Annie Kirkwood, Author
Rte 1 Box 100
Bunch, OK 74931-9705
April/May 2001 ó Issue #57
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This is Annie's section
Spring is finally here. I had a pleasant surprise in my garden this year. Itís really a miracle. I have a statue of Mother Mary sitting on the border of one of the flower beds. Itís a flower bed that had been neglected for several years. But last year I said to Mother Mary, ďthis is your garden, help me make it pretty.Ē My favorite flower is the daffodil. This spring, without anyone planting them, a row of daffodils came up behind her statue. I thought that my friends Maria and Peggy, had planted them, because they helped me plant flowers in that flower bed last summer. They assured me that they had only planted chrysanthemums which had died. Every day I look out my office window and admire the gift of beauty that reminds me of hope.
I try to share with you ďwhatĒ Iím working on, but right now itís not clear ďwhatĒ Iím working on. There is always forgiveness to deal with. That seems to be a constant in my life. If itís not myself, then itís usually a family member I need to forgive. Nothing serious, since Iíve already dealt with the serious stuff. But in order to keep clear there is a constant need to be forgiving. Iíve said that forgiveness is a process, and it truly is. Sometimes it takes longer to forgive one situation or person than it does another. But as long as Iím working towards complete and total forgiveness, then Iím doing my inner work.
For some reason this spring seems much more hopeful, like there has been a shift. But a shift of ďwhatĒ I donít know. More than likely it is an inner shift, and it could include an outer shift of energy, too. For whatever reason it feels more hopeful and lighter. It could be the relief of having a hard winter over.
One of the first messages I received in the beginning was to lighten up. At the time I was quite concerned with a considerable weight gain and was obsessing on my weight. I heard, ďLighten up, get the pun?Ē I took that to mean I need to lose weight, not that I needed to take things less seriously. I was very serious about everything. Everything in my life was a big deal. This spring I realize that I have lightened up. Not in my weight, but in my attitude and the way I approach life.
Iíve learned over the years that you can cry about events, situations, and people in your life, or you can look for the humor. I donít laugh at people, but laugh at the situations that people find themselves in. One of the things that I keep in mind is that it could very easily be me in that situation. Most of the time Iím the brunt of my laughter.
The Brotherhood have been very instrumental in teaching me to see the humor in everything. As it is, I tend to have a black sense of humor. I think it has to do with working in the medical field for nineteen years. When you deal with life and death issues, your sense of the comical gets a little warped. What is funny to a nurse or doctor, would not be to the lay person. So that helped me see the comical in most situations. There are always situations that have no humor. Abuse is one that comes to mind. There is never any kind of humor or funniness in abuse. But many situations are funny without trying to be.
I remember a few years ago when my hair was grey, I was very happy with it. I had a beautician who thought grey was ugly and talked to me for months about reverse frosting, putting in a little dark color to give my hair depth. As it happened, I was to leave for a speaking engagement in two days on the day I went in for a haircut. For some reason I never have understood, I agreed to let her do it.
Things didnít go right. When she rinsed my hair, she called over another beauticianóa bad sign. They conferred and called over the owner of the shopóanother bad sign. No one was talking to me or answering my questions. Soon they returned with another bowl of color. They said not to worry, everything would be all right. After what seemed like hours upon hours, I was allowed to look into the mirror. To my horror my hair was the color of Halloween orange, but brassier.
I heard Jesusí voice say, ďSee the humor.Ē I wondered ďwhat humorĒ?, as a few tears crept out of my eyes. I could hear a lot of laughing in the deepest part of me; it was as if everyone up there thought this was funny. Out loud I stated emphatically, ďThere is nothing funny about this!Ē The poor beautician was crying harder than I was and kept reassuring me that she was so sorry. All I could think of was how I would look when I was to speak, with Bozo the clown hair. Byron called to see what had happened, because I had been there for six hours instead of thirty minutes. When I heard his voice, I really cried and told him I was supposed to see the humor in this disaster.
That night with Byronís help we began to see the ridiculous. He said, ďWell you donít have to worry about being funny, all you have to do is walk up to the podium and stand there.Ē He kept cracking jokes about my hair until I was laughing too. Since there was nothing to do about it, I prayed the Serenity Prayer. I did need help with the serenity to accept the things I could not change. But to the beauticiansí good graces, she contacted the hair color company and they had some suggestions that helped. But still my grey hair was gone and I was a red head until it grew out. I had to remember that my hair would grow and it wasnít such a disaster after all. It wasnít a permanent change, only a temporary one. Now I can see the humor in it, and it makes such a lovely story about seeing the humor, even in what you think of as a disaster.
Itís important to think well of yourself. Now that I love myself, itís easier to laugh at myself and not take myself so seriously. My sense of humor is not hurtful. When I didnít love myself, my humor could be hurtful and spiteful. So as Mother Mary told me many years ago, the first step is to learn to love yourself. I find that is the first step not only to good humor, but to self-confidence, inner strength, faith and trust. Iím still working on trust. It all begins within ourselves, and thatís where you look for all your answers.
