Reflection Group: Lie Back into “Enough”

Woman lying back floating in water
Map Unavailable

Date(s) - 09/29/2019
9:30 am - 10:30 am

UUCJ - New Building


Sometimes pausing to rest is a spiritual exercise in and of itself. We spend so much time chasing expectations, those of others and those we place on ourselves. It becomes such a way of life that we don’t notice we are doing it and stop wondering why we are doing it. Together we will reflect and discuss on how we have built our lives around expectations rather than “enoughness” and how we can learn to lie back and trust the sea of life to hold us.

We will use the following two poems for inspiration:

First Lesson by Philip Booth

Lie back daughter, let your head
be tipped back in the cup of my hand.
Gently, and I will hold you. Spread
your arms wide, lie out on the stream
and look high at the gulls. A dead-
man’s float is face down. You will dive
and swim soon enough where this tidewater
ebbs to the sea. Daughter, believe
me, when you tire on the long thrash
to your island, lie up, and survive.
As you float now, where I held you
and let go, remember when fear
cramps your heart what I told you:
lie gently and wide to the light-year
stars, lie back, and the sea will hold you.

Even This Is Enough by Rev. Vanessa Southern

So much undone.
So much to do.
So much to heal
in us and the world.
So much to acquire:
a meal
a healthy body—
a fit one—
a lover
a job
a better job
proof we have and are enough
just around the corner of now.

And up against it the reality of all that falls short and the limits of today.
We honor the limits:
If your body won’t do what it used to, for right now let it be enough.
If your mind won’t stop racing or can’t think of the word, let it be enough.
If you are here utterly alone and in despair, be all that here with us.
If today you cannot sing because your throat hurts or you don’t have the heart for music, be silent.
When the offering plate goes around if you don’t have money to give or the heart to give, let it pass.

The world won’t stop spinning on her axis if you don’t rise to all occasions today.
Love won’t cease to flow in your direction,
your heart won’t stop beating,
all hope won’t be lost.

You are part of the plan for this world’s salvation,
of that I have no doubt.
The world needs its oceans of people striving to be good
to carry us to the shores of hope and wash fear from the beach heads,
and cleanse all wounds so they can heal.
But oceans are big and I am sure there are parts that don’t feel up to the task of the whole some days.
Rest, if you must, then, like the swimmer lying on her back who floats,
or the hawk carried on cushions of air.
Rest in pews made to hold weary lives in space carved out for the doing of nothing much
but being.

Perhaps then you will feel in your bones,
in your weary heart,
the aching, healing sense that
this is enough—
even this.

That we are enough.
You are enough.

For these and all the meditations of our hearts unspoken in this hour, I say, “Amen.”