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Father’s Day – and Fathers’ Day

Father’s Day – and Fathers’ Day

Happy Father’s Day!

Empathies and condolences to those whose dads have died or disappeared, and to those have, or had, or are, or must deal with “difficult” fathers.

If Father’s Day brings you pain, this post is for you. If it’s Father’s Day, and there’s no father, or it’s Father’s Day, but there just isn’t a card you could possibly give your father, or it’s Father’s Day, but you’re struggling to play double as a single mom, or it’s Father’s Day but… whatever emotional dynamics make this day non-celebratory for you, there are other things you can do!

For fathers as for mothers, as for humans – all of can use a very ancient method to find a path to celebration.

Try letting go of the literal. CELEBRATE the fatherly qualities that you love as they are expressed through the people you know. There are great dads and great men all around you. There are! If you don’t see any, you need to get out more!

Focus on the qualities that you really, truly, most authentically admire and find worthy when you see them. These are habits and attitudes and actions and values and all sorts of other things that you would sincerely wish to see in play more often (in your world and in the worlds of others).

Imitate those things! Start doing those things or appreciating these things when you see them! Enjoy them! Mimic them! Repeat them! Celebrate them!

This method survives in the religious paths that aim to follow/imitate the person or journey of the Christ, and even in its watered-down version, the WWJD (What Would Jesus Do?) camp. But perhaps religion is part of why you’re not enjoying Father’s Day? Or perhaps the text-based, variously-interpreted Jesus doesn’t actually seem all that great either sometimes, especially through the lens of some of the uses to which it’s been put?

Some people think that you have to project a father into the sky, but that’s only a metaphor for the divinity – one among others, even in the most patriarchic traditions. It’s a way for us to connect with the idea of God by imagining that our own idea of a father is made perfect and loving and all-knowing, to compensate, to make us feel protected and loved. It’s a great idea, and a great feeling, but the divine can also be imagined as a mother, an animal, an idea. The divine isn’t limited. Only our imagination is limited. While I love to imagine the most wonderful of fathers is watching over me and guiding me and loving me, I don’t tend to get very literal about it and then turn around and worship him. Why? Because when I do that, I also can’t help but remember some of the less wonderful stuff, the father of pride and violence and manipulations, the father of unreasonable and conflicting demands – and commands, the father that can sometimes lack kindness or fairness. And these things then get tied up into the divine as well – as we see from our mythologies, and from our social histories.

What’s beautiful here to me is that whether you view this as a spiritual method or a practical method doesn’t really matter. If we all have a spark of the divine – then it’s already within us, and we will be attuned – if we pay attention. And if we don’t have a spark of the divine, we still have a character that continues to develop via questionings and habits and experiences, and we will notice things – if we pay attention.

No-one else is you! You will not admire everything about anyone, nor should you!

Instead, find the something here, and there…

People talk about role models, but I don’t think it’s productive or realistic to imitate or “worship” a person in their entirety – that’s just idolatry or something like that. I’m also not talking about any sort of colonial or predatory form of assimilation like a slash-and-burn cyborg here, and it doesn’t work when it’s in the mode of “should-ing” all over yourself because you feel that you don’t “measure up” in some way either.

It’s much more modest than that.

Just start to incorporate (incarnate?) what you really can’t help but see as a better thing, a sweet thing, a loving thing, a beautiful thing, a true thing, and helpful thing, a wise thing.

The trick here is to really learn to notice and to feel when you just truly admire or enjoy something – however small or fleeting it might be – about another person. You can’t really plan it, or calculate how it’s going to happen, but when you pay attention, you’ll start seeing. And when you start seeing, after a while you can’t believe that you didn’t see those things before.

Learn how to sense what’s real to you, and to follow your own heart and soul, by paying attention, through recognition, and by creative reconstruction, alignment, and re-alliance.

It’s too easy to stay in the realm of ideas on this, through some vision or articulation of a universal ideal. Instead, try really to focus in and allow the force of the galvanic singularities to affect you. Notice aspects and facets of the real people in your life, their ways of being and their actions, and their stories, and the little things that make them who they are. Of these, try picking up just one detail, the very best thing you know and love about that person, the thing you’d mention at their funeral if you had to speak about who they really were.

When you invite these little gems to activate within you, guess what happens? The very thing that you mimic, and re-present, and try to assimilate – transforms! It becomes a unique thing to you, because it can never repeat in exactly the same way when it’s filtered through the YOUness. Maybe there is no “real thing” but instead a chain of variations – sameness within difference, difference within sameness. I don’t know. I wish I did.

