It’s not easy to formulate a post this week considering the events of the last 24 hours. I shared on Facebook that I went to sleep Tuesday night with hope in my heart and awoke to news that made me cry for the better part of the day. And yet, as someone who has said “Yes” to the call to service I find myself living the epitome of what it means to stretch. Coming to terms with the reality that half of my country supports a man who is not fit to lead for reasons I choose not to reiterate (simply because I’m sick to death of the list that has been shared time and time again) is the ultimate stretch indeed.

I’ve heard it said that growth can be and often is painful. I can certainly attest to that having lived enough years to look back and see the truth in it. And many wise and insightful people have noted that our country has been considering the face of its own darkness for months. Those same wise ones are also saying that with the outcome of the election comes an opportunity for us to bring light into that darkness; to be agents for change – of heart and of mind. I dearly want to believe that to be true, and I dearly want to be one who bears light for those who cannot see. But today all I can do is honor the depth of my own feelings of disappointment, despair, fear, anger and confusion. Today I must acknowledge the feelings that arise, bow in great humility to those feelings, cry, hide, pound a pillow, whatever I CAN do to allow these feeling to come up and out. I must do this to clear the space in my heart where Love lives. And in this as in all situations, Love is all that matters. So, I spent the day giving voice to my feelings; letting my emotions have their way; crying my tears and connecting to my loving communities in prayer and meditation. I am noticing the wide expanse of emotional ups and downs, especially noting the depth of Love that has been shared in various ways. I’m always stunned by the human spirit, and how much we can hold in one tiny moment. I’m also stunned by the resilience of the human spirit and the way it finds its way to its CenterPoint in the aftermath of upheaval.

Deep in my heart, despite what has occurred, I believe in the Divine Spark that is alive in everything. I know that even within a shattered heart live millions of sparkling fragments that continue to illuminate our being and all of life. I know that all people share a deep desire for peace and happiness. That is our commonality and the point at which we come together regardless of our politics or beliefs. This is where I intend to arrive once I’ve had my tantrum and have come back into my own sense of balance. And from this place of intrinsic Divinity we will move forward into the mystery of what is to come. Personally, I feel that our best is ahead. I believe the wisdom we will gain from recent events and those to come will give us deeper and wider understanding so that we as a world can move forward into our greatest glory.

In the meantime, I am still working through my grief. I intend to emerge from this work with renewed dedication to be of service to all beings and to live into the idea of Tikkun Olam, the Jewish concept that comes from ancient rabbinic teachings calling for the “healing of the world”. Today I am reminded of the personal vows of service I took when I was ordained in 2003. I humbly share them with you here.

It is with great humility and gratitude that I vow:
to live each day with God as my friend and constant companion
to keep my heart open to myself and others and to look deeply into the heart of my fellow beings to see the Divine Spark that resides in each of them
to live with integrity, authenticity, and mindfulness
to be a conduit for God’s divine creativity and love, for the benefit of all beings
and to live with the consciousness of the Universe as a harmonious Oneness.

STRETCH: Honor your feelings; allow yourself to express any emotions that arise. Accept what you cannot change and stand firm in your intention to see the world as completely whole and at peace. Look beyond the darkness for the Divine Spark that illuminates all things.

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