Many moons ago, I was involved in a project (begun by the Quakers, of which my father is an active member) called AVP – or, Alternatives to Violence Project – which is active in many countries across the world, initially and primarily in prisons and similar institutions.
This Thursday, one of the more prevalent meditations during the 2.5 day workshop will be read out at my stepmother’s funeral. I will remember fondly the weekends we shared together, as participants and then as trained facilitators, conducting these workshops in Victoria. I can’t think of AVP and not recall these most precious hours with her.
Here it is, for you. A beautiful reminder of the obvious but sometimes overlooked. Never forget: You are You. That is more than plenty enough.
I am me.
In all the world there is no one else like me.
I have this one life to live.
The way I live my life can make a difference:
To the people close to me;
To the people I live with – work with – play with;
To the community I live in;
And to the people I may never see.
I can use the love given to me to help others.
Sharing this love makes me happier and others happier.
When I am unkind to others in words or actions,
I destroy something in myself.
Love brings people together and builds.
Violence separates us from others and destroys.
Let my life be built on love.
Let me find the good in myself and the good in others.
Let me be a part of making this world a better place.
Let me be the REAL ME.
I am me.
I am a valuable person.
There will never be another me.
For Susannah. Who taught me the meaning of strength and being me, in her actions rather than words. And in her genuine strive to live it rather than voice it. The soul knows the true wisdom beneath whatever we are saying on the surface, know this. It also knows who it needs to be with to properly survive. Listen.
And below, the LGBB. Among the bamboo. Strength personified. A plant whose wisdom, had it not been imparted by Susannah, would have otherwise been completely lost on me. I find it not a little comforting and coincidental that the below photo, taken two days after she died during an outing to the Royal Botanical Gardens in Melbourne (on a promise to her just last week that I would take Lolly to see the outdoor production of The Wind In The Willows) , is one of my most ‘liked’ and commented on on Facebook. It seems we all see the beauty in the long strong stems, a gift from that Plant universe within a universe, and are touched by it on levels possibly unnoticed.
I find great comfort in the fact that I will be subtlely replenished by so many unseen things.
In fact, I rely on it.