Meet Maren. Maren is our fourteen year old granddaughter, a special young woman and someone we would want to know, even if she weren't our granddaughter.
Normally, at this time of year she is on the basketball court every day, along with her 8th grade teammates, but at the start of the season she injured a foot. Fortunately, she didn't need surgery, but she was on crutches for several weeks and is still wearing a boot.
Disappointing, for sure, but Maren has handled this unexpected development with grace. More than that, she has shown up.
Her wise orthopedist not only has provided excellent medical care, but each time she sees Maren she offers a gentle life lesson. From the first appointment she encouraged Maren to go to all the practices, to help the coach in any way she could, to be there for her teammates, to watch and cheer their moves, and even to shoot baskets from a stationary position, doing what she can to build her own skills.
In other words, she said, "Show up."
I have been thinking about those words and what they can mean in my own life. In what way can I show up?
Well, I can show up at my computer and sentence by sentence fulfill my intention to finish the first draft of my spiritual memoir.
I can show up Sunday mornings as part of my faith community, deepening my relationship with God and participating in the life of that community and the issues and organizations we support.
I can show up with friends and family who need a kind word, a presence, a listening ear or help of a practical nature.
I can show up with my spiritual direction clients, being a companion to them as they uncover and clarify the persons they were created to be.
I can show up in the world, expressing my views, responding to issues that concern me.
I can show up for myself, taking time for meditation, as well as taking care of myself in healthy ways; ways that support my body, mind, and spirit.
I know it is not possible to show up for everything. For example, some of you will be attending the Women's March in Washington DC on January 21. I am not showing up for that, but I will show up for the march that same day here in Minnesota.
Showing up requires making choices and in some cases may involvement an attentive discernment process. We show up when we are awake to the possibilities and the opportunities in our life, to the ways we can be true to our essence and live our gifts.
Maren is one of my teachers in the art of showing up, and I am grateful for her example.
In what ways can you show up? What keeps you from showing up? I would love to know.