A blessing for when things fall apart

photo by becky bokern, unaltered, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

I wrote this blessing for a friend earlier this summer, but it is for you if you need it too. It is written along the theme of Alice Walker’s Hard Times Require Furious Dancing.

You tried to plan against this moment
Where one or two fractures in your arrangements
Would not have created disaster.
But now you find
All the dominoes on the floor.
You are sitting in the wreckage of broken systems
Feeling like a personal failure.
These systems expect heroics from you
Regardless of your financial or emotional resources
As the norm.
The reality of these expectations is a cruel one,
Prone to slaps of violence when you are most vulnerable.

I bless you to remember
That while this disaster is yours
It is also not yours alone.

I bless you to remember
To pause
Take a breath
Hold a moment of stillness against the flustering anxiety.
Go find the music that speaks to your despair
Your hope
Turn it up so the neighbors can hear
And begin to move your body.
Move it with attention
Then vigor
Let your control go
As you dance your way through this moment.

To address the traumas of tomorrow
With anything approaching health
You must complete the stress cycles of today.
The demands that have brought you to this point
Have required everything.
So you dance.

If there is anger,
Let it guide your body.
If there are tears,
Welcome them into your steps and sways.

Your body will find its tiredness
A new stillness
When it is ready.

After the dancing,
May the wisdom of the body
Fill your mind with remembrances
Of your belovedness
Of your enoughness
Of your in-the-image-of-God-ness.
May you step back into the world
As a person who knows who she/they/he is.

Nancy Ross
Nancy Ross
Nancy Ross is an associate professor Utah Tech University, where she has been teaching for 16 years. Her Ph D is in art history, but her current research focuses on the history and sociology of religion. She recently co-edited a book with Sara K.S. Hanks titled "Where We Must Stand: Ten Years of Feminist Mormon Housewives" (2018) and has just co-edited “Shades of Becoming: Poems of Transition” with Kristen R. Shill. She is an ordained elder in Community of Christ and pastor of the Southern Utah congregation and works for the Pacific Southwest International Mission Center as an Emerging Church Practitioner.


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