Reflections

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  1. A
    Andrea

    Practice. By practicing gratitude and gratefulness, I can accept the thorns as they are, but focus more fully on the roses. The roses are what truly matters in life, and every rose has thorns, but they are not the focus of the plant, or our lives.

    2 weeks ago
  2. O.Christina

    That both are impermanent.

    3 weeks ago
  3. Robin Ann

    Trying to practice gratitude during the storm. It isn’t always easy but it is a must to stay afloat!

    3 weeks ago
  4. C
    Carissa Thomas

    Practice! I used to only see the thorns, and now it seems I only see the roses. Mindfully noticing negative thought patterns and trying to change them everyday but also accepting the thorns as well. There can be two truths in every situation, “good” and “bad” can live in harmony.

    3 weeks ago
    1. A
      Andrea

      I love this Carissa! Very well said, this is how I think as well, every rose has thorns, but that doesn’t take away the beauty.

      2 weeks ago
  5. Nannette

    Brother David’s “Stop, Look, Go” helps me see the rose when the thorns seem to be sticking! There is such beauty all around us and so much to be grateful for. Today we continue our visit in S.C. and it is very hot and humid…I will be thankful to get home where it is a bit cooler. Thank you for this reflection today!!

    3 weeks ago
  6. Chanel Adams

    Thorns can teach us a lot. The lessons that need to be learned, the mistakes we need, and the experiences we don’t want to repeat.

    “Wherever you are is the entry point. — KABIR”

    As they say, “Stop and smell the roses.”

    3 weeks ago
    1. Chanel Adams

      What do we do when we get roses? We’re desperate to cut off the thorns.

      What are the thorns in my life that feel prickly and painful?

      Why do I want to remove them and not deal with them?

      What can I learn from them instead?

      3 weeks ago
      1. L
        Loc Tran

        Chanel, I believe that we become desperate for comfort after going through tough times. I can see why we want to cut them off. Hanging on to them can feel painful. Replying to your other post about thorns teaching us life lessons, I resignate with that. Viewing them as learning opportunities reduces the likelyhood of repeating the same mistakes. Cutting off the thorns only strengthens them each time they come later on.

        3 weeks ago
        1. Chanel Adams

          I agree, Loc. I need to learn from my past mistakes and not make them again. Thanks for your insights.

          3 weeks ago
          1. L
            Loc Tran

            No problem, Chanel.

            3 weeks ago
  7. Antoinette

    The thorns have taught me a lot ! For example when I’m in a hurry or I want to do something without patience I get pricked! I’m a sort of aggressive person and when I was younger I pushed myself and others a lot. I thought that was a good thing, but now I have learned the hard way. It’s not natures flow to demand and expect things to go my way. The thorns have taught me to bloom brilliantly.

    3 weeks ago
    1. Carol

      Antoinette, I relate!

      3 weeks ago
  8. Charlie T

    My practices are all about balance and
    seeing things as they are. It seems my
    natural tendency is to see only the thorns.
    Meditation, medication, positive affirmation,
    and gratitudelization (okay, I made that word
    up 😁), all are helping me to see what is all
    around me. Good, bad, and otherwise, and
    to see how I fit in here. My place in this
    cosmic dance. The thorns make themselves
    known. You don’t have to worry about that.
    But, the roses need to be sought out and
    appreciated.

    3 weeks ago
    1. Joseph McCann

      “The thorns make themselves known.” That is for sure Charlie.

      3 weeks ago
    2. Carol

      Makes me think of what I consider the theme of St. John’s gospel: the invitation to “come and see.” As you know, for me it boils down to willingness to sender and I have found the only way to truly surrender is moment to moment because total surrender is too hard. I love your word “gratitudelization.”

      3 weeks ago
      1. Charlie T

        Yes, Carol, I am with you completely
        on the willingness and surrender
        thing. A friend ask me what I meant
        by surrender. I told him, that I
        mostly mean, to stop resisting.
        And then you must be willing to
        change. Nothing happens without
        willingness. And of course your
        right, I must surrender every day.
        I read your response and poem
        for todays question and I got
        so much from it. 🙏

        3 weeks ago
        1. Carol

          Charlie, I remember when someone told me the difference between surrender and submission. Surrender is “Here I am.” Submission is “OK, for now but when I get back on my feet, it’s my way or the highway.” Big difference

          3 weeks ago
  9. Carol

    Practicing mindfulness and being grateful. An attitude of gratitude helps me be willing to learn from both the rose and its thorns. For me the biggest battles are always within. What am I telling myself? Who might I be judging? Creation is One and what I do matters.

    I share an entry from my 2012 journal that for me addresses today’s question about roses and thorns. It includes one of my poems called “I Want to Die Awake.”

    Musings from my Journal 2012:

    The gift of years, which by the way is not something that everyone is given, tells me to fill each day with gratitude. It reminds me that the biggest battles are always within and we all have a choice about our attitude. Even when all I can do is trudge, I want it to be on a path that is alive and experiential.

    What is IS so be present to the experience
    Earlier this summer I was scheduled for a major medical test. They would be injecting dye into my spinal fluid and taking x-rays of my spine. I guarantee you I was not looking forward to this test but a wise man said to me, “Experience it.”

