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Shared Teachings — Your turn

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The young priest hadn’t known her.

Abducted by a rare cancer, my sister-in-law left this world prematurely, leaving my brother and their four young children behind. Their family deserved words of relationship, appreciation and love.

As I stood before my grief-stricken childhood community, their eyes, deep with despair, searched for understanding, grace and closure, for this tragic loss.

My prior attempts at speaking publicly resulted in a nervous spillage of high pitched, rapid fired words. Not this time. I offered to step into the void. Somehow, I felt able.

Years later, I assumed the role of teaching world religions to grade-school children. I watched and lived as my first week unfolded with the gut-wrenching devastation of 9-11. Although I hadn’t sought out the position, with a reconciled amazement, I knew I was in the right place.

As I grow through life I see how our experiences are woven together, quietly preparing us for moments of self-assured capability. Correctly aligned in circumstances, we calmly step into the void, capable of serving and assisting others.

As dementia was stealing our mother, my siblings and I rallied around her. The moment when her lifelong fear of a nursing home arrived, I arrived with it. It simply fell into place where this would be my accepted task. The moment of her passing also came to me. My siblings had done enormous amounts of work on her behalf, but these two pivotal events came to me. They were mine, and I gratefully embraced and benefited from them.

What I know is that our personal life tapestries prepare us for momentary invitations to stand in our power. Not reaching for something outside of ourselves, but pulling on our own inner resources, abilities and gifts. Standing in our own power gives voice to the truth of us, to our resilience, intellect and compassion.

We are never alone in this. We are held and guided by “The Life,” which has warped the loom of our tapestry. Standing in our power is not ego or arrogance, rather personal recognition and spiritual acceptance. We humbly stand in our power, allowing these moments to build us, and define us. These moments are given to us in the service of others.

Whether it is a process of aging or a deepening personal awareness, when we see a void and intuit that we can fill it, we must. It is “The Life’s” invitation. Do not hold back. You will know when it is your turn.

Patricia Walsh-Collins is a 40-year resident of Bucks County, with a 25-year career as a professional educator. She is creator and owner of Art of Spirit, and Art of Spirit’s Earth School.

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