‘A single sunbeam is enough to drive away many shadows.’
May the promises you have made to yourself about who you want to be
feel closer to the reality of who you are right now.
May you share that feeling of transformation wherever you go.
May it spread into every word, deed, thought, and interaction
Until we are all changed, transformed and transforming together,
becoming our better selves. – Emily Richards
I found these words of Emily Richards to be deeply inspiring, a call toward a practice of needing to embrace change and allowing transformation to guide us toward becoming our better selves. I feel that our community of All Souls offers such a place, opportunities for us to let our better selves shine, through the encouragement and invitation we offer each other. It is true! Our UUA General Assembly this year embraced this idea of the need to accept change and allow for transformation, for it is here, happening all around us and we but need to lean into it, and lean on each other and allow ourselves to be transformed. Change isn’t easy, it can be challenging and unexpected but it is happening all of the time. We need to be able to adapt and embrace the new paths we are co-creating in order to become more resilient, and be able to support each other in living into our values more deeply.
I want to express my gratitude once again for the kindness and care you offered to me as I travelled the path with my parents this past year. It was challenging, and I was constantly having to adapt and change, trying to navigate my dad’s care from afar beginning in January, feeling overwhelmed and frustrated at not being able to bring him closer to home. But your ideas and care, reassurance and understanding were a great gift. When he finally let go, I could let go. He was ultimately and finally at peace, no longer needing to struggle. Facing and reconciling the death of someone we love is the ultimate challenge of living, and offers an opening for transformation, a process toward becoming our better selves. We miss their physical presence dearly, to be able to hug and talk together, share stories and memories. What we have to hold on to for strength and solace are the bits of wisdom they gave us by who they were and how they lived. Here are words of wisdom from my dad, Sweet William. Take the time to grow and nurture flowers and vegetables, more than enough so that you might give them away for beauty and nourishment; be true to yourself and live a life you can be proud of; share your ideas, live your dreams if you can, and listen deeply to yourself and those around you. My dad also encouraged me to save everything – you never know when you might need that bit of rope or extra box! Over the years, he and I planted fields of potatoes, asparagus beds, and flowers, so many, many flowers. Gratitude to Sweet William for all that he taught me. And gratitude to each of you. We learn from each other, and I have and will continue to learn from you. Please take time in these summer months to rest, celebrate, reflect and remember what a gift it is to be part of a community of people who appreciate each other, seek to know each other more deeply, and who aren’t afraid to embrace change and live into who we are and can be. May we share our sense of “transformation wherever we go. May it spread into our every word, deed, thought, and interaction until we are all changed, transformed and transforming together, becoming our better selves.” I am grateful that All Souls is a community that encourages us to become our better selves. We need each other and the world needs us.
With deep gratitude,