| Anne Williamson |

I am currently reading a book titled The Courage To Be by philosopher and theologian Paul Tillich. I'm not very far along. I can't yet say, definitively, what Tillich meant by his title. I like it regardless.

We do not live in a culture that makes it easy to be. Our culture screams, "Do!" and even "Fear!" So, I agree; I think it takes courage to be. It takes courage to still our minds and remember who we are, to remember we have access to, are part of, God - or whatever you call that which is bigger than self and draws you, us, to peace and wholeness. This takes courage.

This courage I seek, often, it helps me to speak it aloud. Sometimes I do this through the use of short mantras: my recent favorite is "All is well." Other times, I need a prayer that allows me to sit with my feelings, to ride the ebbs and flows of my courage, to speak my struggles and hopes. I recently wrote such a prayer. I offer it to you now in the hope you'll take this moment to be, to speak the courage you seek. 



Each day brings hundreds of boxes to be checked,
from the minor movements to the grand projects.
It is hard not to be swallowed,
not to stay afloat only superficially by
doing, doing, doing and then collapsing
into numbness.
In this kind of life I feel there is no room -
for a bigger heart, for a small action of justice, for care - for a stranger or myself.
Help me to see -
where I spend time on the meaningless,
where I choose what does not matter,
where I tell myself the lie of independence and perfection,
where I tell myself you, You, cannot be trusted,
You in me is fabricated.

I will only ever trust with what or whom I spend time,
what I know - 
not intellectually but intuitively, through heart and bone.
To know You, to know the true me, I must sit in the spaces where we meet. 
I must find the quiet peace.
Help me.
Help me to be brave in this -
to not fear what may not get done this moment or today or ever,
to not fear what I may not hear... or what I may,
to not fear what needs to be let go.
lead me to what is meaningful -
back to what is big and deep, as well as what is ordinary.
Lead me to joy,
and lead me to reconciliation and to justice -
to what needs to be understood and opened and healed,
to whom I need to say, "I'm sorry. I'm so sorry."

I will hear you this time.
I will be moved because I trust you because I know you
because I took
this moment
to be.

May it be so.

** Insert the name/phrase that resonates with you: Collective Consciousness; Ground Of Our Being; Spirit; Universe; Etc.