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Saturday, November 4, 2023

Dona Nobis Pacem ~ The Room

Welcome to the 18th annual Blog4Peace aka Dona Nobis Pacem in the Blogosphere. We will post Saturday and Sunday, Nov 4-5th wherever you are online. 
Please leave your blog or post link in the MR. LINKY below or in the comments section or tag me on social media. Your peace globe will be added to the Official Gallery of Peace Globes

Our 2023 theme is Change The Room ~ The Transforming Power of Walking in Peace

Dona Nobis Pacem 2023
The Room

A conversation with Spirit 

"Fill them up," He said.
With what? asked the tired peace blogger on the eve of Dona Nobis Pacem. 
My peace boxes

For weeks I've known that the box marked "Early Writings" in the back of the closet would provide the backbone of my peace post. And is my usual custom, I waited until nigh the hour to investigate.

"Fill up the peace angel boxes with words you will choose from your fairly ancient writings.
 I will show you the pattern..."
Ha Ha, Lord. That's a funny comment you made. Ancient, eh? But You know best. Let's begin.

And just like I've picked up Papa's hammer or his earth marble in years past, I listened. 

I am nothing if not obedient. 
Inside the closet box I found love poems....lots of silly love poems. Anguished teenage diaries, college essays, journals, quotes, love letters written and received, peace signs and flower power patches, concert tickets....all in the box. It was the seventies and I was young and overly sensitive about most things; and yet...when I read my teenage epiphanies today, I realize not much in the way of what I really care about has changed. 
Peace. Relationships. Music. God. Rinse Repeat. 

Life happened. I became a very young bride back in the days before electricity (ahem). We made our first home in a little mobile house in the middle of the woods.

It was clean and efficient, secluded and perfect for two.  And because I grew up with a grandfather whose favorite pastime was folding his hands in prayer, the first thing I did was make a prayer and meditation room. A floor cushion, a cross, a Bible, a picture of Jesus, and a candle traveled with me to our first real house in the suburbs. 
That was denominational "meditation" back in the day. I've learned and adjusted much since, adding A Course in Miracles later; nonetheless, it was a fine foundation when I didn't even realize I was building a spiritual practice.

 Wherever we lived, I needed a room. A place to be quiet. A place to pray. A sanctuary of my own away from noise and life's chaos. That has not changed in my ancient times (thanks Lord) though sometimes the "room" is under the wide canopy of an oak tree in the stillness of woods and rocks on my little mountain.

And that's what I did in that little flat-roof suburban house while I waited for our baby to arrive. 

Every day. Every day. Every day. 
at precisely 4:10 pm
It was my favorite part of the day. I couldn't wait to shut the door, kneel on the floor and spend some time alone with God and my writing journal. Going IN the room was like being siphoned into a vortex.
I was drawn into it.

 I knew the "meeting" had been called to order as soon as I shut the door behind me. Palpable presence and peace. The atmosphere was climate controlled by a Presence I can only describe as perfect peace and joy. He never failed to meet me there. When I gave Him my time and attention, He gave me strong weapons: patience, love, clarity, compassion, a softer heart, inspiration, mindfulness, solace

When I was a little girl, I watched my Papa change atmospheres all the time. It was as effortless as changing his hat. People acted differently when he was around. What he carried was palpable.
But the question is...where did he get it? 
Papa's marbles

That's easy. Listen carefully. I'll tell you a secret.
He' s the one who taught me about the room.

His "room" is scorched in my mind.
His room was the Bible on the nightstand in a cold back bedroom, the first thing he touched in the morning.

  His room meant devotions at dawn and scribbled scripture notes in the margins of books you weren't supposed to write in
His room gave thanks at mealtime. 

His room was a recliner that welcomed silent sunrise prayers..
a place none of us disturbed (except the occasional kiss I planted on his forehead as I passed by on the way to breakfast, quietly, quietly you see....) 
 His room meant gentle hands on my shoulder and a tug on my sleeve

There was a Lamp in his room
It showed us who he was, no need for preachy words.
It was fueled by The Book sprawled open on his lap - The Book from which he gathered his strength.  

Copyright 1941 The Upper Room
His room was a well-worn pocket prayer book that he carried with him. Buried under a lifetime of rhymes in the box of many ancient words, I unearthed the small stained power book and its leaves of gold.

