For the last few weeks, I have been thinking of the power of reframing. Our faith tradition teaches me that bad things do not happen “for a reason” and yet when they happen, especially unbidden as the events of this spring, we have an opportunity to reframe them. Increased time to be mindful has been one of the new frames I have put on this time of sheltering and increased alone time. I am appreciating that I have more time to turn inward and to discover the internal closets that I can clean out (and someday those external ones as well!) In recent weeks, as I find my spirit getting more weary, I have found reframing with gentleness important. Here is the meditation on gentleness from this week’s vespers service:
Gentle, like a breeze moving through the grasses. Gentle as a realization that spreads across your awareness and gives release. Gentle as the first light that butters the morning. Gentle as the quiet after chaos and ruckus. Gentle as a rose petal against skin longing for touch. Gentle as a moth’s wings beating against a light. Gentle as the glow of a candle on a dark night. Gentle as the smell of bread and the taste of peace. Gentleness is a gift we give our spirits longing to soar free, to our aching hearts longing for what is lost, to our racing minds needing focus and calm. Go gentle into this time and into your life.
And we always offer words of affirmation as well. Here they are:
Make yourself a cup of tea. Ask someone for their attention. Pull the corners of the love that has been given to you like a blanket around your shoulders. Drape your own table with the fine cloth of care you wish to bestow upon others. Swaddle your own heart in the wise embrace of generations. Gift your own most tender self with love and care each day. Be gentle with the world and start with yourself.
So may we seek the opportunities for reframing and those places of gentleness.