Affirm often; always respect.

adult aged baby care

Photo by on

Never, ever, intentionally shame anyone.  Always aim to affirm, or at least be respectful.

Even if only out of respect for yourself.

So much of how we treat others is a reflection of the health of our own soul.  I’ve never known a form or practice of shaming that does anyone any good.  Even (especially) if you are in a position of authority (e.g., responsible to protect, or teach), and you believe correcting someone else’s behavior is necessary, shaming bad behavior doesn’t tend to end it; rather, affirming or pointing toward a desirable behavior is more effective.  What is most efficacious is modeling healthy behavior, and underlying all good human-behaving is respecting human-being.

Even if someone else’s actions must be stopped, and you are in a position to do so (you have the authority and opportunity), it’s possible to intervene without deprication.

I believe shaming is based on hatred or objectification.  If you desire to shame someone, you must either despise them as a human-being or not even see them as another person.  Since I believe each human person is sacred at their core, and because I don’t want to foster hatred or reviling another in my heart, I have no use for shaming.

And I most certainly refuse to accept shame.

I am so convicted about this because of the faux-shame I experienced as a child when teased and as a youth when sexually abused.  Then, I took responsibility for others’ bad behavior; that is faux-shame.  Now I still contend with the wounds those offenses inflicted, and their residual scars which include faux-shame. As an adult, I have to do the work to heal those wounds and salve those scars.  One way to heal myself is to never inflict the same on anyone else!

There is so much more that can be said on this subject, but I want to keep these MLR’s brief.  The thing to remember is your own dignity.

Out of respect for your own sacred person, see the sacred in others, even if they seem to have momentarily hidden it from themselves!




close up of hands

Photo by Pixabay on

Pray every day.  Constantly if possible.

Even if you don’t have words.

Words aren’t necessary.

Listening is best.

aged ancient asian buddhism

Photo by Pixabay on

Savor Verity

Savor all verity over riches.

All that is good and beautiful and true,

Verity, is better than wishes.

Over time, you will find, while

Riches grow old and moldy, verity remains ever new.


This is an exercise for the Daily Prompt: Savor.


Love is Light

“Love is not blind; Loves sees all that is and embraces with Goodness.  It is evil that is blind and blinding.  Evil tells only half-truths.  Evil has only enough for a few, evil understands only this vs. that.  But…  Love reveals all, shares all, includes all, embraces all, harmonizes all.” ~ Merry Lark


When you are weary or discover your own limits in loving, embracing, understanding others, keep faith, faith in God, faith in Life, faith in yourself.  Yes, you are in a temporal body that can fatigue, but that doesn’t mean Love is finite or that Hope is finite or that anything that is Truly Good is finite.  Your fatigue simply tells you to delve deeper into God, the Source of all that is Good and True.  God’s Love will revive you.  Rest in God, revive in God, love again by God’s Grace.


Seek Truth, Find Grace

“Worries are lies because they preclude hope.  Truth is always rooted in and oriented toward goodness.” ~ Merry Lark


So when the truth of your current circumstances tempts you to worry or be filled with despair, look for the underlying goodness, look for the good in your life, look for the Grace waiting to blossom.

Someone once said “Evil has no real estate of its own; it is only a perversion of the Good.”  I believe this.  God created all that is, and He found it Good.  Evil is real but it is temporal, it cannot endure because it is only a shadow, a lie, a perverted interpretation, a non-sustainable choice; however you want to characterize it, it has no foundational existence of its own.  True-goodness-Good-truth endures.  Ultimately because all that Is is rooted in Love, God’s Love.

Go gently

Go gently.

While on retreat recently my spiritual director often sent me on my way after our daily meeting with this phrase: “go gently.”  She said it with such simplicity, care, faith; it gave me a sense of hope; she helped me remember just being gentle is a great gift.

It’s clearly great advice, but it is also a lovely blessing:  “Go” is freeing.  It’s not a prohibition against something, it’s not an urgent admonition or an overly-eager grand goal.  It’s simple: go.  And how to do it?  Gently.  That’s actually fairly easy as well.  It’s mostly a matter of remembering the simple kindness of letting things (and people, including myself) just be.

Just be, and go gently.


“Go Long” but “Keep It Short”


Go long.  Go all the way.  I.e. live deeply and take in the full experience whenever possible.  If it’s worth doing at all, it’s usually worth doing fully.  However, after the doing, take time to reflect.  Digest all you can, and synthesize it for yourself.  Internalize the best of all you’ve gleaned.

Then when you’re ready to share with others your marvelous experiences, keep it short!  People who have had similar experiences and know what you’re talking about will usually understand your briefest descriptions, and if they want to hear more, they will ask.  People who haven’t had experiences similar to yours NEED to hear only the briefest and best of what you want to share.  You can’t give anyone your experience; you can only spark their interest.  If you ignite their imagination, they can ask for more.

Over-sharing is like casting your “pearls before swine.”  It’s a waste of your heart.  This goes for casual sharing and great works of art.  My view of even the longest novels or symphonies is that not one word or note is extra.  It’s great art because it’s all essential. 

More conversation should aim to be “great art”!

Take time to travel

Travel.  It almost doesn’t matter where you go.  Just go someplace new to you.  If you’re like me and one of your favorite things is to snuggle up with a good book and a great cup of coffee in your own sweet bed, and the thought of having to navigate through a bustling world seems not altogether appealing, then choose places where you can stay awhile, do a little nesting in a new place.  You don’t have to be gregarious to travel well.  The main requisite is simply to be open to something new once in a while.  Travel.  Go places.  See new sights, meet new people, taste new treats, hear new languages (or at least accents), smell new aromas, find new feelings within yourself.

Why?  Because traveling helps us grow in ways staying at home can’t.  Even if you have a “bad” time on your trip, you’re likely to appreciate home better.  If you have a “great” time on your trip, you’ll be hooked, and better ready to adventure further.  Every time you travel, you’ll make more of Earth your home, and (hopefully) yourself a better citizen of it.


Let it go.

Cut your losses early. As soon as you can see that a relationship or situation is untenable, let it go. Let go and walk away. Do so in the least destructive way you possibly can, but let it go. If you’ve been able to determine that it’s untenable, staying in it will only make you hateful and bitter. Deciding that it’s untenable may be the harder part, but if that’s clear then let it go. Walk away from that which kills your spirit and run toward joy.

Practice Gratitude

Always look for the good, in every person, and every situation.  And be grateful.

Blog at