 Tonight when I opened the tiny pages, it fell open, right on cue, as if it were still open on his lap as I walked past him to the kitchen 

Tears fell on page 40 as I read
 "In Time of War" and "Prayer For

Can you imagine anything more timely in this hour?

He has shown me the pattern.
 I will place the prayer book in the peace box
where it surely belongs

Marrying prayer and peace sounds like a mighty fine idea.
It was Papa's way. I aspire to his way. 
He didn't make peace, find peace, or go looking for peace -

He carried it.

In his pocket, in his coat, in his mind, in his heart, in his actions, in his demeanor, in his attitude, in his love walk
Going into the room was easy for him. He simply yielded.
I watched. 

No matter what beliefs you hold or where you find your rooms of solace, know that it matters greatly how much of it you carry out into the world with you. 

In this dark and trying time in the world, I'd like to offer Papa's Prayer For Peace
He passed it to me. I pass it to you.

"O God, who hast made of one blood all nations of men, mercifully receive the prayer that we offer for our anxious and troubled world. 
Send Thy Light into our darkness and guide the nations as one family into the ways of peace. Take away all prejudice and hatred and fear. 
Strengthen in us day by day the will to understand.
And to those who by their counsels lead the people of the earth, grant at right judgment, that so, through them and us Thy will be done through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen." 


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Monday, October 2, 2023

Announcing Blog4Peace ~ Post4Peace ~ November 4-5, 2023!

Welcome Peace Bloggers who Blog4Peace!
 Welcome social media posters who Post4Peace
on a myriad of social media platforms including Facebook, X (Twitter), Instagram and beyond! Wherever you are online, you can join our talented community for this annual worldwide event. We are represented on every continent and country in the world. 
This is our 18th year of peace blogging.

Whether you choose to Blog4Peace or Post4Peace, 
it's the same community and it's all good!

Bloggers and social media posters from all across the globe
will blog and post for peace

NOV 4-5, 2023

Our 2023 Theme is

"Change the Room"
The transforming power of walking in peace
Created by graphic artist Ann Adamus @ Zoolatry

Last year we wrote about FREEDOM and how that privilege is entwined with PEACE. We said No Freedom No Peace. You were amazingly insightful and bold from all corners of the Earth. We talked about how to GET FREE in the midst of unwanted invasion (personal or global). 
This year we're turning inward and moving outward. Let me explain.
This is my challenge to you 

Imagine what would happen if instead of trying to find peace, we walked in with it?
What if we simply carried it in?

What if we were the peace everyone else was searching for? 
What if we expected the room to change when we entered?
 Don't you think it would?
Why can't we be the water and the well?

When I was a little girl I watched my Papa change atmospheres all the time.
It was as effortless as changing his hat.
People acted differently when he was around. You never heard loud voices or cursing or strife when he was in the room; they respected him too much. 
What he carried was palpable. 

I've spent a lifetime trying to follow his example, trying to understand where that power came from, then founded an accidental peace movement from a ragged bag of his dusty marbles.  Decades later they came to life in the story that became Dona Nobis Pacem for all of us in 2006. It was only then that I knew his uncanny penchant for atmosphere shifts was no accident at all. 

Years later he is STILL transforming that wide-eyed little girl 
STILL transforming all of us.
A bowl of marbles and one person
His quiet unconditional love
changed rooms, changed atmospheres, changed me, changes you

What you carry is palpable.
HOW you carry it alters the atmosphere you're in

You either change the atmosphere 
or the atmosphere changes you

Maybe if we all learn how to change the room we could collectively change the world.
We have called attention to the absence of what we want. Instead of focusing on the absence of peace, why don't we just walk in with it like we own the planet?
Because. we. do. 

Maybe I was a bit naively ambitious in 2006 when I asked you to change the world and expected a peace globe to magically appear on 70 million blogs. Today there are 1.9 BILLION websites worldwide; of those, 600 MILLION blogs. Apparently, we're still expecting to make a dent in the atmosphere because, after all, we're still here. 

So walk in like you own it.
Because. you. do. 

The planet is groaning for peace and stability and the world is watching how you carry yourself. 
We are not the ones to fall down or offer tired platitudes. We are not the ones!!
If that's who we are, if that's ALL we are, then I'm out right now.

I'm about to make a bold statement! 
THIS YEAR you will write words that transform. And nothing less.
 You will draw and paint and sing and created from a place of clear knowing! This will be the most powerful year of peace posts we've ever seen.  

