What Does It Mean to Be a People of . . . HEALING
In the month of November we are exploring the theme of healing. Healing: to make whole, to reconcile, to repair. Not as a destination, but as a process that happens on an individual and collective level. In a time of great uncertainty, we will look to our ancestors for wisdom and strength. In a time of great suffering, we will embrace practices that help heal our bodies, minds, souls, and relationship with the earth. In a time with so much division, we will go deeper into what it means to “practice love” as Unitarian Universalists. Join us to explore and experience healing!
Reflections on Healing:
Two people can keep each other sane…
Three people are a delegation,
a committee, a wedge…
With six you can… hold a fund raising party.
A dozen make a demonstration.
A hundred fill a hall.
A thousand have solidarity…
It goes on one at a time,
it starts when you care to act,
it starts when you do
it again after they said no,
it starts when you say We…
My heart is moved by all I cannot save: so much has been destroyed I have to cast my lot with those who age after age, perversely, with no extraordinary power, reconstitute the world.
If your body won’t do what it used to, for right now let it be enough.
If your mind won’t stop racing or can’t think of the word, let it be enough.
If you are here utterly alone and in despair, be all that here with us.
If today you cannot sing because your throat hurts or you don’t have the heart for music, be silent…
The world won’t stop spinning on her axis if you don’t rise to all occasions today.
Love won’t cease to flow in your direction,
your heart won’t stop beating,
all hope won’t be lost…
Rev. Vanessa Southern
Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a battle you know nothing about.
The practice of turning our pain into connection.
The practice of letting go of the life you wished for.
The practice of forgiving yourself for being imperfect.
The practice of moving beyond apology to repair.
Share Your Apt Words
In 1671 John Milton wrote, “apt words have power to swage / The tumors of a troubled mind / And are as balm to festered wounds.”
So what words have healed you? What poem, book or music lyric helped you hold on? Gave you hope? Led you to a new you? As a way of testifying to the truth of Milton’s quote, spend some time this month revisiting the words you once held on to in order to hold yourself together. And maybe it’s not about revisiting for you. Maybe your work is to find your current “healing words” – the words you need right now to deal with today’s wounds and worry. Whichever it is, remember that healing words aren’t always easy or immediately comforting. Sometimes the words we need to hear the most are the ones that are hard to hear or grab us by the shoulders and shake us awake.
Share them with someone you love!
Odds are you are not the only one who needs those words. So help someone find healing by sharing with them the words you found. Consider giving it some gravitas by writing them in a letter! That’s right, go old school with this one. Don’t just type it into the cold pixels of your computer and hit send. Instead, sit down and let your chosen words leak lovingly from pen to paper. Allow that old process to slow you down and force you to take the time not just to pass on the inspiring words, but also why those words are healing you right now, and why you thought it might offer healing to them.
Taking It Home: Ideas for All Ages
ABC’s of Gratitude
Invite your children to sing the alphabet song together. For those old enough to know the letters, list things they are grateful for, beginning with “A” and working all the way through the alphabet to “Z.” Each child takes a letter in rotation. The children keep taking turns until they have gone through the entire alphabet.
For those who don’t know letters yet, invite them to share anything they are thankful for.
Be sure to tease out the message of this activity: Sometimes we need the help of others in order to remember all the good things in life. Also: listing all the good things in our life makes us feel better.
Chat about It Prompts/Questions:
- Was it hard or easy for you to keep coming up with things you are grateful for?
- When you are sad, does that make it harder for you to remember things you are grateful for?
- Are there people in your life that especially help you remember the good things in life?
We create two different playlists for each of our monthly themes: one in Spotify and another in YouTube. We organize these lists as a journey of sorts. So consider listening from beginning to end and using the lists as musical meditations. Follow the links below to connect with this month’s “healing songs.”
Click here for the Spotify playlist on Healing
Click here for the YouTube playlist on Healing.
Join us to deepen our faith together:
- Explore resources related to the monthly theme (links above)
- Attend Sunday worship
- Sign up for small group ministry (Soul Matters Sharing Circles and Chalice Circles)
- Request a copy of Soulful Home (thematic resources for families)
- Join our Parent Group (to discuss the themes in relation to parenting)