But this I can say with some confidence: However loosely bundled your heaps of self might be, it’s always great to pull in stuff that you know (that you intuit, that you feel, that you sense) is just better, truer, and/or more beautiful! Need some inspiration for starters? Try Atticus Finch!

On Father’s Day, I hope that YOU celebrate all those wonderful fatherly sparkles that are blooming here and there, through everyone, all over.

Happy Father’s Day, you dear, wonderful fathers!
Happy Father’s Day, you who father others in spirit!
Happy Father’s Day, you who inspire better ways to be a father!
Happy Father’s Day, you children who invoke love in the hearts of fathers!
Happy Father’s Day, you mothers loving fathers!
Happy Father’s Day, you who are fathers to the next generation, and the next!
Happy Father’s Day – everyone!



Love is not just joy and peace and comfort, but also a broken soul’s plea, a heartsong to the stars. The heart yearns, and reaches out with all its might, to cross a chasm that is at once illusory and unbridgeable.

Have you ever felt abandoned by the cosmos, and enfolded in its Love – at the same time? Forsaken and supported? Punished and granted precious gifts?

The interpenetration of these is perhaps the very meaning of the life of the spirit – heaven and hell, the kingdom within and the always-forever distance from it. Is it our imperfection that creates this doubleness of presenc-ing and absenc-ing, of grace and suffering intertwined? Or is it that we are just imperfect enough to be able to grasp this complexity – in its perfection – but not given that last drop of light which would reconcile it into a meaning deep, high and wide, within which to bask, not flail?

Fingertips brush in the aether. The moment is the moment… and then it’s gone.

Is that why we stumble, and stand in silence? Is that why the words always seem so inadequate?

“I Don’t Want to Talk About It” – Rod Stewart

I can tell by your eyes
that you’ve prob’ly
been cryin’

and the stars in the sky
don’t mean nothin’
to you
they’re a mirror

I don’t wanna talk about it
how you broke my heart

if I stay here just a little bit longer
if I stay here won’t you listen

to my heart
oh-ohhh heart

If I stand all alone
will the shadow
hide the color
of my heart
– blue for the tears
black for the night spheres –

The stars in the sky
don’t mean nothin’
to you
they’re a mirror

I don’t wanna talk about it
how you broke my heart

if I stay here just a little bit longer
if I stay here won’t you listen

to my heart
oh-ohhh my heart

I don’t wanna talk about it
how you broke this old heart

if I stay here just a little bit longer
if I stay here won’t you listen

to my heart
oh-ohhh my heart
my heart
oh-ohhh my heart

Sharing D.H. Lawrence on the Cosmos

Sharing D.H. Lawrence on the Cosmos

D.H. Lawrence is most well-known for his loverly novels, but I am most fond of his book “Apocalypse.” I picked it up again when it caught my eye, patiently waiting, wedged between Bataille and Baudrillard – out of order, why? I opened it up to a random page, and found this passage. I loved it so much that I want to share it with you.

Perhaps the greatest difference between us and the pagans lies in our different relation to the cosmos. With us, all is personal. Landscape and the sky, they are to us the delicious background of our personal life, and no more. Even the universe of the scientists is little more than an extension of our personality, to us. To the pagan, landscape and personal background were on the whole indifferent. But the cosmos was a very real thing. A man lived with the cosmos, and knew it greater than himself.

Don’t let us imagine we see the sun as the old civilisations saw it. All we see is a scientific little luminary, dwindled to a ball of blazing gas. In the centuries before Ezekiel and John, the sun was still a magnificent reality, men drew forth from him strength and splendor, and gave him back homage and lustre and thanks. But in us, the connection is broken, the responsive centers are dead. Our sun is quite a different thing from the cosmic sun of the ancients, so much more trivial. We may see what we call the sun, but we have lost Helios forever. We have lost the cosmos, by coming out of responsive connection with it, and this is our chief tragedy. What is our petty little love of nature – Nature!! – compared to the ancient magnificent living with the cosmos, and being honored by the cosmos!