From the moment you set your pen to paper, you will feel it. It will happen in you. How do I know?  
Because you've been peace blogging for many many blog years and you just happened to walk right past me a time or two.
 I caught it then and I sense it now. 

So tell us. Tell us how you do it.

You will write stories of how you walked on seeming hot coals unscathed in the past year.
. When all seemed lost and you wanted to give up, you prevailed. When your body and spirit grew weary and the challenges seemed more than you could bear, you prevailed. . 
Someone out there needs to hear that story. 

We don't change the world or the room by ourselves. 
We pass what we carry to each other.
Peace expands.
We transform. 

People will behave differently around you. 
I promise. 

Let's go! It's a launch.

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Blog4Peace™ Blog For Peace™ Post4Peace™ BlogBlastForPeace™ et al

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Sunday, July 9, 2023

Monday Mimisms ~ Powerful Whispers

Where have I been? 
It's been a minute. The entire month of June got away from me. Complications showed up. I took a fall on the porch and spent a few painful days sleeping away the bruises. Friends said, "Rest and heal!" That's sooo hard to do. I'm a terrible patient. I keep pushing through sans common sense. 

Lost my writing mojo for one red hot minute while the anti-inflammatory meds became the most important task of the day - but sorely needed (pun intended).
Finding courage in an antique store
2013 - Revisited this post and reclaimed my writing chops

Then I got off my prissy behind (literally) and started venturing out again.
More thrifting. Lunches with beautiful friends to catch up. Soaking in Epsom. Burning lavender candles in the middle of the day. 

Looking for furniture as I redecorate my house. More gentle house decluttering. All gingerly. Slowly. Mindfully. Thankfully. I came so close to breaking my hip. Ummm....perhaps I should sloooooowwww down instead of thinking I'm a modern version of Laura Ingalls Wilder on the Bloggingham Prairie trying to do things I shouldn't be doing. Getting tangled up in a heavy water hose was NO fun. 

I couldn't sit for long periods of time, which turned out to be a good thing: it made me get outside and wander around. Sunshine and grass under my feet. Good for the soul....and the soles.
Naps happened.

 The Lion spoke ten years ago this spring. 
I remember the sound of the muse. Powerful whispers.
And his roar. I'd like to catch a glimpse of him again. It took falling down to get my attention.  I'm ready for a new set of words.
I'm ready for inspiration from the Lion. 
I wonder if he remembers....

Dusting off my pen and paper...

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Monday, May 22, 2023

Monday Mimisms ~ Toes Out the Window

I was seventeen. 
Performing in 1974

My hair weighed more than I did.
We'd just finished a Beatles medley for the student body of our high school
and all I wanted to do was step out of the Yellow Submarine we'd build out of  cardboard and slide into the passenger seat of my boyfriend's car
 Toes out the window. Coca-Cola in my hand.
Hair-in-a-ponytail-happy-I was.

Fast forward forty-seven years. 
and volcanoes are exploding in my pencil head
Pandemic Me

So much time on my hands
Thinking about the one I should have married
Thinking about the one I could have married
The one I shouldn't have married
The one I didn't marry
All of those shoulda-woulda missteps brought lifelong consequences unbeknownst to the long-haired girl.
The one who got away before I found myself at the ripe old age of thirty-something. 
What is it about sixty-something that causes one to psychoanalyze the whole of a life?  
Shouldn't I be knitting sweaters or something? 
Who does that?
Me. This week. That's who.

Then I hit a big bodacious bad brick wall. SCREEEEECCCCHHHH.

Last Thursday night I was sitting on the couch staring at the wall in silence, evicting a few rickety ghosts from my head, watching them fly away into mist. Scribbling on paper. I'd been there awhile...just kind of numb. Needing to not-think. You get that, right?  There had been unpleasantness, you see. 
I don't like unpleasantness. I like peace.

Breathe in. Breathe out. Meditate. Pray. Listen.
Before I knew it, all the ropes that held me down had been untied. I lit a match and symbolically burned a paper full of angry words in my left hand. 
Watched it burn. Watched it burn.
Ashes. Poof. Gone.
Then picked up what was left of those I-should-have-could-have-shouldn't-have people with my right hand and blew. them. away. 

I looked at the clock. It was 2 am. 
I straightened my dented crown and went to bed.

I've been on a slippery slope you see.
Trying to function and still save me.

