From our comrades at The Wilderness Way in Portland, OR:
NOTE: We will post a follow-up to this intro piece at 2pmEST today!!
“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” — Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
As the darkest days of the year approach, coinciding with the season of Advent in the Christian liturgical year, we at The Wilderness Way invite you into a collective spiritual practice of LOVING.
In our experience of the natural rhythms of days and seasons, darkness comes predictably and invites us to slow, to rest, to reflect. And yet we also experience darkness in the way suggested by Dr. King — a powerful emergence of systemic hate and violence that can shake us to the core.
In this time where both forms of darkness are being experienced by many, we invite you to practice the Skills of Loving as a way of calling back light in the darkness, and driving out hate with love.
For three weeks before the Winter Solstice, and three weeks after the solstice (through Advent, Christmas and the first week of the Epiphany season in the Christian calendar), we will practice the Skills of Loving — one skill each week for five weeks, then all five skills together — inviting one another to practice them not only in our personal lives, but in our intimate relationships, community and public arenas as well. And together we will discover the light appearing in the darkness when we do!
These Skills of Loving have been adapted with deep gratitude by The Wilderness Way from the original Skills of Loving created and nurtured by Shalom Mountain. The originals can be found here.
The Wilderness Way: Skills of Loving
SEEING: I see you in your uniqueness, not how I want or assume you to be, and I allow myself to be seen.
HEARING: I hear what you are truly saying, not what I wish you were saying. I also speak my own truth with kindness and respect.
HONORING: I honor your feelings and ideas. I recognize your right to think and feel as you do, as well as my own.
HAVING GOOD WILL: I choose to have good will for you and for myself, regardless of differences or difficulties.
RESPONDING TO NEEDS: I will respond to your needs and be there for you, within the limits of my value system, when those needs are made known. I also take the responsibility to make my needs known.
How to participate:
Each Sunday: December 2, 9, 16, 23, 30 and January 6, we will post a new Skill of Loving with some questions and reflections on this FaceBook page.
Join our FaceBook group Advent Season: The Wilderness Way’s Skills of Loving to share stories, experiences and maybe any “epiphanies” that arise from your practice! Then invite friends and post in other FB groups you are part of. We look forward to practicing loving our way through these darkest of days with you!
The Wilderness Way is a movement rewilding Christianity, reclaiming our call to manifest the beloved Ecosystem of God. We do this through mentoring communities and individuals in liberative spiritual, organizational and liturgical practices that connect scripture, nature, spirituality and justice.