And some of the great images of the Apocalypse move us to strange depths, and to a strange wild fluttering of freedom: of true freedom, really, an escape to somewhere, not an escape to nowhere. An escape from the tight little cage of our universe: tight, in spite of all the astronomist’s vast and unthinkable stretches of space: tight, because it is only a continuous extension, a dreary on and on, without any meaning: an escape from this into the vital cosmos, to a sun who has a great wild life, and who looks back at us for strength or withering, marvellous, as he goes his way. Who says the sun cannot speak to me! The sun has a great blazing consciousness, and I have a little blazing consciousness. When I can strip myself of the trash of personal feelings and ideas, and get down to my naked sun-self, then the sun and I can commune by the hour, the blazing interchange, and he gives me life, sun-life, and I send him a little new brightness from the world of the bright blood. The great sun, like an angry dragon, hater of the nervous and personal consciousness in us. All these modern sunbathers must realize, for they become disintegrated by the very sun that bronzes them. But the sun, like a lion, loves the bright red blood of life, and can give it an infinite enrichment if we know how to receive it. But we don’t. We have lost the sun. And he only falls on us and destroys us, decomposing something in us: the dragon of destruction instead of the life-bringer.

And we have lost the moon, the cool, bright, ever-varying moon. It is she who would caress our nerves, smooth them with the silky hand of her glowing, soothe them into serentiy again with her cool presence. For the moon is the mistress and mother of our watery bodies, the pale body of our nervous consciousness and our moist flesh. Oh, the moon could soothe us and heal us like a cool great Artemis between her arms. But we have lost her, in our stupidity we ignore her, and angry she stares down on us and whips us with nervous whips. Oh, beware of the angry Artemis of the night heavens, beware of the spite of Cybele, beware of the vindictiveness of horned Astarte.

For the lovers who shot themselves in the night, in the horrible suicide of love, they are driven mad by the poisoned arrows of Artemis: the moon is against them: the moon is fiercely against them. And oh, if the moon is against you, oh, beware of the bitter night, especially the night of intoxication.

Now this may sound nonsense, but that is merely because we are fools. There is an eternal vital correspondence between our blood and the sun: there is an eternal vital correspondence between our nerves and the moon. If we get out of contact and harmony with the sun and the moon, then both turn into great dragons of destruction against us. The sun is a great source of blood-vitality, it streams strength to us. But once we resist the sun, and say: It is a mere ball of gas! – then the very streaming vitality of sunshine turns into subtle disintegrative force in us, and undoes us. The same with the moon, the planets, the great stars. They are either our makers or our unmakers. There is no escape.

We and the cosmos are one. The cosmos is a vast living body, of which we are still parts. The sun is a great heart whose tremors run through our smallest veins. The moon is a great gleaming nerve-centre from which we quiver forever. Who knows the power that Saturn has over us, or Venus? But it is a vital power, rippling exquisitely through us all the time. And if we deny Aldebaran, Aldebaran will pierce us with infinit dagger-thrusts. He who is not with me is against me! – that is a cosmic law.

Now all this is literally true, as men knew in the great past, and as they will know again.

By the time of John of Patmos, men, especially educated men, had already almost lost the cosmos. The sun, the moon, the planets, instead of being the communers, the comminglers, the life-givers, the splendid ones, the awful ones, had already fallen into a sort of deadness; they were the arbitrary, almost mechanical engineers of fate and destiny. By the time of Jesus, men had turned the heavens into a mechanism of fate and destiny, a prison.

The Christians escaped this prison by denying the body altogether. But alas, these little escapes! especially the escapes by denial! – they are the most fatal of evasions. Christianity and our ideal civilisation have been one long evasion. It has caused endless lying and misery, misery such as people know today, not of physical want but of a far more deadly vital want. Better lack bread than lack life. The long evasion, whose only fruit is the machine!

We have lost the cosmos. The sun strengthens us no more, neither does the moon. In mystic language, the moon is black to us, and the sun is as sackcloth.

Now we have to get back the cosmos, and it can’t be done by a trick. The great range of responses that have fallen dead in us have to come to life again. It has taken two thousand years to kill them. Who knows how long it will take to bring them to life?

When I hear modern people complain of being lonely then I know what has happened. They have lost the cosmos. – It is nothing human and personal that we are short of. What we lack is cosmic life, the sun in us and the moon in us. We can’t get the sun in us by lying naked like pigs on a beach. The very sun that is bronzing us is inwardly disintegrating us – as we know later. Process of katabolism. We can only get the sun by a sort of worship; and the same with the moon. By going forth to worship the sun, worship that is felt in the blood. Tricks and postures only make matters worse.

