Why I always begin again (and again)

“The sun comes up and we start again. The sun comes up and we start again… Be here now.” Mason Jennings sang me to wake this morning with words that I needed to hear and carry with me today.

They echo words from St. Benedict that I have tucked into my heart: “always we begin again.”

And Rumi offers a similar invitation: 

Come, come, whoever you are,
Wanderer, worshipper, lover of leaving.
It doesn’t matter.
Ours is not a caravan of despair.
Come, even if you have broken your vow a hundred times.
Come, yet again, come, come.

apple blossom

Every day I start again. Every moment I can start again. It’s not too late.

It’s been almost a week since I sat down to write. In between subbing, a baseball tournament, devouring a Louise Penny mystery book on Saturday, and sick kiddos at home yesterday and today, I didn’t find much time to string together my own words. When it’s been a long time, it sometimes feels awkward to start again. I can paralyze myself with guilt or shame for not making time to do something I really want to do, feel compelled to do even. Or I can begin again.

It’s been over a month since I wrote something for this blog. I’m hoping this space is more like that conversation you have with a friend where whether you see each other once a week or once a year, your conversation picks right up where it left off–deep and good-for-your soul. It doesn’t need to be awkward because “always we begin again.”

I’ve been trying to practice centering prayer daily for 20 minutes. Yesterday, I made it to 15; the day before that it was five minutes. But I don’t need to keep track of that. I start again today. While I’m practicing centering prayer, I usually need to begin again about 20 times, or even more. My brain wanders about flitting from what I should make for supper to composing a letter to my representative about all of the things that are making me angry in our political circus. Then I surface again. What was I supposed to be doing? Breathe in. Breathe out. I’m supposed to be here now. I begin again.

I snapped at my daughter. I breathe. I tell her I’m sorry. I hug her. I begin again.

I forgot to floss Sunday night. (I’m sorry Lezlie.) I begin again Monday.

Every day is an invitation: to pay attention; to open my heart wide; to receive love; to be love. Some days my head fills with fog, and I forget to notice the way that God is loving me through this day. I stop. I breathe. I start again. I pray for open eyes and an open heart. Whether it’s calling a friend, walking the dog (and myself), or taking the next step toward making a dream reality, every day I start again. Even if it’s been a few days, or a few months, I start again.

Starting again every morning, keeps me from getting and staying stuck. It helps me to be gentle with myself and with others.

If I forgot to show up yesterday, I show up today. I begin again. And that is always enough.




2 thoughts on “Why I always begin again (and again)

  1. Love this, Jess! I have a lot of things I need to begin again right now. This is a good reminder that my word for 2017 is “again.” 😉 Here’s to showing up again and again.


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