A Spirit of Goodwill

I am in Illinois to testify at a custody hearing for two of my grandchildren.  It is a grueling process for everyone (including the children, who are not required to participate but who, by some means, always become aware that their world is rocking).

Setting aside the troubling necessity to legitimize the relationship, family and parenting skills of a lesbian couple; the issue remains of how to move through any process when goodwill is damaged and broken.  How do we build a bridge over a schism that has widened and deepened whether through design or duress?  Even should we have the energy and intention, how do we work with one-sided cooperation?

This crisis situation causes me to examine my attitudes and behavior in many aspects of my life.  I wonder about everything from polarization of my ideology to distance from one-time friends.  What chasms am I creating?

In business I learned not to fully depend on my skill or my knowledge.  I made mistakes.  And so, my best recourse was to have good relationships with my clients and colleagues.  If I was human and humane I was forgiven.  After all, we don’t retain our  friends and valued acquaintances because we’re perfect, we keep them because we have created a bond of love and respect that holds us together when one of us is thoughtless, overtaxed, or just unable to do our part for a period of time.

So I worry the question of the times I have left the realm of goodwill and drifted farther from love and caring.  Is it possible that I mend a rift if the other person is unwilling?  Can my loving thoughts heal wounds from afar? Is unconditional love and acceptance capable of eventually wearing  down the sharp edges of a jagged and gaping hole?  Can I open my mind to new thoughts and ideas when I have slammed it in anger or fear?

I don’t know.  I want these things to be true.

I can’t know how many times I have widened a breach unintentionally by my defensiveness or arrogance.  I can’t count the apologies I have made nor can I know how many were deserved that I neglected to make.  My self-absorption may have caused injuries that fester in the hearts of the people I have touched.  I don’t know the damage I may have done by clutching myself in fear of rejection.

Most of the time I am trying to maintain a spirit of goodwill.  I try to relax my defenses and soften my heart.  I am seeking to have compassion rather than contempt and understanding rather than judgment.  I want a loving spirit that will encompass those in my sphere.   I want to assume that I am loved in order to be more lovable.

I am stretching my arms open to the universe.  Once again, my intention is set.



  1. Thanks dear friends. I have re-read my blog and realize I may have sounded hard on myself…but I didn’t intend that. My goal is to always question myself and my actions. Self-examination is either the road to improvement or neurosis…we’ll see:)


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