D.H Lawrence, Apocalypse. Viking Compass Edition, 1966, pp. 41-47. Copyright The Estate of David Herbert Lawrence, 1931.

Gratitude and Appreciation

Gratitude and Appreciation

The bittersweet wistfulness of late fall is a good time to reflect, appreciate, and be grateful. It is connected with the traditions of harvest, the feel and smell of autumn, the awareness that cold winter is approaching. All the senses come alive with foggy mornings, trees baring their arms, the last warm moonlit nights, the cessation of summer’s buoyancy.

Thanksgiving is also associated, for me, with a break from routine – the first trip home from college, the warm hospitality of kin, reunions with friends. It’s less hectic than Christmas, and not so cold that a profusion of light is needed (although a fire is very lovely).

This year, we’ve all been pretty sick, and we aren’t going anywhere. It’s a low-key day, a relaxing one. I’ve got some chores to do, but everything is simple and sweet. All is prepared for the meal, and it isn’t a huge feast. I like it.

It’s a great year to withdraw a little, to allow my mind to wander, and to celebrate my own little family. It’s a good time for introspection and introversion. I would not be good company in a group this year. I’m grateful that there is no sacrifice to be made, no atonement, no resolution, no gift-wrapping, no grand plan. There will be no arguments, no whining, no politics, no religion, no nationalism, no pointless squabble, no rehashing of disputed histories, no need for diplomacy, no call for forgiveness, no heaviness, no superficiality, no football game to watch. I don’t need to walk on eggshells.

I’m grateful – to the core – for my dear family.

I’m especially grateful that it is so very easy to be proud of my delightful son, and so rewarding to be his mom. I never thought it would be something that suited me, but I was so wrong.

I’m grateful for my kind and smart and understanding (and big and strong) husband. I’m grateful for my daily life: for the welcome-home hug, for the coffee, for dinner that is often served to me, and for the occasional walk in the woods. I’m grateful – really – for intelligent conversations and also for silliness, and for living with someone who thinks I’ve still got it.

I’m grateful for our kitty-cat Molly, who has tamed us, trained us, and let us know just who is in charge.

I’m grateful for some of the most wonderful friends that anyone could wish for, and for the spirit-sisters and soul-brothers that mean more to me than they might appreciate. You know who you are (and you know who you’re not).

I’m grateful for my brothers Roy and Michael – and their families. I love my nephews Dylan and Eric and David, and you are great Dads.

I’m grateful for my Mom, and especially for those moments when we really connect.

I’m grateful for my uncles and aunts. My Uncle Ronnie has been there for me my entire life – and he holds a special place in my heart.

I’m grateful to have been able to get to know my Dad’s brothers and sisters better over time, and that nothing but actual distance separates us. I love you Joyce and Elaine and Roberta and Gail and especially Jerry, who is so like and so unlike my Dad.

I’m grateful for all my cousins (and there are a lot of them!). You are so funny Mark, you are so dear Allen, you are so lucky Paul. I’m especially grateful for my beautiful, intelligent, grounded, caring woman-cousins. You make me smile – a lot. You are astounding women in your own right, and you’re great mommies too! You – Kim and Jillian and Micaela and Aletta and Kirsten and Katie and Dawn are stars in my universe. The cousin-spouses are wonderful – you’ve chosen well.

I’m grateful for the cousin-kiddies: Zaqq and Jynessica and Alex and Katie and Olivia and Grace and Paige and Devin and Brooke and Douglas, and Shelby, Hunter, and Zach, and Ethan, and Taylor, and and .. awww… this family sure did reproduce well! I don’t think I’ve listed anywhere near…

I’m grateful too for my in-law families. Tommy and Pam, Steve and Pat, Laura – and yes – John (I hope I’m still your favorite left-winger). All their kin are my kin too.

I love my nephew JT and his dear wife Tonya, and I love my nephew Lance. I remain hopeful that bridges will yet appear, and I have faith that all misunderstandings will be unraveled and healed.

I’m grateful to have found an odd kind of respect for and friendship with my hubby’s ex-wife Paula. I’m grateful for the caring love between my stepson and son. I’m grateful for some good discussions and fun with my stepson Evan, and I know that all difficulties will heal in time.

I’m grateful that I have a job, and that it’s a good job with a company that I respect. I’m grateful that I have amazing colleagues there: smart, fun, and sometimes even annoying. I love them all.

I’m grateful that I am able to live in a house, especially one with a back deck that looks out to the woods. I love to watch the sunsets and the moonrises and the birds, and the trees. I love to sit outside here and feel that we’re miles from anywhere.

