Begging for crusts

basket of bread

“There is a basket of fresh bread on your head, yet you go door to door asking for crusts.” ~Rumi

How often we ignore the gifts and treasures we already have in our lives, our talents, our relationships, our character, and instead we go begging for pale imitations from others thinking we are only worthy of scraps. We already have so much inside us and around us if we would only take the time to seek it and treasure it.

Imperfect offerings

ring-the-bells-that-still-can-ringforget-your-perfect-offeringtheres-a-crack-in-everythingthats-how-the-light-gets-in

“Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There’s a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.” ~Leonard Cohen (from the song “Anthem”)

These lyrics have been on my mind a lot in the last couple of weeks—partially because of Leonard Cohen’s death last week and partially because I needed this reminder.

As a perfectionist, I tend to want to wait to act or speak until I have devised the perfect response to the moment, but that means I too often never do or say anything.

I appreciate the reminder that a perfect offering is not what is needed. What is needed is for me to show up and offer whatever it is I have to give for the healing and renewal of the world around me, no matter how imperfect my offering may be.

What are you able to give to the world around you here and now—no matter how imperfect it may be? Will you offer it anyway?

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The most significant affirmation we can offer

woman smelling a bouquet of flowers

“To give someone a blessing is the most significant affirmation we can offer.” ~Henri Nouwen

We often underestimate the impact that our words have on those around us, and yet our words have incredible power to do good or ill.

When we choose to use our words to bless others, we offer them a powerful mix of encouragement and support wrapped in a prayer for their well-being. Given how powerful this use of words can be, it’s sad how seldom we choose to engage in this practice.

It can feel a bit awkward at first, as anything new does, but it’s a relatively easy habit to pick up. Next time you find yourself about to offer good wishes that start with “I hope you …” (… feel better, … have a good day, … get the result you want), rephrase it to “May you …” (… feel better, … have a good day, … get the result you want) and watch their face brighten as the blessing lands.

You just might be surprised at how much it means to them … and just how good it feels to offer. It’s such a small habit to develop, and it has such powerfully positive results. Try it for yourself!

May you find great joy in the practice of offering blessings to those around you this coming week!