A blessing touches the original goodness of the other and calls forth his or her Belovedness. Nouwen, Life of the Beloved.
Today, I invite you to step out and ask for a blessing. A blessing is a special word about you. A blessing is someone who knows you taking the time to tell you in words that you are lovely. A blessing can be written or spoken and can come from any number of sources. Maybe, you ask your pastor. Maybe, you ask your spouse, partner, or children. Maybe, you ask your parents. This is a risk and an opportunity for growth. We need to be able to ask for what we need and not sit back hoping that someone will intuit what we need.
Could you also offer a blessing to someone in your life? Take a moment to extend to them words that would touch their heart?
I posted this writing by Galway Kinnell awhile ago, but this helps me to understand what a blessing does for me.
stands for all things,
even for those things that don’t flower,
for everything flowers, form within, of self-blessing;
though sometimes it is necessary
to reteach a thing its loveliness,
to put a hand on the brow
of the flower,
and retell it in words and in touch,
it is lovely
until it flowers again from within, of self-blessing.
There is the cutest story in Life of The Beloved where a person who is disabled reaches out to Nouwen before a group session for a blessing. He offers her a standard blessing as he understands the term blessing and she tells him that is not what she needed! Ha! I have a child with special needs and he tells me exactly what he needs and if I mess it up which is 1/2 the time, then he tells me how I messed up! So, I can see this scenario playing out in real life!
After Nouwen led the group time thinking about how he could give her what she needed. As the time came to a close, he asked her to come to him. He hugged her and spoke about her gifts specifically and how he saw her Light Shine in the world. An amazing thing happened…..EVERYONE including the aids wanted a blessing from Nouwen.
A blessing from someone else is a reminder of our loveliness and stirs within us a self-blessing which is more important. The risk is in asking those around us for what we need.
I know this risk. I have been there. Over Thanksgiving, I traveled to New York with my daughter to meet up with my mom, sisters and my sister’s daughters. A GIRLS ONLY trip to NYC!! We had a great time. As we got ready to leave on Thanksgiving morning, my heart started beating faster and I got really nervous. I really wanted to extend a blessing that my teacher extended to us during YTT, but my family is not the type to hug a lot or share “I love you.” It is uncomfortable, because it is not normal. I determined to “not be normal” and go around to each person, take their face in my hands, look into their eyes and say, “I love you and there is nothing you can do about it!” Not a deep blessing, but hopefully a start. The cool thing was that everyone took the opportunity to go around and speak those words to each other! I was blessed by blessing.
May you join me and take a risk!