    That spoke volumes to me. I realized that no matter what is going on in my life and in my body, I want to be present to it; I do not want to fear it or deny it. I want to be alive and embrace it.

    Aging brings challenges and some questionable experiences but I guess the message my wise mentor was imparting was that fear should not drive my train; I took his advice. I experienced it. Do I hope I never have to undergo that test again? Yes, but my memory of it is not punctuated with fear and excessive pain. It was an experience not a battle.

    Saying Goodbye to Mom (I want to die awake)

    Ten years ago, I stood in my 83-year-old mother’s hospital room. She was sitting in the chair beside her bed. The doctor knelt at her feet to tell her she had cancerous tumors up and down her spine. Her condition was terminal.

    She thought for a minute and then she refused further treatment. She announced, “Let me die.” She passed away three days later, surrounded by her children and grandchildren. She had been gifted with a long life and I think she departed with gratitude.

    At that time, my wise and wonderful son said to me, “Grandma’s death experience is our teacher,” and he was right. He watched his grandmother choose to be alive even in death by refusing to battle the reality that it was time to go.

    I WANT TO DIE AWAKE by Carol Ann Conner
    I want to die awake,
    awake to give away
    my final earthly day.

    I want to let it be,
    not fight or try to flee
    life’s final invitation.

    Perhaps, it is a lie.
    We never truly die,
    an ego’s lamentation.

    Perhaps, it is a birth,
    a trickster filled with mirth,
    a lively demonstration.

    Perhaps, it truly ends
    all memories and friends
    beyond all restoration.

    But can awareness die,
    the meaning of the why,
    the hope of all creation?

    What ever be the case.
    Death never can erase
    the fruit of realization.

    It will rise again
    in family and in friend
    an act of re-creation.

    3 weeks ago
    1. Michele

      Carol – this stood out to me ‘I guarantee you I was not looking forward to this test but a wise man said to me, “Experience it.”
      That spoke volumes to me”
      I will be thinking of this May 24th when I have my biopsy done on my right breast. I gave birth to my 3 children naturally, no drugs. The thought of a needle going in my breast terrifies me, let alone the results of it…
      Thank you for your perspective and willingness. 🙏

      3 weeks ago
      1. Carol

        Michele, I think when my mentor told me to “Experience it,” he was reminding me of the “Isness of God.” He was reminding me that when my mind journeys into the past or the future, I go there alone because God IS and the strength I need is in the NOW. When facing any medical procedure, it helps me to remember that I am an integral part of my healing team. The doctors and nurses are not doing something to me. They are doing something with me. So even if you’re shaking in your boots on May 24th, I firmly believe that there is a part of you that has never been afraid and you can claim it and call it forth. It’s your “Isness.”

        3 weeks ago
        1. Michele

          Thank you Carol 🙏

          2 weeks ago
    2. Dolores Kazanjian

      Beautiful, Carol. Very comforting. Thank you.

      3 weeks ago
      1. Carol

        Dolores, You are most welcome.Hope you have a lovely evening.

        3 weeks ago
    3. Nannette

      Thank you, Carol for your beautiful poem and for your wise insights. Thank you for sharing all of this lived knowledge. You certainly have given me something to think about. Your posts are always a delight!!! Bless You.

      3 weeks ago
      1. Carol

        Thank you, Nannette, for your kind and loving words. I needed them today.

        3 weeks ago
  10. Yram

    The many little “coincidences” that pop up. It could be a word on a billboard, a suggested book, the word of the day, a response here, or a smile of a stranger. As Carla said, these are the scents that lure us to the roses.

    3 weeks ago
  11. Charity

    Practicing gratitude! I would not be able to see the roses at all if I did not practice gratitude daily- and I mean really PRACTICE! With this, I have become more aware of what I can control and how to appreciate what I cannot as little challenges. It is all a matter of perspective, at least to me. Recognizing that uncomfortable emotions and situations are all a part of life’s lessons has brought me so much peace.

    3 weeks ago
  12. Mary Mantei

    Wow, this one can be a challenge. Like each of you, the thorns have obscured the bigger picture in my life at times. Often, it has been a loving, trusted person who has helped me see the roses. Stream of consciousness writing can help me see the roses. Time can be helpful. Right action has always been helpful and that looks like a lot of different things..

    3 weeks ago
  13. Avril

    At first I found this question to be a little hokey. But, I always appreciate being strecthed. Like others posts, “Stop, Look, and Go” instantly comes to mind. I love how Br. David says (and I strongly paraphrase) we don’t have to be grateful for painful situations like death, war, chronic pain and homelessness. However, we can find what we can be grateful for in a moment, inspite of the situation. He always reminds us the present is a gift and it’s the only moment. To quote Thich Nhat Hahn “present moment, wonderful moment.”

    3 weeks ago
  14. Michele

    Positivity
    Happy Nat’l Teachers Day

    3 weeks ago
    1. Avril

      Thanks for the reminder.

      3 weeks ago
  15. D
    Deann

    This sight, reading your perspectives and following Stop.Look.Go helps me see the rose. I also find prayers, reading, hugs and smiles help me find the balance. I can appreciate the lesson of the thorn while breathing in the sight and smell of the rose. ( stole the smell part from Carla).

    3 weeks ago
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