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Unburdening Our Hearts

Published: Oct. 16, 2020


We are in the business of unburdening our hearts.
If it’s too heavy, it’s not worth carrying.

Fall brings grief, loss, and decay. Fall also brings breath, generosity, divine connection, unburdening, and balance. 

I dug into the season of autumn and found a huge backstory. Inspired by Chinese medicine, meditations, teachers, and Quakers along the way. 

There is an odor to decay. Sometimes it stinks to make changes. 

We have to let things decay to return as new growth.

Other aspects of fall are metal, lungs, large intestine, dryness, skin, integrity, rotting, nose, west, justice…. 

I walked by a female gingko tree and she had a mess of fruit all around her, stinking up the sidewalk. Gingko fruit is famous for smelling like vomit. Rotten is the official smell of fall, and it lands and sinks and becomes the soil of now. Not everything that happens is sweet and beautiful like zinnias or raspberries.

We all have personal seasons of rotten fruit that we must witness, but not let stick to our shoes, socks, midrifts, armpits. 

If it’s too heavy, it’s not worth carrying.

We must take the injuries, the painful things, process and sift them, pass them through the soil among our space and leave them behind, neutralized, less sharp and bitter. A return to balanced neutrality.

Fall season is about respect for self and others. The emotions associated with this season are grief and melancholy. Yet, it is also the season for generosity and integrity. The lungs fill up with deep, generous breathing, to inhale and exhale integrity. We must consider our own integrity. We have to practice self accountability. What or who is the spark of our higher self? 

Where’s your spark? What is deep in your personal mine that ignites you? What is the mix of your source? How does it feed or sustain your field of grace? 

The more we unburden, the easier it becomes to sustain a field of grace. What is a field of grace? It depends. To me, it is made of patience, compassion, neutrality. It is also strength, a sense of self. Our field of grace helps us, and whoever comes into its field. 

Two more fall associations found: lying strains the lungs; justice is the ministry of the lungs, which leads us back to integrity and generosity, because they both help prevent lying and injustices. 

The connection with the divine spark within us feeds our self respect and self esteem. The spark shines up the metal element of fall. Think of welding, creating sparks that meld and build structure. Sparks light up our sense of self, fuse our strength framework. To build stable integrity we need the spark of fire and light and also a balanced heat to keep us flexible over fixed. We need structure to support growth. 

We are in charge of how we manage our energy. It’s completely up to us to be aware of how we distribute ourselves. In normal circumstances there will always be challenges to this but it doesn’t mean we can’t attempt to notice when we are leaking and where we can contribute back to our source.

We are in the business of unburdening our hearts.

from Mary Ann Petersen, Eugene Friends Meeting (10/11/2020)