Now that Iíve rambled my way through some thoughts, itís time to wish each of you a happy Easter, a happy time of renewal. I hope you are finding it a little more uplifting this spring
Until next time, I remain your friend, Annie
This is Mother Mary's section
My dear children,
It is with great joy and hope that I bring you my love. On earth it is now a time of renewal. I would have you renew your spirit. This is best accomplished by renewing your commitment to God. It has been said that in order to renew your spirit you need to renew your mind. But I ask that you renew your soulís commitment to God. That will be accomplished through your belief.
Many of you need a church to help you focus on God. If that is your need, or choice, then, I would have you observe all the tenets of your church. Many of you bring your commitment to mind through your heart. But others look for a renewal through books, like the Bible or missal. Follow your belief with your whole mind, your whole heart, and all of your soul.
To renew means to begin again. That is important for you to know and to remember. It is always a good time to begin again. No matter how long it has been since you last prayed or meditated, you can begin again. It is not too difficult to realize that the time of renewal comes with the season of spring. For many think of this as the beginning of the growing season. When the land has been dormant throughout the winter, spring is often said to be the time to start again. New seedlings are called start-upís in many languages.
Never feel that you must do penance if you have been lax in your communication with the Father. He is always awaiting you with a great love and instantaneous forgiveness. Leave behind the feelings of guilt or shame. For these are feelings of the body and do not reflect Godís feelings about you. God is ever loving, always awaiting for you to turn to Him.
Understand fully that the only way to have a personal communication with God is within your mind and heart. Go within to find your way to God and your spiritual link to the Almighty. Within you is a special place to find solace for your soul. In everyday life many of you have trials, challenges, issues, problems, and questions. The answers to these and all things is found within you. The peace, joy, and love you seek is within you. When you are in communication with the Father, you will find these in your soul. From within your soul you will then be happy with your life, find love in all people, and have the peace that passes understanding on an earthly level.
I am not saying not to go to your church or to follow the tenets of your faith. I am saying that in addition to attending your church, in addition to following the tenets of your faith, go within daily. For it is out of your daily contact that help will come to every single thing that troubles you.
Another thing that this time of the year brings to mind is restoration. Do you not restore your gardens in the early spring so that you will have beautiful blooms later in the spring? This is demonstrative of the need to restore yourself from time to time. And once again you become restored and renewed through the meditations and prayers of your heart. These times of deep inner communication can be reinstated at any time. You are in control of how often and how much you meditate and pray.
When you restore anything, whether it be your garden or a piece of furniture, you cut away the old, useless,and dead. Then you rebuild, refurbish, and give a new patina to the old. If there are beliefs that keep you from enjoying the presence and love of God, these things are to be cut away so that your spirit may expand and grow in your life. My little children, the person you are on earth today is but the tip of the iceberg of who you are in spirit. Your spirit does not really need to grow, but your ability to expand your spirit in your life on earth needs to grow.
Lop off the unwanted animosities of life. Do not let your pride keep you from expanding your spirit. Many times I hear my children say, I cannot forgive that! When in actuality it is the very thing you need to forgive in order to allow your spirit to soar. The old issues of life are to be resolved, the old hurts whether to your emotions or pride, only deter you from feeling Godís love. Do away with anything that separates you from God and your fellow man. In your spirit you are whole, as is each person on earth. The blessing is to live your life from the wholeness that is within you, to identify with the strength, courage, bravery, wisdom, and joy, that is part and parcel of your wholeness.
Do you allow the little daily routines to keep you from your prayer and meditations? Do you allow any person to keep you from being close to God? Do you choose to betray your fellow human with harsh judgments? These are the things to cut away for all time, so that you may live in Godís ever-loving presence.
Do not allow shame, guilt, humiliation, or culpability to keep you from turning to God to be restored, reinstated, or renewed. God is always loving you. These depleting emotions are detrimental to you and do not affect God, except in how they affect you. Godís love is always forgiving, when you are earnest and sincere in asking to be forgiven. Remember the robber on the cross beside Jesus, who asked Jesus to remember when he came into his kingdom. Jesus replied, ďToday you shall be with me in paradise.Ē He didnít say you must do penance, or have certain ceremonies performed. He replied, ďToday you will be with me in paradise.Ē Such is Godís love. It is given to you, here and now.
Your spirit can have spring at anytime during the year. In the middle of winter you can restore your soul. In the days of autumn you can renew your spirit. In the midst of a summer heatwave you can refresh your inner communication with God. My use of the season of spring is only to get you to think of the renewal of your soul. Remember that at anytime you can forgive, resolve, and reinstate your communication with God.
So for this season of beauty allow the beauty of your soul to shine into humanity with love, peace, joy, and through prayer and meditation. This is my desire for you, that you live in the love and presence of God every moment of your life. And that you do this daily, for that my children, is all you have. You have this moment in time, and so live your life moment by moment. Let your soul be renewed with each thought and through each prayer. I am loving you in ways that are beneficial to mankind as well as to each of you individually.
Mary, Mother of Jesus.
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Original date: April 11, 2001
Last updated: April 11, 2001