I’m grateful that I have “a room of my own” – the private space that is my office and the private space of my mind/heart/spirit. I’m grateful too for interconnectivity – for the telephone, and the internet, and yes, for Facebook.

I’m grateful that my car is somehow still running, and I’m grateful for the new furnace. I’m grateful too for a good vacuum cleaner. It sounds silly, unless you’ve lived without one.

I’m grateful for music, which so often takes me “where my heart wants to go.”

I’m grateful for books – both material and electronic. They have enlarged my imagination, taught me critical skills, expanded my ability to navigate, and allowed me the possibility to imagine things and people and paths differently. I love the heavy books, and I love the candy books too.

I’m grateful for my mentors and teachers, without whom I would have been lost. I’ve been so fortunate in having such excellent guides and friends throughout my life.

I’m grateful for adversaries, too; sometimes you are great teachers.

I’m grateful for the absence of some folks from my life, too.

I’m grateful for humor and laughter, for celebrations, tricksters and court jesters.

I’m grateful for invented vocabularies, for wordplay and codes and abbreviations, and for just the right amount of teasing and sarcasm.

I’m grateful for conversations, and for silence.

I’m grateful to be welcomed in, and grateful too for sweet farewells.

I’m grateful for alone time.

I’m grateful for moments of insight, for mutual understanding, a shared joke, a spirit-communion, for wit and also for deep, abiding love.

I’m grateful for high bandwidth.

I’m grateful for moments that are forever suspended in time.

I’m grateful for every kindness that I see, no matter how small it might seem.

I’m grateful for those who bring out the best in others.

I’m grateful for authenticity and trust.

I’m grateful for what means nothing and still means everything.

I’m grateful for hugs.

I’m grateful for everything I can see, smell, touch, feel, hear, taste and imagine.

I’m grateful that I’ve become more grateful, and that the smallest detail can sometimes bring such joy.

I’m grateful for the microscope, and the telescope, and for the ability to scope.

I’m grateful for the cosmos, and starlight, and especially for the moon – and for what points toward it.

I’m grateful for all of the manifestations that point to the divine and the sacred, and for the playfulness they evoke/invoke in me.

I’m grateful for meditations, for the elements, for the directions, for all the rich tapestries of life.

I’m grateful for language, for paradox, for metaphor, for the rules of civil discourse and the visionary transports of poetry.

I’m grateful for everything, and for nothingness, and for the sweet spots where order and chaos meet in beauty.

I’m grateful for the presence of Love, and for the grace that I receive.

Thank you, deity/deities.
Thank you, cosmos.
Thank you, our reality-niche.
Thank you, family.
Thank you, friends.
Thank you, body and heart and mind and spirit.
Thank you, Love.

“If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is ‘thank you,’ that will suffice.” ~ Meister Eckhart

Reorienting into Your Own Path: Belief Self-Torment

Reorienting into Your Own Path: Belief Self-Torment

For a number of reasons, I haven’t posted anything about Jehovah’s Witnesses for a while. There have been some horrible events in the news, and all sorts of doctrinal and organizational changes, but I find myself more interested these days in some of the larger questions. I’ve been trying to write something about that, but nothing I wrote was satisfactory to me. It turns out that I needed a real question for my thoughts on this to spill out. In trying to help ease someone else’s suffering, the words ring true again. Thank you for being the messenger for this lesson! I preserve the questioner’s privacy, but you know who you are. Big hugs.

I seem to be struggling with my relationship with God. I find myself so confused about what to believe. I used to be absolutely convinced that the Bible was Truth. Is this normal for a person in my situation. Any input that you might have would be appreciated.

It is totally normal for you to feel as you do. I do have some thoughts on this in terms of biblical scholarship and the history of the religions of the book(s), but that’s not what will help you most right now because you need first to find your bearings, your balance, and the (for lack of a better phrase) direction of your attunement to God.

Start with what you solidly know and experience for yourself. Be observant and pay attention and even “hold fast to what is fine.” That place where your mind and spirit and soul all connect in gratitude and admiration is where you start. Think of the qualities of the spirit – where do you see caring and forgiveness and love and thoughtfulness and creativity and all those things that you can just feel are *good* things? Let yourself be drawn into that world. Learn from and enjoy the presence of that “energy” in any moment where it happens. Even just noticing it changes you.

