With Gratitude for Sacred Grounds

These are the kind and generous comments made by Mary Lou Logsdon after hearing me speak at Sacred Grounds.  She really captured the essence of the message!  I am always looking for ways to carry this message about change to audiences large and small.  It thrills me to know people listen and hear.

Thank you Mary Lou!

“Ruth Bachman shared her life-challenging and life-changing story of cancer: losing her dominant arm, facing and grieving the loss, choosing life. She was the featured speaker at the Sacred Ground fundraising luncheon, Eat Pray Give, on Saturday, June 4.  She challenged us to face change with acceptance, patience, and enthusiasm.

Her metaphor for her experience of growing through cancer not just going through cancer is the hourglass.  The only pathway for the sand to move from the top of the glass to the bottom is through the narrow neck.  There is no other way.  Our lives, like the hourglass, get turned upside down; we have to change whether we are interested or not, and often we are not.  Not only do we have to change, but the way through is narrow, painful and difficult.

When significant change arrives at our door–be it cancer, death of a loved one, divorce, or lost friendship–fear is its close companion.  While fear may keep us from moving toward change, it doesn’t prevent it from happening.  We cannot fear the change away.  It is not a matter of if, but rather how.  Burying our head in the sand is not a useful strategy.

Ms Bachman shared her wisdom from her own cancer experience:

You are never alone on your journey.  People want to help, allow them.  Find people who see abundance and humor.  Her friends gave her a Farewell to Arm party after her surgery.  They participated in the Name the Tumor contest (the winning name was Goliath.)   They shared the sorrow and the joy.

You must hold hands with suffering and sorrow.  You cannot avoid the pain.  There is loss in change and we must grieve it, whether it is a person, a relationship, or a body part.  Avoided grief waits for us.

You don’t get to pick the path.  Change comes as it will.  Ms Bachman’s cancer diagnosis came early in a summer where plans included a trip toItaly, her daughter’s wedding, and directing a musical performance.  The cancer changed her from being a left-handed woman to a right-handed woman.  Chemo failed to shrink the tumor.  Surgery came one month earlier than planned.  Patience is an important companion.

Images projected on the screen are frightening.  Helplessness and fear are real.  Name it, speak of it, seek information, ask for help, and listen.

If change is accompanied by faith, it can be transformative.  Choose an attitude of acceptance.  Experience the shower of God’s grace.

She asked us to write down three changes from our lives–a change I chose; a change that chose me;  a change I would wish for.  We shared them at our tables.  I would encourage those of you reading this to do the same.  Write down these changes and share them with a trusted listener.

Life is full of narrow places.  None of us escape.  We each have our own path.  We each have the capacity to choose life.  All of us were born with exactly what we need to find our own authenticity.  Choose an attitude of enthusiasm.  Slow down and discover your self.   Embrace opportunities each day.  Be present to your life now because it will change.

“Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal.” Arthur Schopenhauer

Mary Lou Logsdon has an MA in Theology and a certificate in Spiritual Direction from St Catherine University.  She listens to people’s change stories in her Spiritual Direction practice.  She can be reached at 651/583-1802 or logsdon.marylou@gmail.com.


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