Tiny shoots of new life

By Dave Henning / June 29, 2023

“It’s when we lend compassion to places and experiences of great pain, as we are able, that the most beauty arises. . . .  For some reason, loss and lament often creates fertile ground for tiny shoots of new life.  This is the foundation of what it means to reimagine.”- Aundi Kolber

“Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced.”- James Baldwin

“Every good and perfect gift is from above.”- James 1:17 (NIV)

Aundi Kolber concludes Chapter 10 of Strong Like Water as she offers her perspective on how to look at our missteps.  When we reframe our missteps, we don’t see them simply as bad things.  Instead, we see them as misguided attempts to move toward goodness.  As a result, that enables us to bring in self-compassion as well as appreciation for the ways we can heal.  And for the wisdom our bodies carry.

Consequently, we use our God-given imagination to move forward in a creative, loving, and compassionate way.  Certainly, we don’t need to forget the significance of our pain or loss.  But we open ourselves to the possibility that our relationship to the pain and loss can change.

In addition, we work to integrate the fullness of our stories.  In the process, we gain clear eyes to see the possibilities before us.  Hence, Aundi explains:

“This is the cycle of strong like water; being tethered to safety compassionately resources us so we can feel; feeling allows us to complete the physiological cycle; and moving through the cycle allows us to dream a new dream, hope a hew hope.”

In conclusion, Aundi describes this hope as courageous hope.  The hope required to believe we’re capable of reimagining something that’s been torn down.  Therefore, we need love to truly lead us home.  Because only love envisions something different from the patterns keeping us stuck.

As Dr. Martin Luther King said in a 1963 speech in Detroit:

“I have decided to stick with love.  Hate is too great a burden to bear.”

Today’s question: How does lament create fertile new ground for tiny shoots of life?  Please share.

Tomorrow’s blog: the annotated bibliography of Strong Like Water

About the author

Dave Henning

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