Links of Love

It’s time again for that spewing forth of various things I’ve been noting, and pondering, and thinking on over the last few weeks.  A list of links that for various reasons… I’ve found intriguing.  The theme for today? Let’s talk about love…well  if you’re so inclined to know what’s been bouncing around up in my noggin that is. Click the orange links for the scoop.

Peace.  ~M.R. Berry

1. On the Subject of Compassion:  It’s always pretty disgusting to me when people respond with annoying and hateful response to other people’s misfortune.  I didn’t pay too much attention to this weeks discussion of Paula Deen for that reason (so as to not be disgusted that is) because some of the responses were anything and everything but kind. This guy kind of nailed that attitude; “If something bad happens to you, it’s your own fault. Few beliefs are more precious to Americans than this one, especially in matters of health and sickness.” This reminds me of two conversations I’ve had this week.  The first with a friend who found out they might have gall stones and immediately felt shame because they thought people would assume it was totally diet related (i.e. Their fault).  The second was a conversation I had in prayer while reading John 9. I was reminded how typical it is of humans to respond with the “blame” and “why” game.  This man must be blind, why? Obviously because of something he did…or his parents.  Blame.  Interesting how that’s not the view Jesus takes… This story is really helping me rethink my own answers to the ‘why’ questions and the blame casting.  That said, I’m trying to not be into playing the blame game with Paula or anyone else.  It doesn’t help, and I’m thinking it misses the point by a long shot.

2. On the topic of Yoga: I stumbled onto this video  a couple of days ago (disclaimer: it’s…quite long…however most of what I’m talking about is in the first five minutes of her talking).  But I thought it was a really interesting reflection of how our practice (or in my personal translation I might read ‘religion’ here) should naturally progress into how we practice life in the planet.  Although, from what I know of her beliefs, I don’t share Seane Corn’s religious ideology in a lot of ways, I do however find common ground with her way of thinking about practicing faith (or, for a really Biblical phrase ‘faith with works.’) I think a lot of people come to Christianity to be helped, but never actually turn that around into how they’re supposed to be helping people around them.  Obviously, easier said then done, but I hope as I grow I will better be able to turn the work that’s been going on inside myself, into something that also helps that which is outside myself.  As someone who has been on the boarder of Yoga, I hear these kind of conversations coming up a lot in the Yoga community.  I find it admirable, and part of what makes having my own yoga practice so appealing.  However at the same time (and the reason I continue in my belief of the way), I’m really thankful for a bit of grace, time and the help of a personal savior when undertaking such a tremendous personal metamorphosis.  Point made though: Lets see some works via that faith.

3. On recognizing and accepting You:  This isn’t really a new book, it’s been around for a while, but it popped up in a blog I was reading the other day.  I sometimes have mixed feelings about nudity, mostly because our society is so saturated with bodies (and very quick to sexualize everything).  Oy. This book however (and it does have nudity…so if you’re feeling unsure about the naked it’s not for you) came up in a blog regarding body image and acceptance.  There’s a lot of the message “Real woman have curves” that is circulating around, and I have to say that as a curvy woman I appreciate the inclusion into womanhood…however the truth is being a woman isn’t really about your curves or lack thereof… being a woman isn’t just about the physical.  Ironically this book is a documentation of the physical.  Ai ai ai…cause we can’t get away from it? But I think the message here (and you can argue the merits of such a book either way–pro or con) is that most woman spend a horrifically large amount of time comparing ourselves to other woman, and this is a book that is determined in celebrating female bodies.  Not skinny ones, or sexy ones, or curvy ones or whatever…just bodies.  ALL bodies.  Radical. Why include it in the love list? Well, I’m finding that as long as I’m worried about how I look, and how I think other people think I look (comparing), it’s really hard to actually care about other people at all.  Reverse narcissism (i.e. obsession with how good you don’t look), not working.  The Christian credo stands ‘love your neighbor as yourself.’  Considering the popular climate of self-deprecating physical commentary so many of us become trapped in,  it’s really no wonder that we’re so quick to diminish others with that same voice of judgment we first established and refined on ourselves.  My personal pondering: if I can start being kind, gentle and loving to myself, maybe that tone and dialogue will translate into my thoughts, actions and attitudes about others? Just a thought.

4. On being Marooned without You:  Simply put, I love this song.