Isn't it something, what flows from our bodies, our hearts, our minds?

Sometimes I don't even realize how irritable I'm feeling until it comes out at our old dog, who in her senility, forgets that she isn't allowed in the kitchen. I regularly trip over her as I wash the dishes.

As a friend said to me this week: you can really feel rotten when you get upset at your sweet old dog.

And it's often in retrospect that I realize:  oh, the anger I felt at that request is really the anger of 10,000 other things that are coming at me. That's the one that simply made the anger clear.

Sometimes, when I'm having a difficult day - like I did yesterday - I remember, and pause and breathe before I cook dinner. I want to be mindful of not pouring my frustration into the soup pot along with the carrots and onions.

I felt so irritable and frustrated yesterday that I prayed all day for help: oh, compassion, oh mercy, please hold me. I knew I was on shaky ground, and I didn't want to hurt myself, or those I love.

In the wake of my terrible, irritable, no good very bad day, a question arose for me this morning after sleep helped restore my perspective: if our frustration, or our anger, or our shame can seep out and touch those we love, perhaps our goodness does, too?

And so that wondering became a poem.


If my frustration, my irritability, and my fear

can overflow the banks of my body

and seep into those I love –

so, too, can my generosity,

my courage,

my laughter, ringing like a bell,

my love.

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