In Sweet Company

[ A prayer I’ve relied on for years is ] ‘Please God, let me see this through Your eyes.’ Even though I don’t necessarily believe in a God that has a human form, saying this opens me up to a whole other perspective about the situation I’m facing, a much larger perspective.” — Margaret Wheatley, IN SWEET COMPANY: CONVERSATIONS WITH EXTRAORDINARY WOMEN ABOUT LIVING A SPIRITUAL LIFE

I was looking at a photo in a recent Time Magazine of a battalion of soldiers tucked in the belly of a transport plane, young men and women readying themselves to return to the States after their tour of duty in Iraq. I looked into their faces, faces mothers loved, and felt my heart rise in my throat;  the exhaustion, the knowing beyond their years. Twenty year olds, their childhood long behind them. I wondered if their families would recognize the adults these kids had become. Would these kids have jobs? Could they adapt to life “in country,” in a land where the skirmishes are economic, political, and moral; where every nuance of conflict is duked out ad nauseum on TV and social networking sites? Could hearts be at rest?

Research studies from The Institute of Heartmath ( now document that sustained feelings of appreciation, love, compassion, and hope elicit measurable coherent heart rhythms; greater internal synchronicity; and increased perception, cognition and higher thinking abilities. Anger, frustration, and anxiety cause heart rhythms to become erratic. Though the Institute has a program that teaches coping skills and stress reduction techniques to returning veterans and their families (, they help every segment of the population live in concert with the intelligence of their hearts. Their research and outcomes clearly legitimize the benefits of love, of joy, of hope

Goodness and mercy — positive thinking, doing good works, compassion and forgiveness — are always part of the prescription, part of the fix to healing the wounds we carry within us. When you’ve given it all you can and it hasn’t yet gotten the job done, when your emotional resources are stretched to the max, what then? Some things leave you with no other course of action, with no other choice, then to choose the Unseen Heart — not just to get the job done, but to rise above desperation and defeat and live in concert with Goodness and Mercy.

When you choose the Unseen Heart, you face your human limitations and shadows head on. You say, “This is what’s up, and I’ve given it my best shot, and I need more than I can manage on my own.”  You don’t beat yourself up or blame the other or the system. You don’t spin your wheels in frustration.  You don’t waste time and energy in worry and denial. Choosing the Unseen Heart keeps you centered, focused on something beautiful, peaceful, and bountiful. It bathes and renews your physical heart. It stimulates coherent heart rhythms that create greater internal synchronicity; increased perception, cognition and higher thinking abilities. It paves the way for answers to come, for peace, for gratitude. It opens you to finding Love in the shadowlands.

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