hope

3 Ways Shame Holds You Hostage

Growing up, I went to Mass with my classmates once a week during the school year. A bonus all school Mass was thrown in for good measure if there was a feast day. Our teachers were forever encouraging us to participate in the Mass, not just take a nap. Being the dutiful student, I did just what was asked, I participated. There was one week, in particular, that I vividly remember. 

It is hard to bloom when we are sitting with shame.

We practiced the songs for the Mass in music class and we were all encouraged to sing loudly so that God could hear our voices. As the priest processed in, we started to sing. My little earnest self chimed in, possibly a little too forcefully and a little off key. After a few lines, the boy next to me nudged me and told me to be quiet. He probably used more colorful language than that because I still remember how it felt to be shushed. 

Exhaling Grief

Exhaling Grief

Pollen is just about everywhere I look these days and so is grief. It seems that no matter where I turn, everything is layered with a fine yellow coating. It is on every car, the sidewalks, in the lake water. As I look out over the water to a stand of trees, one of them seemed to exhale a cloud of pollen just the other day. The yellow plume hung in the air and seemed to settle slowly, ever so slowly, down to the earth.

Many around me, myself included, are exhaling grief. It bubbles up in the most unlikely of places. In so many conversations, grief and sadness hover at or just below the surface. It wasn’t until the trifecta of tragedy struck close to home that I began to pay attention to the voice of grief and recognize how many of us are walking with her.