When I fall on my knees and face the rising sun, Lord have mercy on me.
Though we may come to our meditation, prayer, devotions, reflection, or praise with different practices, we all face the same “rising sun” each day.
The history of this spiritual is rich. In a recently published article in the Canterbury Dictionary of Hymnology, written by United Methodist Hymnal editor, Dr. Carlton Young, reveals the probable roots and major variants of this spiritual. Dr. Young suggests that this “spiritual was formed in the West African Gullah/Geechee slave culture that developed in the costal areas of South-Eastern colonial America, including St Helena Island, Beaufort, and Charleston, South Carolina . . ..”
The text of the version that is commonly sung in the United States was first published in The Journal of American Folklore (1925). The Journal included spirituals, as well as African American folk tales and proverbs that were collected by students at the Penn School on Saint Helena Island, South Carolina.
Experiment with using that refrain as your anchor. Or, listen to The Canton Spirituals sing this powerful hymn.
What word or phrase resonates with or challenges me? What sensations do I notice in my body? What is mine to do?
Our culture, with our aim too narrowly focused on the “pursuit of happiness”, often neglects to appreciate the growth in resilience and personal transformation that can occur as a result of mindfully adapting and enduring crisis and change. Seeking mercy for the ways I fall short of living in alignment with the highest good for others and myself is a call to action for all of us to consider.
Seeking mercy may not feel like happiness, but it may satisfy a deep longing for a meaningful life. Freed from the beliefs and actions that motivate separation, injustice, and greed, we make room for prosperity and flourishing to grow. Prosperity of our personal gifts, talents, and virtues help us navigate change. And we flourish when we lead a disciplined life of self-reflection, practice self-compassion, adjust our goals, and fully live into each moment as it is…not what it was supposed to be…or used to be.
Being a white woman, I am not personally familiar with many of the unique life experiences of many of my clients. I may not share the experiences that are unique to their race, age, genetic code, or socioeconomic class. But I am a person that understands human suffering, and I have devoted my life to being present, listening, and offering support for the pursuit of well-being…to demonstrate solidarity with those who suffer. A recent statement that resonates with me from artwork by: @tobehonestnl
I understand that I will never be able to understand completely. But I stand with you and I will not let you do this alone.
Solidarity means unity or agreement of feeling or action, especially among individuals with a common interest; mutual support within a group. I seek solidarity with those who desire a heart-centered approach that weaves science and spirituality together when facing difficult life events.
Listen and Support. I commit to hold unconditional positive regard for clients in the wake of some of the most emotionally challenging events of our lifetime.The impact of the COVID pandemic already had many struggling to adapt and change. The killing of George Floyd and subsequent peaceful protests have our community and the nation experiencing a complex and deeply challenging discernment of racism as it continues to impact institutions like the police, education, and healthcare, as well as the workplace, neighborhoods, families, and our own hearts.
Mindfully pausing on bended knee,