One thing I love is words. Strong, powerful, beautiful, life-enhancing words. Once in awhile I stumble upon a word so under-utilized, but so influential, that it touches me to the core.
The word I am writing about is REVERENCE. To regard somebody or something with deep respect. Thesaurus synonyms include: admiration, worship, awe, veneration, astonishment, amazement, respect.
I was re-introduced to reverence in the talented Amanda Gore’s new book, The Gospel of Joy and had the pleasure of interviewing her recently. Though our telephone interview took place with us both on different continents and technically on different days – she was into Saturday and I was still at Friday evening (she in Australia and I in Canada = a 12 hours time difference) her energy could be felt ‘though the wires nonetheless.
Having overcome many life-changing hurdles, not the least of which was losing all her money to an employee with no scruples and working through a debilitating disease, she continues to shine her light on the world and search for ways to make life better for others. Ahh, I admire this quality!
So let’s talk about reverence and what it may mean to improve the quality of your life.
While ‘shopping’ recently in a friend's closet for a special occasion dress (yes, girls do this!) she presented me with a beautiful little black number. It fit perfectly;y and I thought I was all set, until she told me this was one of the few dressed she had that she didn’t get on sale, in fact for this dress she paid $700. Excuse me? I can’t possibly borrow this dress now that I know what it’s worth.
“Take it,” she said to me, “it’s just material.”
I had reverence for that dress once I knew its value, I was in awe, I was almost afraid of that ‘material!’
Commonly we have reverence for precious and rare things and that is great, but if we were to allow our awareness to expand we can begin to see how having reverence in other areas of our life could serve us very well.
Here are some examples of how we can look at reverence in our life going forward:
- Ourselves – if we revere ourselves ( which we clearly should as we are precious and rare, too) then we may extend gratitude to our bodies and minds for serving us well, banish the negative self-talk that plays like a stuck record (CD?) and meet the needs of our spiritual selves.
- Surroundings – if we revere our surroundings we are not always wishing, hoping, dreaming of more, bigger and better. We are appreciative of what we have and take very good care of it. This goes for both inside and outside environments. We clean up litter, even if it’s not ours, we wipe off graffiti- even if we aren't personally responsible for putting it there.
- Humanity – if we revere the gift of humanity we judge less harshly and spend more time looking for the gifts others have to share (even when it’s hard). We openly praise people and organizations who are making a positive difference in the world.
- Stuff – if we had reverence for our ‘stuff’ (not just our very precious stuff), it may look like having more patience when your computer takes a little longer to get online, or the telephone line is fuzzy. It may look like noticing the ease with which most of our lives run – need water – poof turn on a tap, need electricity – poof- flip a switch, need food – wait there is no need to send your hunter out, just open the fridge. Your washing machine, your dishwasher, your computer, your microwave – whether it’s simple things or complex technology – more patience, acknowledgment and appreciation are ways to show reverence.
I would love to hear your ideas about how implementing more reverence into you day can result in improved quality of life.
The beauty of this word cannot be understated.