Friday, May 22, 2009 I come!

Well, the place for reflection has been decided upon. July 1-5 will be spent in Sedona, AZ, a truly beautiful and spiritual place. I have also decided that two days sans computer is a part of this retreat process. This has been quite a year. I can't believe all that has happened in my life since leaving Florida just 18 months ago. Most especially, I can't believe that my ordination is becoming a reality. There is so much to think about, so much to continue to discern with regard to my call from God. As we approach the day of Pentecost, I am filled with an overflowing sense of the Holy Spirit and his presence in my life.

Monday, May 18, 2009

So Many Things To Do

My attempts to remain faithful to my blog seem to have gone astray. One day fades into the next and before you know it the week has passed. Some good intentions have been fulfilled; others not. The trouble with this rapid passage of time that leaves life in a blur, is that we quickly loose sight of the forest through the trees. We are so intent and, sometimes drained, by dealing with the present that we forget our future is limited in time. This dilemma is all too unpleasantly staring me in the face. I have so much that I want to do and so little time. A new commitment has arisen - take some time to figure out the priorities of time for myself. The first week of July has now been set aside for this contemplative excercise. Wish me well. Peace...

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Opening Our Minds

I just read a reflection by Joan Chittister http://www.benetvision.org_In_Passing/05_04_09.html
The last paragraph relates very much to where my mind is at these days. "Once we empty ourselves to our certainties, we open ourselves to the mystery. We expose ourselves to the God in whom 'we live and move and have our being.' We bare ourselves to the possibility that God is seeking us in places and people and things we thought were outside the pale of the God of our spiritual childhood. Then life changes color, changes tone, changes purpose. We begin to live more fully, not just in touch with the earth, but with the eternal sound of the universe as well."
Life is safe when we keep it in the little box we have constructed to help us understand what life is all about. Once that box breaks, wears out, etc. life can be very scary. We question God. I am not sure that He wants to protect us from those questions. But I am sure that He wants to shepherd us to the answers that are right for us. Peace, Clelia

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Responding to Violence

Bishop Dan's Blog of yesterday speaks of the dreadful violence that is prevalent throughout the world today. My personal belief as a clinician, and as an observer of life, is that a great deal of this violence is the result of traumatic stress disorder. A phenomenon that begins in utero. Salient symptoms of traumatic stress disorder among both children and adults are anxiety, panic, anger, violence, substance abuse, and mental illness. Traumas pile up. If a child is traumatized in early childhood (let's say by the death of a parent, violence within the home, etc) the trauma impacts the successful acheivement of what ever developmental milestone that child is going through at the moment. Unless the child receives help at that time, he/she is likely to be stuck at that developmental milestone. As a child, or adult, experiences more life trauma, the situations, left unattended, compound themselves. We have lots and lots of traumatized children, and adults, in the United States at this moment in time, with very few programs to identify or treat this serious issue. The same principle applies to our returning vets. They have been severely traumatized in one way or another during the course of their military service. They return home after having been in the midst of flying bullets, exploding rockets, and mutilated bodies, only to be told to turn in their uniform and gun and get a job. This approach is not working. The learned violence and the trauma of this war on terrorism hangs on and on perpetuating more violence.

We have a traumatized society. I have come to believe that until we think of ourselves in this light, we will only become more traumatized and more violent.

Friday, May 1, 2009

The Weeks Fly By

I find it difficult to believe that we are at the end of yet another week - a week that has been, once again, filled with amazing stories from the growing number of clients that I am seeing in individual counseling. Almost all my clients have PTSD caused by events that range from the Vietnam War to being stabbed by an angry boyfriend several weeks ago. Some are young (13), some are older (59). The stories and feelings that are shared with me can be very difficult to hear and to process as I move through time and continually consider the lives that God asks us to live. Through all the tears, anxiety, anger, and grief, however, there is rarely a time when God fails to enter the story. At some point or another, the storyteller always brings up the way(s) in which they sought God's help in living through their dilemma. Each day, I am struck by the fact that, for the most part, we all go forward. We all move through life, no matter what the circumstances, with great moments of joy, humor, and apprieciation and prayer of thanks for the gifts that God has given us. My difficult work could possibly make one question God in a negative way - for me, it has strengthened the powerful reality of a God who is with us constantly, in ways that we will never understand, with gifts that we are always discovering and receiving.