Direct Experience

This list includes every page on UUA.org tagged with "Direct Experience" or one of its subcategories. This page will reload after each filter selection to update the results and the remaining selections.

Braver/Wiser: A Weekly Message of Courage and Compassion

  • By Misha Sanders
    It is my only memory of a lesson from Kindergarten Sunday School class. Maybe it’s the only one that counts.
  • By Teresa Honey Youngblood
    People move places for jobs, relations, opportunities, escape, hindering our ability to put down new roots. And yet, we carry a constancy: the still, quiet voice within.
  • By S.J. Butler
    I’d gotten in the habit of keeping my head down and hardly noticing where I was or who was around me. On this day, I decided to greet the world differently.
  • By Connie Simon
    Music is my solace and my comfort, the one thing that’s always with me. I feel its vibration deep in my soul; it’s my spiritual practice. Music tells the story of my life.
  • By Elea Kemler
    I choose to believe in community. I choose to believe in the difficult, slow work of building a common life.
  • By Mandie McGlynn
    Tell me the story of my birth, and help me understand how you were changed the day I entered the world. Help me know love, deep in my bones.
  • By Lindasusan Ulrich
    However imperfectly I may be living this life of mine, there’s no one better at it, and there’s no one else who can do it for me.
  • By Rayla D. Mattson
    My heart broke the day my son stood in the bathroom crying. He handed me a pair of scissors and told me to just cut it . I told him how beautiful his hair was and how sad I would be to see him cut it.
  • By Amanda Poppei
    In real life, we can only place the pieces, one by one, and see what kind of picture we create. Sometimes we turn out to have chosen the wrong piece. Sometimes the picture is wildly unexpected.
  • By Connie Simon
    What if we encouraged and celebrated each other for who we are? What if, instead of criticizing, we challenged with love, affirming the good we see in one another?
  • By Nathan Ryan
    Last year for Lent, I decided to say yes to any request. I made it all the way to Easter without having to honor my decision.
  • By Erika A. Hewitt
    To offer hospitality, we first have to identify ourselves — sometimes in inconvenient or uncomfortable ways — as helpers; as willing to offer kindness or connection to someone we might disagree with.
  • By Robin Tanner
    Being faithful doesn’t mean endless work. It also means attention to the movement of spirit that can appear as an hour of sleep, the truth of a toddler, or a donut in the middle of the day.
  • By Elea Kemler
    I wanted so much to believe that God was watching over this boy, that God was tender and protective and fiercely on the side of life and that this boy would not slip away.
  • By Rayla D. Mattson
    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 Lindasusan Ulrich
    Spirit of Compassion, remind us that our task as humans is not perfection, but faithfulness.
  • By Mandie McGlynn
    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 DeReau K. Farrar
    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 Teresa Honey Youngblood
    Liking somebody, even loving somebody, is not enough to protect them from shade that you cannot even see, much less understand.
  • By Rayla D. Mattson
    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 Robin Tanner
    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 Elea Kemler
    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 Erin Powers
    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 Lindasusan Ulrich
    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 Jake Morrill
    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 Rayla D. Mattson
    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...
  • By Erika A. Hewitt
    "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 Lisa Bovee-Kemper
    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 Becky Brooks
    “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 Robin Tanner
    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 Elizabeth Harding
    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 DeReau K. Farrar
    How many times do I need to make mistakes at the expense of other people, or people’s groups, before I’m ready to admit that I’m not any better at this than the bigoted and willfully ignorant? If I am to “be change,” I must commit to humility and refuse to settle for my own comforting achievements.
  • By Yuri Yamamoto
    Each of us at the wedding had unique stories about their life, but most knew how it felt to be an Asian American in this country. That was enough for me.
  • By Elizabeth Harding
    Remembering is the art of holding a memory and sharing it; it’s drawing upon that memory so it can help us to grow into people who live lives of meaning and service. As a practice, remembering connects us deeply to each other and to the love that sustains us.
  • By Aisha Ansano
    What happened in Charlottesville is nothing new. We know how to fight it, and it is done in community—wherever we can find it. Spirit that runs through us all, remind me to look up, to reach out, to find those doing this work alongside me and join them.
  • By Becky Brooks
    Someone had broken into our garage. We picked our way through the space, storage tubs strewn about, ready to make a list of what was missing: two wool sweaters and half a tent. Someone was suffering a misfortune here, but it wasn’t us.
  • By Seanan R. Holland
    In the moment that I switched to “teacher mode,” I recalled moments in which I had inadvertently said ungracious things. I was fortunate enough to have professors, ministers, and friends illuminate my clumsiness for me. They did so in a way that was gracious enough that it increased my appreciation and respect for them, and clear enough that I will never forget the teaching.
  • By Aisha Ansano
    Our souls and minds need sustenance as much as our physical bodies. May we delight in the ways we find to provide this nourishment to our whole selves.
  • By Elea Kemler
    My son, Caleb, and I went to Starbucks on a recent Saturday morning. We often do this as a prelude to the weekly grocery shopping. It...
  • By DeReau K. Farrar
    There’s something deeply moving for me about the idea of a love that will always have my back. "Always"—meaning unconditionally and without hesitation. And there's something deeply jarring for me about the idea that, despite my most earnest hopes, my best intentions and desires for others may have interrupted the flow of love from me to them.
  • By Yuri Yamamoto
    For almost thirty years after coming to the United States, I didn't fully understand the cultural cues around me. Initially, this gave me the false sense of liberation. I often interpreted uncomfortable situations to be my fault, as an ignorant immigrant. Trying hard to assimilate, I unconsciously suppressed what came naturally to me.
  • By Tim Atkins
    The most important lesson pottery has taught me is to not be attached to the final product—the process matters more than the product.
  • By Teresa Honey Youngblood
    Light We Seek, wherever I am on the journey toward wholeness for all of us—that is, toward racial equality—help me to forgive myself and others for missteps and missed opportunities, and guide my efforts to build up the relationships where love, justice, and understanding grow.
  • By Becky Brooks
    What DO we do in the face of evil? Anything. Everything. Pray, protest, bake, hug, grieve, wail, laugh, explain, linger, research, fight, cry. What we absolutely must not do is ignore it.
  • By Sean Parker Dennison
    I am not alone. I don’t have to face the world alone and I don’t have to fix the world alone. When I need hope, I find it in on the faces of my people. All we need is hope... and for that, we have each other.
  • By Daniel Gregoire
    As a born traveler, I love the novelty of discovering a familiar thing in a new setting. And what’s more familiar than a white clapboard...
  • By Marisol Caballero
    How is it that I, a minister and known skeptic, am able to a) not run around screaming that the sky is falling and, b) do my job at all?...
  • By Erika A. Hewitt
    People are in pain all around us, all of the time. How can we be companions to those in pain, and bear witness, so that pain can be...
  • By Robin Tanner
    I long for progressive religious communities that are confessing communities—places where we admit our wrongdoings, are held accountable, and called back into covenant.
  • By Jake Morrill
    What's my favorite weather? When the wind whips your face, you're alive, and you can think what you will.