Sunday, June 05, 2011


I have been reading Ralph Waldo Emerson, bits and pieces of his essays, and found this little gem:

Nothing can bring you peace but yourself.

In the end, no one can cure your past, fix your future, eradicate the bitterness growing inside you like algae on a stagnant pond. Not your parents, your children, your therapist, your minister. We are so quick to blame others for our misfortunes, fears, and failures, when perhaps the truth for our sadness rests within ourselves.

Rather than sign-off most of my correspondances with a 'sincerely' or 'best' or 'cheerio', I sign off with 'peace'. I do so because I truly do wish every person with whom I interact to manifest peace, to revel in it, to find a small corner of quiet in which to be one with oneself and the world. I also sign peace because it is my reminder to myself to practice peace.

The past few months have seen little peace. I have struggled to find my inner reserve, and this difficulty has affected my sleep, my health, my writing. I alluded to this almost spiritual exhaustion last week, the tenuous balance between fear and love.

My husband is a minister. For reasons which have less to do with him and his ministry and more to do with the individual fears of a minority of his congregants, his pulpit has been under attack. As the wife of the minister, it has been difficult to keep sharp words behind my teeth, because when my family is threatened, I go into lioness mode. Mothering is instinctual.

Losing his ministry is more than losing a job -- it is losing a community in which we have been invested for a decade. It is this sadness which has left me sleepless these weeks, which has blocked my heart and my words. Today, though, the church voted -- and we prevailed. The work to bridge the chasm left behind will be great, but at least it is work. For all of you who have sent kind words and prayers, thank you -- you are so appreciated and so loved.



  1. wow, Linda. i didn't know this. my heart goes out to you for what you've been going through--i hope everything will be much easier now.

    peace, indeed.

  2. Things can get really ugly sometimes between a minister and church elders. Not a pleasant situation at all. But I am SO GLAD you prevailed! Congratulations, that is the BEST news! And, I dunno, I think it's really cool that you're "the minister's wife." Now I'm picturing you as Whitney Houston or Demi Moore. (I have no idea why Demi Moore... don't even ask... although now the question begs, does the Rev. Leftbrainwrite resemble Ashton Kutcher?)

  3. Thanks for letting us know, Linda. Life is hard enough when everything is normal - wishing you and your family peace and strength.

  4. We never know the worlds behind the blogs and what happens in them. Cheers to your victory and 'peace' to you Linda. Peace is one I struggle at often, but I know times are cyclic and it will always come back around, even if it is short-lived.

  5. Having grown up in a parsonage, and then being actively involved on a church board, I understand the anguish you've experienced, Linda. It seems that some of the deepest wounds can come from family and church--places where you expect to find love an acceptance. I'm sorry for your pain and wish you and your husband the peace you desire.

  6. Thank you for Emerson's words and for relating them to what's been happening in your private life.

    Fear is a motivator but also a paralyzer, a destroyer, a disintegrant, and it is prevalent right now. We all need more peace.

    Perhaps Emerson ought to make an appearance during a sermon? :)

    Sleep well, rest, and reload for the looming battle ahead. I believe peace shall win ...

    take care lioness,

  7. I'm so relieved for you. But what a job ahead!

    Implicit in Emerson's statement is that we are unhappy when we compare ourselves to others. We're so often drawn toward doing that though. It's a constant effort to work against doing it. Stay strong.

  8. Thank you all for your kinds and encouraging words. I have a simple philosophy, one which guides me: when you have a choice between love and fear, choose love. It is soooooo very tiring to try to dog-paddle above the fray.

    What hurts most are the personal slights, the personal betrayals. Friendships are either made of different stuff these days, or are now the new expendable. Dunno. Scratching my head and wondering.

    Mark, I think you hit Emerson's quote on the head. Well, interpreted it correctly. For myself, a life unexamined is not a life -- just a shell. But it takes an open heart and a modicum of courage to examine one's life. Perhaps that is why we are writers. And God bless us for that. Peace...

  9. It is so so hard to have one's reputation to be put on trial. It feels like a witch hunt when you've done no wrong, especially when its by the people you've put your heart and soul into. I can only imagine the betrayal you must have felt and have been going through. I am so happy you stuck it out and that your personal goodness shone through all that muck. Peace indeed Linda. Love ya, girl.

  10. there's nothing like a bit of time by the sea to snap everything back into place and make the world anew. maine is nice, hawaii is nicer. one week is good, two weeks is better. mountains work, too.

  11. With this behind you (hopefully well behind you), may your family have the peace you so generously wish others. I've missed your words. It's so nice to read you again.