With headlines about police brutality, religious extremism, and police being targeted, it’s easier than ever to stay within your own circle, never branching out. More than ever, kids are growing up with a strong sense of “stranger danger.” Scripture clearly commands, “‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these” in the book of Mark, but how can we live this out today? It was on a recent Airbnb stay that my wife and I started to dig into this topic.
There is one segment of our population which is not experiencing much spaciousness. It is veterans returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with PTSD (posttraumatic stress disorder).
We sent this group off to war, they did their jobs and, as a result, many have been so traumatized by their experiences, they’ve come back home unable to cope with civilian life. Our government provides inadequate treatments that fail to help, rocketing a startling suicide rate.
The New York Times ran an article recently profiling one of these vets and his dysfunctional,
We’re excited about our guest post today. Here’s a bit about the writer and then her piece in its entirety:
Catherine Woodiwiss writes on faith, policy, and culture; co-runs a design platform; compulsively joins or builds community networks around shared interests and values; and plays music whenever possible. A chronic “Yes, And”-er, she tells us she is also a huge fan of SPACIOUS, and we’re grateful for that.
For someone who loves conversation,
SPACIOUS is about community and opening up our hearts, so when Cary spoke to me last year about guest blogs, what came to mind was the almost magical sharing that went on between people who surrounded me during the time I was in treatment for oral cancer in 2012 and 2013. With my family far from the DC area and living on my own, in large part I was making treatment decisions and going to radiation, surgeries, and other medical appointments by myself.
Today’s guest post is from Agam Rafaeli (pictured in the hat), who will introduce himself below. I (Cary) had the chance to meet him at the recent wedding of Joey and Rebecca Katona, when Joey told me that Agam was someone he particularly wanted me to meet. In the spirit of the post below, Agam and I were both eager to make a new friend and connect around our mutual love of Joey. So we slipped away from the band during the reception and spent a little time getting to know each other.
Ah! Over here!
Sloppily swimming in a sea of expectations, I find it difficult to access my true self in the world that surrounds me. The expectations begin to wash away my opinions, dreams and ideas while I start to accept other people’s beliefs as my own. Nevertheless, I still have enough resistance to want to escape the tides of torment and go into myself and release my true being free into this world. How must I sort this out? Who am I when I am waiting in the car before my first date?
For the past week I’ve been a guest at one of the two homes that comprise The Village, a community of heart-centered entrepreneurs and change-makers based out of Boulder, Colorado.
My initial connection with The Village came from a chance meeting with one of its key organizers, César, who reached out to me after I gave a nerve-wracking one-minute pitch in front of 100 people at a fellowship program we were both participating in. When he learned that I was looking to relocate,
Ladies, when was the last time you did something new? Just tried something for the sake of trying it? Think about it…while I tell you this story.
I was driving to the mall to go shopping with a girlfriend a few months ago. She lives a comfortable life, always has enough money since she is the VP of some big finance company and her husband is a sergeant for the police department. They have two children, two cars, twice-yearly vacations in Florida,
No matter how one plans for a perfect event, circumstances may arise that require the ability to be flexible and have a good sense of humor.
One Thanksgiving, I invited over about 20 guests. This eclectic mix of family, friends and co-workers came together with an appetite for food AND fun. One of my guests, who lives healthfully and is always willing to share his recipes, brought supplies to prepare delicious smoothies. Smoothies for Thanksgiving? Why not!? From his shopping bag,
I want to tell a story. First, I want to say that I am a failure. I have failed at being empathetic so many times that I hurt. While it isn’t always popular to talk about failure, it’s actually a great place to begin because this is where compassion starts – at the bottom. If we want to live with empathy or to teach our children about empathy, it has to come from an authentic place in us. I want to tell a story that illustrates for me the changes that I have been experiencing as I am traveling towards greater compassion for every person – whether adult or child – whom I meet.