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It is Well with My Soul. Part 5 of 5

"Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say: It is well, it is well, with my soul."

Life right now is unimaginably heartbreaking. Children are trained to expect a murderer to walk into their schools (because it happens with increasing regularity), people of color are shot just for living normal life, rights -- reproductive, voting, adopting -- are being stripped away, the earth as we know it is dying, and as it dies, we violently are oppressing those with the least power.

Life right now is utterly amazing. We are questioning all the norms in our society, becoming more inclusive to all types of relationships, changing our words, rejecting "power over," breaking apart assumptions.

Both can be true. Simultaneously.

And in among all of that are the heartbreaks and miracles in individual lives. People are finding love, waiting for the biopsy results, mourning loved ones, getting new jobs, being deported, witnessing a birth - trauma and joy and relationship and disconnection and all of it. Job is always among us, both the Job who is in despair and the Job who has re-found joy.

And we have no assurance of what will happen in the future. What we may be called upon to do.

To keep on going through all of it requires resiliency. And resiliency requires recovery.

A Unitarian Universalist church cannot be a wholly safe space, but it can be a place where we recover, and learn and practice courage. As the saying goes, the safest place for a boat is in a harbor, but that is not what boats are meant for. A Unitarian Universalism for this time in history can be a big tent where we come together to share the wisdom we have found, to learn new ways of being, and to explore meaning itself. An ethic of personal responsibility makes this possible, as we practice making decisions out of our guiding principles rather than our pain.

And it all comes back to love. The kind of love that is freakin' hard, that is a struggle, but that we dedicate and re-dedicate ourselves to, again and again.

What does it mean, for you, when it is well with your soul? 

For me, it doesn't mean that things are great. It doesn't mean an absence of pain. It doesn't mean "comfortable."

For me, it is well with my soul when:

I accept that I am simultaneously enough ... and not enough.

I know I am living out of my guiding principles, imperfectly but intentionally.

I begin with love,
and stay with love,
and come back to love.

The Church Where It's Okay To Ask Questions
Recommitting To An Ethic Of Personal Responsibility Or "Backless Chairs Are Not The Answer"
Part 1 My Love Song To Unitarian Universalism ... And Unitarian Universalists
Part 2 Personal Responsibility Is Non-Transferable
Part 3 That Whole Guiding Principles Thing
Part 4 Pain Is Inevitable
Part 5 It is Well with My Soul


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