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Last day of the first week of Advent

The first week of Advent almost is over. I would love to say something profound, but things are simple right now, and I am so tired that my eyes are watering and my nose is running.

I get lots done while letting (too) many things slide. I am satisfied with my life and also wanting something I don’t have or I’m not yet doing. Things are alright, good even, yet the world is full of horrors. This ritual of lighting this week’s candle and typing for a wee bit of time is soothing and aggravating, both at the same time.

For me, having a religious practice is about embracing the contradictions and the doubts. I don’t particularly like institutions, and perversely, I am fascinated with them. I think we all are full of shit, and I marvel at the wonders that we create and the depths of our understanding.

I am centered. Perhaps, this regular ritual of candlelight and struggling to find the right words keeps me even keeled. It doesn’t get rid of my rough edges, but I am less likely to hurt myself and others with those rough edges. Regular ritual softens my actions and my emotions. If I say the ritual acts as a dampener, many will assume that that is a bad thing, that somehow I’m suppressing and needlessly constricting my self expression. Having been at the mercy of disordered moods for way too much of my life, I don’t mind the softening. I welcome dampening when it comes by candlelight and encourages me to string words together in an attempt to make a little meaning, offer some comfort and perhaps, open the way to a few new insights for my faithful and faithless followers.

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