some events for children up at the church.

I thought that this was such a lovely thing to do - they weren't proselytising, or anything like that - just trying to make some people's days a little bit brighter. I can only say that it worked - I was touched by her kindness, and my hands felt wonderful.

I do believe that this is the way to live - to try to make a little difference where we are, in the hope that the ripples will spread out and make the world a kinder and gentler place to live in.