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Braver/Wiser: Courage and Compassion for Life as It Is
Braver/Wiser
Braver/Wiser
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Life is full of hard edges and complicated choices. Braver/Wiser gives you weekly message of courage and compassion for life as it is. Every Wednesday we deliver an original written reflection by a contemporary religious leader, and brief prayer, grounded in Unitarian Universalism. Join the Braver/Wiser community and sign up today!

 

  • No Longer Claiming "Divorced"

    I spent time feeling embarrassed—that somehow I had failed—because I had filed for divorce. It’s been over nine years now, and I wake up every single day happy with my decision.
    By Rayla D. Mattson | 2/14/2018
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  • Lean in to Life

    “Now,” the yoga instructor said, “begin to chant GOD GOD GOD as you vigorously circle your arms.” Oh boy, I thought, Here we go. Of course it couldn’t just be arm circles.
    By Tara Humphries | 2/7/2018
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  • Good Enough

    Spirit of Compassion, remind us that our task as humans is not perfection, but faithfulness.
    By Lindasusan Ulrich | 1/31/2018
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  • Telling a New Story

    I’m not the same person who stood in that tattoo parlor eleven years ago. Still, I don’t for a minute regret being permanently marked with this snapshot in time, of my wounds and my hope.
    By Mandie McGlynn | 1/20/2018
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  • Wanting to Break Free

    I wanted so badly to break free and let loose—but I just couldn't. I was stuck in my own false ideas of the congregation's expectations of me. Luckily, there’s still time.
    By DeReau K. Farrar | 1/16/2018
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  • Mrs. Cash's Oranges

    Liking somebody, even loving somebody, is not enough to protect them from shade that you cannot even see, much less understand.
    By Teresa Honey Youngblood | 1/10/2018
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  • Stopping to Help

    My oldest child was confused: why would no one stop and help us? Even though people weren’t stopping to help us, my son said, he wanted to be more like me and stop to help someone anyway.
    By Rayla D. Mattson | 1/3/2018
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  • The Possibility of Redemption

    We have narratives that guide the way we experience and know one another—but the Rev. Dr. William Barber often reminds me that “you must always believe the redemption of your enemy is possible.”
    By Robin Tanner | 12/26/2017
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  • Messy, Wildly Imperfect Love

    Every year, I tell the congregation not to worry about mistakes because there aren’t any; there is only us, telling an old story about love getting born into this aching world.
    By Elea Kemler | 12/20/2017
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  • Wired for Connection

    It’s been said that it’s easier to untangle a string of lights if you plug them in; it’s no different for people. Humans, just like strings of lights, are wired for connection.
    By Erin Powers | 12/13/2017
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  • Tender Places

    Spirit of Compassion, help us draw strength from all that we are. Give us new language with which to claim our wholeness, a new litany of joy built out of words that wounded.
    By Lindasusan Ulrich | 12/6/2017
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  • An Adequate Christmas

    An adequate Christmas would have you calm and open, taking it in, accepting whatever is. Slow it all down like you might be, in some way, attuned to the pace of the Eternal. If you need, you can fake it at first.
    By Jake Morrill | 11/29/2017
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  • I Ride Bus

    My three-year-old is almost completely nonverbal. Every day when she gets off the bus, I ask her the same question: I ask her how her day was, and every day I get the same answer: ”Momma, I ride bus.” I ask her what she had for lunch and who she played with. I ask her if she...
    By Rayla D. Mattson | 11/22/2017
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  • The Dynamics of Silence

    "How complicated it is to break silence: to open all of the secrets in all of our broken hearts. But silence does break; truth seeks the light. We're unraveling silence because we have determined that our power with one another is greater than the power someone once had over us."
    By Erika A. Hewitt | 11/15/2017
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  • Someone to Listen

    My pager went off at 2:30 a.m. The nurse on the phone said they didn’t know what to do with this patient and thought maybe I -- the chaplain -- could talk to her. If I couldn’t help, they might have to move her to the psychiatric unit.
    By Connie Simon | 11/8/2017
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  • Holding Space for Truth to Bloom

    Someone whispered to me, “Can you pray?” All eyes turned to me. I had no earthly clue what to say. It was a profound gut-level panic. It was the moment I learned to speak the truth as best I understand it, and to hold space for it to bloom.
    By Lisa Bovee-Kemper | 10/25/2017
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  • Making Space for Our Doubts

    “If I ask you a question, do you promise to tell me the truth?" For future reference, if a child asks you this question at Christmas time, EVADE.
    By Becky Brooks | 10/18/2017
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  • Squandered Divinity

    Living up to my sacred identity is hard! It means remembering that every time I fail to choose grace, or goodness, or peace, I am thoughtlessly squandering my divinity.
    By DeReau K. Farrar | 10/11/2017
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  • Pulled by a Fragile Thread

    We, the willing, follow the threads to one another; past rightness and quips and tweets. We will find one another and persist past sunrise.
    By Robin Tanner | 10/4/2017
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  • Between Wonder and Fear

    Life is full of seesaws: it offers us moments of extreme wonder and moments of fear. Sometimes you have to live through the fear for the wonder to arrive.
    By Elizabeth Harding | 9/27/2017
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