There. I said it.
It doesn't matter how long ago your loved one last misused a substance or drank to excess or suffered a bout of depression, in a mother's head and heart they're always a fool's breath away from active destruction; except with addiction or alcoholism or even narcissism it's mutual destruction. A person with a substance use or personality disorder can look at you stone cold sober holding a Bible in one hand and Holy Water in the other and you still won't believe they're sober or truthful.

That's my problem, not theirs.

I don't want to cover it up anymore.

Not because of my beautiful loved one - he's been successfully working his sobriety for many years - 
but because of ME.

Standing in the wide weary gulf between helping and enabling 
when I found myself alone and climbing out of the recent brief foxhole we shared,
it resurrected all kinds of emotional baggage from years and years ago when he was actively struggling with substances. Oh, the memories. We found ourselves dancing to that worn-out record despite ourselves
my eyes were opened
to what I had become
what I needed to deal with
what I needed to admit
what I needed to understand
what I needed to

Don't you hate that word?
What word, Mimi?
Yes, I hate it.

The day I started blogging, half my face fell off
Then all kinds of wonderful adventures began
Today, this many years young,
I found the other half again.

There is a thin line dangling between the edge of authenticity and the need for dignity and privacy. My writing has always walked that wire. But in every word and every story I try to err on the side of transparency, in the same way I would want less shame-based words applied to the people I love.

Addict is not a noun or an identity. Alcoholic is not a noun or an identity. Codependent is not a noun or an identity. They are disorders and struggles, not moral failures. The disease is not the person.

I've wanted to say it for years.
That I am proud of him
That I love him with all my heart
That I see him

Despite me and my uneven walk with worry and faith

But just for a little while, I think we need a mini-divorce.
Hush Homer. I'll be checking your medicine cabinet tomorrow..

 Just until I regain my sea legs and he sprouts more of those beautiful wings.

He can be free to make his own adventures 
 I won't be holding him hostage with my smothering
I can be free to make my own adventures 
 not holding myself back with fear 
What codependency does to your peace of mind is insidious and suffocating 
You don't even know it's happening! 
It's a learned belief and habit that I must unlearn

Have you ever seen your son or daughter nearly dead from a disease?
You'll do anything to keep that from happening again. Even when you no longer need to. Even years later. And therein lies the devil of enabling.

The job of addiction is to kill and destroy. When you enable (helping someone do something they can do for themselves) at first you believe you're actually helping. You feel good about it. You get a rush of feel good dopamine. Sound familiar? 
Here's the problem. The real sneaky job of enabling is also to kill and destroy. 

 My hardwired need to protect, spills over into the decisions I make about everything and everyone else in my life. Now that was an eye-opener.

Codependency grows from a normal natural parental instinct which screams Mothers have it the moment their babies are born.
There's no shame in it. It's motivated by love. 
But with substance disorder, because of the unpredictable trauma that goes on in families as a result, it can grow wild and out of control and you start looking for a recurrence of symptoms in your loved one. It drives them away. It feels like moral judgment even when your intention is to only throw love. 

Sometimes I move about the world in shoe-drop mode, post trauma reactions that aren't even real in the moment. It's not irrational or hypothetical. The triggers of past events can still be seen in my mind and felt in my heart.

So I make up my own scary stories in the now and convince myself that I need to DO something to prevent them from happening again. It's that dead-child-coffin-dream fear, to put it bluntly. It's very common for parents of children who've suffered from substance abuse. It's like you're watching a horror show on the big screen of your life. The substance has the starring role, the protagonist. Everyone is in desperately twisted love with the alcohol, the pill, the high, the drama. Your loved one is drowning. You are the unintentional antagonist. Everyone dies.

You run yourself ragged trying to help. It doesn't help. It makes things worse because they lose the dignity of making their own choices. And you lose your mind watching them suffer.

I think I dented my crown when I hit that wall, my friends.
But I'll be OK.

No matter how many times I stick my toes out the window and put my hair in a ponytail, some days are like a roller coaster ride.  You either hold on or fall off.
But mostly, I discovered the amusement ride in my head wasn't fun.

I joined a support group. I took an assessment. I signed up for a codependency class online. I wrote emails and ask questions. I watched podcasts on parents who also struggle with enabling NODDING and NODDING and NODDING my head.
Who knew I belonged to a club that no one wants to belong to all these years? 

 I didn't join to fix him. I joined to fix me.

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