Then – and I resisted this one for a long time – think about service. Not big, cosmic service – just little bits of service. Be a little kinder, think of someone else’s feelings, do something nice for someone else, be a listening ear to a friend. Anything that puts your own needs to the side – even for a moment – changes you.

Think of things that you *truly* admire about people you know or have known or have read about or seen. Everyone is complicated, a mix of darkness and light, so you have to think of specific things, how someone made a good decision, how someone manifested an incredible skill, how someone calmed a situation. Those are things that speak to your inner self, to your inner directionality, and they are worth hearing.

For a while, move away from the questions of belief in this or that. That question will always be there for you, but that doesn’t mean you have to address it and be tormented by it right now. Come back to it when you are in a place of spiritual groundedness.

Your body can help you too, and in ways that you might not expect. Sit quietly and relax, listen to yourself breathe. When you are upset, take a few breaths and consciously let it go. Imagine blowing the seeds of an old dandelion into the wind. Self-torment seems to be part of the deal – but you can choose not to do it. Look again at these things when it isn’t self-punishment. Torturing yourself does nothing for you right now except prevent you from insight and focus your energy on everything that would overwhelm you. Love doesn’t want that, and you need to focus on that central thing. Open your heart and listen. Listen.

Try different body positions. Bow your head, raise your arms up to the sky, imagine your feet taking root in the ground, pretend to be blessed by the stars. Your body-imagination is always trying to help you. If you feel comfortable, reach out to the God *above* the God that is caricatured by the witnesses and ask for guidance in love.

Be authentic, be truthful, see beauty, learn when to trust and admire. Start there. In time, the beliefs will sort themselves out. The list of “I believe in this” and “I don’t believe in that” is really not the primary aspect of spiritual understanding. Assume, for a little while, that all the cosmos needs of you is that you pay attention and appreciate whatever you really, truly can. Go a little on that footpath, and see if you get reoriented.

I feel very strongly that each person’s spiritual path is their own, and cannot be regulated or mandated. This is about your own spirit and soul and heart and mind, and nobody else’s. And in that spirit, take what you find useful for you here – and disregard the rest. These are things I’ve learned for myself and from the experiences of others, so they may be very very helpful for you right now. Or not. You are the only you.

Spirit-Opening Questions / Reflections

Spirit-Opening Questions / Reflections

Sometimes the asking is enough. Sometimes the thoughts that resonate or erupt are more important than the answers. Try these – and let your spirit speak to you.

  • In the last 24 hours, what was the simplest sense-pleasure you experienced? Fresh sheets? The smell of rain or fire? Snuggly slippers? A brisk walk?
  • If you woke up with no self-memory, how old would you guess you were?
  • What is one behavior/insight/skill that sets you apart from others and makes you feel special? Is making that a part of your self-identity more limiting or more freeing?
  • What laws would you transgress if you had a context in which it made ethical sense, or compassionate sense, to you for you to break them? What laws would you refuse to break, even to save someone you love?
  • What three things would you do differently if you were totally exempt from all judgment – from anyone – about them?
  • What is something that you have not done, despite a strong desire to do it? Why haven’t you?
  • Can you remember judging something as completely wrong or insane, and later changing your mind? How and why did your view change?
  • When something you have feared or dreaded has come true, what has been the net result?
  • What is one self-limiting thought or behavior that you haven’t yet transcended or released?
  • Who are the people in your life that understand the most about you; who “gets” you? How would you describe your feelings about each? If it’s a mixed bag, why do you think that might be?
  • If you could create your own small community, what would you wish as your ideal location, economy, laws, attitudes? If you could regulate it any way you wished, how would your community treat the people you liked least? Most?
  • What are three moments in your life when you have felt grateful and glad to be alive? How long ago was the most recent?
  • What are three moments in your life that you wish you could more perfectly express in language? If you had to pick only one person, to whom would you choose to express them?
  • What makes your most cherished childhood memories so important to you?
  • With whom do you experience a sense of meaning – in silence?
  • When you think of holding hands, whose hand is holding yours?
  • How have you expressed or accepted love recently? Are there disconnects between the ways you and your beloved express, accept, or share your love?
  • Do you prefer a smiling face or a more serious face? What appeals to you about each?
  • Who in your life is easiest to forgive, and who is most difficult? Why?
  • Imagine sitting on top of a mountain on a beautiful day with the ones you love – each in turn. What differences do you notice in your thoughts and feelings?

Please comment if you can improve the question, or you have another question.

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