First, an order of housekeeping: I've added three more links to the links section, three forums I frequent when I can: The Center for Progressive Christianity, Pagan Journeys, and The Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids.
Today, I'm learning to appreciate the little things. Since I haven't been working at the mental hospital as frequently, I've been generally able to manage my anxiety and emotions better while I'm there, because I don't feel as burned out - for now. At church yesterday, the head of the southeast association for my church's denomination spoke at our church, and officially instated our Interim Minister. It was also All Saint's Sunday, where we lit candles to remember those who have passed away in the past year(as Monday of last week was All Saint's Day, and Halloween was their Harvest Sunday, All Saint's Day was commemorated this past Sunday). I have been fortunate to not have had any relatives die within the past year. But as it was my first All Saint's experience, my mind was brought to other relatives I have been, or considered myself, close to, who have died. My paternal grandparents, of lung cancer and emphysema respectively; my maternal grandfather, who I never met, who died in a car accident when he was 22 years old, three months before my mother's birth (somehow I do feel a connection with him, although we never met); my uncle, who died in a freak accident while I was in undergrad. I wondered where they are now, if they've reincarnated, or are still in the spiritual world. I admit the afterlife is one area this Gnostic is more "agnostic" about. I know I don't believe in Hell, but I don't know what I truly believe happens - reincarnation just makes the most sense to me so far. I try not to worry about it, as how does that really help me live my life in the here and now?
Today, I had an amazing experience connecting with one of the foster kids on my caseload. He's seven years old, and suffers from cerebral palsy. We played Mancala, a kind of Chinese marble game. He was so excited to count how many he could fit into his hand, as compared to how many I could. He counted those things over and over and over, pausing only a couple of times to let me know he had to go to the bathroom, or to ask me when I have to leave. It's moments like these that make the frustration, the near mental breakdown that this semester is bringing me, worthwhile. It's how I know I'm doing what I'm meant to do.